So, your partner or spouse is difficult, and you are more aware than ever that your love life is lacking, you feel unappreciated and are getting desperate for those loving touches that make all the difference. You crave nurturing, a little romance and emotional security with a partner who is emotional mature. Reasonable desires for sure, alas the reality of relationships is often very different.

It seems that holidays have an uncanny habit of highlighting all the parts in our relationships that need working on. If this sounds like you ask yourself this question. Could your dissatisfaction be a general call to action to work on your own stuff?

You may even feel a sense of urgency here and wonder if this is the time round it us time to make amends or break up for good. Maybe you feel that you can't take any more. Yes, holiday periods have that effect on shaky relationships. So, what to do for the best?

Just how do you know if enough is really enough or if you are just overreacting to the pressures of life and are piling these pressures on your already emotionally overstretched spouse.

Ask yourself another poignant question. It is imperative that you answer this one with total honesty if you want to be sure of receiving valuable guidance from the answer. Are you perhaps just reacting to other people's expectations instead of looking inside and determine where you stand free from the influences and opinions of well meaning family and friends. What are your values. Check your values carefully, because they will give you many clues about your life. Are you acting in line with your value system? Have you unwittingly adopted the values of your peers as your own without ever examining them for their relevance to you?

Work on your biggest asset, you. It starts, as it always does, with looking inwards: Once you have examined your value system check if your value system reflects your relationship. If it does not you will want to add dress the areas which are in conflict with your values.

Step back and expand your mental awareness. See your partner from his or her point of view, instead of judging their actions from your point of view. Try to put yourself in their shoes and feel their feelings and think their thoughts.

What are their pressures? How do they feel when you are critical and demand that they go shopping when they are perhaps more pre-occupied with their business and making sure that your lifestyle is maintained through difficult times. Think about how you might be able to help them change their negative and limiting perspectives.

Perhaps you feel a sense of overwhelm just considering these ideas. This is only natural when you are going through a stressful period in your relationship, and sense that your feelings deserve more consideration than your partner has shown. These sentiments are all well and good, but they do nothing to help your relationship problems.

Remember, that change always starts with that first baby step. Let that first step be your intention to develop something positive and different inside you. Follow your intuition and be open minded and let ideas come to you. Trust your inner guidance free from ego considerations. Your ego should be firmly placed in a drawer for now and the key to the drawer ought to be thrown away for now. You can always get it back, if need be.

Here is another thought. How about searching for personal development gifts in the form of games that you can play together? The personality game for instance is a great gift idea that you can put to incredibly good use with all your family. The personality game gets you to look at the different characters that make up your personality. We all have good and bad aspects to our personality. It is a natural instinct to try and hide the negative aspects from ourselves as well as from others.

The personality game shows you how this attitude is actually counterproductive. IThis game is also a great way of gaining clarity on your true values. For this reason alone it is worth playing.

I have played the personality game with workshop participants as well as with family and friends with great and astounding results, because it is a game and is such fun to play everyone relaxes and people want to carry on playing. In my last workshop the participants were still playing the game during the breaks.

Author's Bio: 

Mercedes Oestermann van Essen is a human development coach and energy therapist. She has created the Happy Venn Diagram for environment, body and mind and teaches integral life principles in her books, audios, workshops and retreats. Visit