It may be “the most wonderful time of the year,” but for many married couples, it is just the beginning of the end. After putting up with your spouse through Thanksgiving, Christmas and/or Hanukkah, and New Year’s, you have finally had it.
You are saying to yourself, “Everybody wants a fresh start for the beginning of the year. Why not do it by cutting ties?”
If you think the timing is bad with the nights so depressingly long (15½ hours for cities like Seattle), do not think this. I debated my timing for months before ending it on November 1st. Was it great to do it just 26 days before Thanksgiving?
As the newest Bond girl, Monica Bellucci, stated, “When people divorce, it’s always such a tragedy. At the same time, if people stay together it can be even worse.”
If I could have made it through the holidays, I would have. Going through a divorce during the holidays can be emotionally wrenching, which is why many people don’t do it. My sanity and happiness are too much to let a calendar to dictate when to initiate a legal separation/divorce. Somehow, you survived (tolerated?) the holidays, and like the Italian actress I just quoted, staying any longer in your current marriage is a tragedy.
Is that too strong of a word? Tragedy has been described as an event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress. Your event (marriage) has done one or more of these things. It does not matter what the causes are, your marriage is no longer viable and healthy.
Be part of what is the norm in the United States!
Make January the month to start a new chapter in your life. Join millions who will cause the first month of the year to be the time of year when the largest percentages of divorce filings occur. Only September comes close as summer vacations wear on many married couples. Online analysis shows searches for “divorce” and related phrases like “family law” and “child custody” jump 50% from December to January! It keeps rising through March. Believe me; you are definitely not alone to end your marriage now!
In the United States, there are almost two divorces every minute or about 2,400 per day, 16,800 divorces per week and 877,000 divorces a year. It is just at a very high rate for January.
Divorce lawyers cite a number of reasons for January’s statistics. They say many couples are together a lot during the Christmas and New Year’s, helping them to finally realize they don’t like each other’s company. You may be in this situation right now: You have kids and you don’t want to bring up the touchy topic during Christmas and/or Hanukkah, a time which Madison Avenue tells you are supposed to be happy and upbeat time in your life. Besides, why turn dinner on Christmas in to an extreme argument by bringing up the topic of divorce? That ham may never make it to your plate.
Let’s be honest here. Couples don’t suddenly decide to divorce in January. It is a myth that everyone who sees an attorney in January has made a sudden decision to split over the Christmas holidays. Your problems have been building for some time. This festive time of year was just the final straw. Or, another to look at it is that the miserable holidays was a catalyst to make that decision you have been putting off.
If you really think that your marriage cannot be saved, move forward. As I have been telling all of my friends and family, divorce is just the end of the first chapter in my life. Now, begins the second chapter. Since I am a huge believer in marriage, my hope is that the third chapter is “Dan Gets Married Again, and Lives Happily Ever After.”
The time right after separating will be the worst, but it gets better. The first two weeks for me were really bad. Add being by yourself for the first time in years, and it is not a pretty picture. After almost two months of separation, I can say my bouts with depression and guilt over initiating the separation are a lot less frequent. Dealing with the expensive legal issues and a foot-dragging wife are headaches, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel…and it is not an oncoming train. A new life is ahead of me.
Make your New Year’s resolution to get the process started. It will be extremely tough, but why stay together? It can be even worse.