January is The Most Common Time Of Year For Breakups and Divorces
Does your relationship have a holiday hangover? Don't let your relationship turn into a statistic! Take some advice from your online marriage counselor and learn how to turn 2016 into the best year ever for your marriage.
It's time to deal with your relationship: Memories of the holiday meals and sparkly presents are fading into the distance. The brown pine needles have been vacuumed from the rug. But the hurt feelings, resentments, and disappointments? Hoo boy! NOW is the time of year when it finally feels safe to talk about the hard things that have happened over the last few months.
Holidays are wonderful, and there is lots to love. But they are also stressful, and they put uniquely difficult stressors on relationships. The cracks in every relationship strain around things like money, in-laws, setting limits with the kids, “being thoughtful,” who might be drinking too much or flirting with a certain someone at a holiday party, or all the unhelpful ways people cope with stress. Over the holidays, pressure gets put on all those cracks at the same time.
People cope the best they can. Many people, as they go through the holidays, say to themselves: “Just get through it, get through it, get through it.” The holidays are supposed to be happy right? So people keep the lid on the hard stuff. They smile when they feel like screaming, they stuff the disappointments, and they endure the annoyances. Silently. With mounting bitterness.
As any marriage counselor worth their salt will tell you, stuffing things only makes them fester and grow like warty mushrooms of resentment on your heart. So by the time you arrive in January, what you've been holding on to for the past month or two may feel like a really. big. deal.
Furthermore, nobody wants to open up a bunch or hard stuff right before the holidays. Certainly nobody wants to talk about breaking up. Couples who weren't in a great place even before the holidays start to feel squeamish about dealing directly with their problems before all the family events and vacation plans. Married people “don't want to scar their kids by ruining Christmas.” So they wait, stuffing their feelings and biding their time until the ball drops on a New Year. A new start. A new life.
And then they blindside their partners with talk of breaking up, or the “big D” in January.
Do Not Be Afraid of The January Relationship Crisis
Seriously. Use it to your advantage.
- Use it as an opportunity to resolve issues, and make the changes that need to be made: This can be a “fresh start” for your relationship, just like your other goals and hopes for the new year.
- Now is the time for a fresh start for your relationship: Talk about the things you haven't been talking about. If you can't talk about them productively, that's normal too — that's what marriage counselors and relationship coaches are here for. Get in touch and we can help you communicate, reconnect, and work through it productively.
- Show your partner how much you love them by staying calm, and letting them know you're willing to work on it. Practice listening non-defensively, and responding to their requests. Let them know you're willing to do whatever it takes to work through it with them.
- Educate yourself: I am re-releasing the podcast I created last year on this subject, “The January Relationship Crisis.” Listen to it to get deeper insight into what's going on, and how you can work together to reconnect. While you're there, browse around the other relationship podcasts I've made to learn more. (And if you like the Love, Happiness & Success Podcast please subscribe and leave a review!!)
- Use the resources available to you: Sign up to get my free relationship advice freebie (below) and then check back here over the next few weeks for new posts on “How to Get Your Unwilling Partner to Go To Marriage Counseling,” “How to Deal With a Partner Who Shuts Down,” and “How to Deal With a Partner Who is Always Angry.” (Don't miss these posts: Sign up for our monthly round up at the top right of this page and I'll send them to you next month).
2016 could be the best thing that ever happened to your relationship. Facing challenges fearlessly, as a couple, is what will create a stronger, deeper connection than ever before. No one wants relationships to be over: They want them to be better. Embrace the “January Relationship Crisis.” This could be your chance to take your relationship to the next level.
Happy New Year!
Music Credits: Ty Segall, “So Alone”
Contemplating Divorce? Don't Panic. It's just January.
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