Dear Patricia Marie,

I have been with my partner for 6 years and Christmas is a major problem in our relationship. Over the years it has got increasingly worse as he will not be flexible on Christmas arrangements.

He is totally dominated by his family and submits to pressure of spending all the time with them. I am included but this is not my point surely a relationship should be a split decision? And even when I try and talk about the issue, he flies off the handle and we don't get anywhere.

I know this seems ridiculous but I think it's going to break us up. I love him and want us to be together but I just don't know what else to do.

Patricia Marie says...

I am not sure Christmas is the main reason you are at breaking point, rather it's highlighting the negative areas within your relationship thats contributing to the way your feeling.

Firstly, if your boyfriend is unwilling to compromise, you need to be focusing on your wishes for the festive season. If you're wanting to be with your boyfriend that's fine, but does it have to be completely on his terms? Perhaps if you were able to take some control, you may then begin to feel your Christmas is not being dominated by him.

It would be interesting to find out why he is so accepting of his parents demands? Is he using them as an excuse to do as he pleases? Your partner's dismissal of how you are feeling, and the childish behaviour he displays when he doesn't get his own way will only continue if you allow it to, and more importantly, if this problem is not addressed, it could become destructive within your relationship in the future.

If you are unable to talk to your boyfriend without him behaving irrationally, write him a letter, this way he can digest things and think before he responds. If you believe this relationship is worth saving, you need to work at it together, not alone.

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