January sees more relationships breakdown than any other month – why?
January continues to be the worst month of the year for family break ups because marriage difficulties often worsen over the Christmas holidays prompting many to seek divorces.
A survey conducted by leading UK relationship charity, OnePlusOne, found that over a quarter of parents who live with their partners have contemplated divorce or separation over the Christmas period. For many couples in unhappy relationships, revelations of a fling at the office party could be the last straw. Other grounds for a split include abuse, lack of sex, financial worries, and disappointing presents.
Online advice centre InsideDivorce.com surveyed 100 UK law firms, as well as 2,000 people who were either married, divorced or separated. It found that nearly one in five of all marriages (19%) were on shaky ground, with partners believing it could end in divorce.
More than 1.8m British couples will have contemplated divorcing their partner during the Christmas period, according to the Family Mediation Helpline. And Relate, said the trend of beginning divorce proceedings in January follows a 50% surge in the number of calls to its help line over the holidays.
Penny Mansfield of OnePlusOne said that while it is rare for couples to separate or divorce suddenly, Christmas and New Year can cause additional strains and underlying problems in relationships tend to surface when couples are forced to spend extra time together. There is more opportunity to argue and financial stress often surfaces at Christmas too. All of this can be exacerbated by visiting of relatives.
All this is followed by New Year – when people traditionally make resolutions and think about what they want or don’t want for the future.
The InsideDivorce.com survey found two in every five people (42%) cite their partner’s affair as the reason for seeking a divorce, with nearly half of women citing infidelity as the main reason for marriage breakdown.
Some (54%) of those said they discovered the affair themselves, whereas one fifth of unfaithful spouses confessed, and 4% were told by their partner’s new lover. Some 36% of men – which was the biggest response from men – cited lack of sex as a reason for divorce.
Three quarters of New Year divorces are begun by women. Paula Hall, a relationship psychotherapist at Relate, said this may be because they are the ones who get around to it first.
She added New Year was a time assess their life, and couples who had already separated often decide to take the final step and divorce.