No one ever wants to imagine that the joy of saying “I do” will one day end in a trip to the courthouse with a request to call it quits. Before getting married, many couples foresee a lifetime of love peppered with challenges. In their hearts and minds, each couple is convinced there is nothing that they can’t overcome. Yet statistics tell us that these days, half of all marriages end in divorce. For one reason or another, 50 percent of “I do’s” end in “I don’ts” regardless of whether or not it’s their first trip down the aisle. But there’s another nifty stat that many don’t know about. January has become known as Divorce Month.
Yes. It’s true. Annually, by and large, most divorces occur in January. We wanted to try to understand why that happened and what are some steps couples can take to avoid it. The truth is that by the time January rolls around 99 percent of couples who want a divorce can tell you exactly when they decided to get one. But, they wait. Following are some of the reasons why.
Happy Holidays for the Children
While it’s true that January has become known as Divorce Month, it’s also true that most of the divorces involve couples who have children together. As a result, they make a commitment to allow the kids to enjoy one last happy holiday before calling it quits. If the children are oblivious to the poor state of the marriage, chances are it will be easier to pull off and things can go as planned. However, if they are aware of the pending split, it will be a tough holiday no matter how hard they try.
New Year, New Life
Of the resolutions one can make for the new year, this has to be one of the most drastic. For many couples who feel they have endured the relationship long enough, starting off the new year unattached seems like just the thing to do. As a result, many find themselves eager to get it over with and start fresh and for them, January is the perfect month to be out with the old and in with the new.
Emotionally Charged and Ready to Go
Regardless of where their relationships stand, there are a ton of emotions that people go through at the end of an old and the beginning of a new year. When those emotions take over, couples find themselves making extreme and aggressive decisions. If the relationship has been on the cliff for some time, they can decide it’s time to send it over the edge if emotions are running high.
These reasons are real for many couples and January provides that sense of relief that comes with starting fresh. But, it can also be very deceptive. For couples who find their relationship taking its last breath, January might well be the month to try to figure out where things went wrong.
- Acknowledge their individual role in the demise of the relationship
- Talk openly and honestly before they pursue divorce
- Since staying together for the kids is a lie anyway, figure out how they got to where they are
- Explore the things they loved about each other in the first place and see if they still exist
- Re-introduce the things into their relationship that made it strong
- Seek professional help and act on the counselor’s recommendations
Probably the most important argument to be made for holding off is to admit that conflicts have been going on for awhile. Recognize that at the beginning of the year, emotions are running high and they are most likely acting on raw emotion rather than seeing the possibility for reconciliation. They should pause before taking the leap into divorce court. It’s been said that one should never make important and drastic decisions when emotions are at their peak. In this situation, I’d say that couldn’t be truer.
BMWK, did you know that many relationships kicked the can in January? Is yours one of them?