New Year, New Divorce

January is the month in which most divorce proceedings are started. For most of the year, we mindlessly tootle through life as proscribed by the world around us and fulfil our obligations to family and work. The turn of the year is the time when we're actually encouraged to lift our nose from the grindstone and look around us to reflect on what has been and what we might be to come. And, when some people consider their life, they're not too pleased with what they see. Here are the factors that contribute to the spike in divorce applications in January...

1. The Passage of Time

We mostly don't notice the passing of time - a day, a week or month doesn't seem like very long to keep going if our relationship is unsatisfactory. But, when we are reminded that a whole year has passed, we are shocked by the lack of progress we've made or by the amount of time we've devoted to a bad relationship. It also reminds us how little time we have left to find love.

2. Seasonal Expectations

Everything from Christmas cards to Christmas movies are conspiring to raise our expectations of how joyous, merry and harmonious our family life is supposed to be. Almost no one can meet these expectations but, for some people, the reality is so far from the ideal that the difference becomes unbearable.

3. Seasonal Pressure

Christmas, school holidays and New Year are very busy times. Extra parenting duties, entertaining, shopping, decorating, cooking, travelling, etcetera, adds to our workload and the strain can reveal underlying faults in the relationship. Instead of pulling together, many couples pull apart because one or both people react badly to the pressure of the season and display behaviour distasteful to the other person.

4. Too Much Christmas Cheer

Christmas celebrations and New Years parties often involve alcohol - the great disinhibitor. While we would normally control ourselves and our impulses, socially sanctioned drinking to excess can liberate people to flirt, cheat, or just plain say what they mean for once. Never underestimate the power of getting tipsy for unleashing the inner truth.

5. Too Much Family Time

For some people, their typical week is focussed on work whereas the holidays are a big dose of family they're unfamiliar with. If the family dynamic is something they hadn't realised was painful, the season can expose them to a truth they had never faced before.

6. January 2nd

The contrast between the sparkle of Christmas and New Year versus the stark reality of January 2nd highlights that normal life could be better. You may have actually enjoyed the holiday season but realised on January 2nd that your marriage is not the source of that joy. For some, that means ditching the marriage for something that sparkles all year round.

 

7. Reaching The Deadline

January is the time when most divorce applications are filed but, the desire to divorce is typically a slow, building process beginning months or years earlier. Many people know they want a divorce before January but Christmas is just not the right time to announce it so, they stay together for the season and reveal their plans in January.

So, be aware that you may be hearing some surprising news this month, about your own situation or about others. 

 

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