Have you been thinking it? Have you been sensing it? Do you think the holidays are going to put you over the edge tis year? Are you really going to do it? Year after year, there are more thoughts of divorce occurring over the holidays than at any other time during the year, and consistently, the separation and divorce rates are highest in January.
January is ominously referred to as ‘Divorce Month’, superseding July and August, when its ‘back to reality’ as the summer ends, as he month when more couples separate and divorce. It was recently written in the Huffington Post, that ‘most disenchanted husbands and wives begin searching for information on divorce (immediately) after the holidays,’ but many think about it for months before. It’s a big, scary decision, one that usually we yell about meaninglessly in arguments, until we don;t not mean it anymore.
During the first 2-3 weeks in January, my practice is inundated with husbands and wives calling for appointments because their spouse, or themselves, have done the deed, and there are some emotional issues they need to work on; the biggest issue being, why their spouse is being so awful towards them. There’s an answer for that, actually.
But why January? Most couples stay in unhappy relationships for the kids. And most of these couples have been going back and forth for a long time about why stay, how long to stay, and then, when is the best time for them, to end it. The answer, is January, after the holidays, because usually, none of them want to ruin the holidays for their children, so they wait until after they’re over.
Drinking, they say, is like truth serum. The holidays bring out the best in us, and the worst in us. When we drink, all those thoughts and feelings we’ve repressed about how we really feel about our partners, and about what we really want, seem to rear their ugly heads and come to the fore, fast and furious, and often during festivities with others, for our emotions tend to know no bounds or boundaries when we’re beyond our tolerance or we’ve just had enough. Fuelled by thoughts of impeding resolutions, and reflecting on the past year and last few months, exacerbated by the wonderfully fun and feel-good activity of imbibement. But you don’t need to drink to have those 4 awful, words, ‘I want a Divorce’ shockingly uttered in your ear.
Emotions are a contributing factor too, as they tend to run high during the holidays, along with other stresses and stressors such as money, in-laws, tax filings, and work. It’s a time many people really contemplate on how they want their future to look, and consider how things have been, how they want them to be, and what you no longer want. What many people see however, is that it’s easier to get out, rather than to work on things to stay in. That, of course, depends on the existing issues, the temperment of the relationship, and how much anger, conflict, and acrimony there may be. Now it becomes a value proposition, unique to every one and every relationship. And yes, sometimes some couples are better together apart, or simply, just better apart.
In a word, divorce is messy. It can be angry, high-conflict, invasive, time-consuming, highly emotional and incredibly costly. Any lawyer will tell you this, and send you off on your way to get help first, if you already haven’t. The burden is also on you to prove to the courts that you have ‘done everything you possibly can’ to repair the marriage and ‘fix’ things.
The courts are so overburdened by divorce, that in an effort to reduce the number of requests to legally end a marriage, you are responsible for proving that your marriage is irreparable, you have sought Professional Counselling, and you have done what you could. If you’ve been thinking about divorce, wait. Let’s chat first. There could be solutions you haven’t thought of yet, or tips or techniques you haven’t implemented yet, that may just change things, and begin the mend and the build.
Whatever you decide, it has to be right for you. Marriage Counselling works if you’re ready and willing to talk. If you’d like to explore this further, discuss options, skills, and techniques that actually work to improve the quality of your relationships, work through the issues, and learn effective communication and understand the behaviour, let me know. I’m here for you.