Averting Divorce During the Holidays
Believe it or not this is the season where divorce runs high. During the holidays and up to Valentine’s Day, more people ask for a divorce than any other time during the year. Why is that, you may ask? There are many reasons why.
During the course of the year, many couples work outside the home and are busy living their own lives. Outside of their work and careers, they stay preoccupied with hobbies, friends, sports and electronics. Busy schedules keep couples from interacting with each other and building a strong marriage.
Many develop new friendships at their place of work and during the process, use the new friendships to fill in the gap for what is lacking from their marriage. Though most do not engage in sexual relations outside of marriage, many supplant their spouse with friends who fulfill the need for communication and social interaction.
A typical scenario can be one where both spouses return home from a long day at work and are too busy or too tired to have one-on-one conversations. Sometimes, while at dinner or while watching television they may find themselves talking about co-workers, events at the office or how busy it’s have been with the kids. After a time, it becomes uncomfortable talking about one another’s needs and that leads to stress in the relationship.
For some couples, either the wife or husband may see their spouse in a different light if they have not connected with each other over the past several months and will distance themselves from the other more and more each day. Then, a new and bigger problem has been created. The neglected spouse notices their partner has changed in some way, but they’re just not sure what it is. They start to look for their partner’s faults and begin to focus on them. The things they once adored and appreciated have become detestable and irritations. The long talks they enjoyed are now short one-word responses. Somewhere along the way, both have lost that loving feeling.
At this point, one or the other may decide these are reasons to separate or divorce. Some will seek out friends for advice about getting a divorce. The spouse who wants to leave the marriage will process their friend’s advice and may justify their reasons to leave the marriage and move on with their life. If you suspect that your marriage is in trouble don’t wait! Now is the time to save your marriage. It’s time to be proactive!
Unfortunately, this is a busy time of year for me. My phone rings off the hook from those who want to save their marriage but have no idea what they should do or where to start. Don’t panic! You need to look at realistic ideas that can save your marriage. Following are a few suggestions to help you put some zest back into your marriage and possibly save it from destruction:
• Avoid arguments during the holidays.
• Don’t be a nit-pick, i.e. nag, whine, or force your agenda.
• Encourage each other with complements and avoid sarcasm.
• Plan something fun. Go to dinner, the movies, museums, etc. and have fun.
• Have a date night with just you and your spouse without the kids.
• Have a time where of you both sit down and talk without interruptions. Turn off cell phones, the TV, etc. and focus on each other.
• Cook a meal together and share responsibilities in preparing and clean up.
• Put the kids to bed and slow dance to a candle-lit room and sweet talk while dancing.
• Surprise your spouse with a small gift from the grocery store (nothing expensive but something they will appreciate).
All these are easy to do so if you feel you’re starting to feel distance, then try these tips. Taking action and growing a healthy relationship is a matter of just doing it. Someone has to take the first step and it might as well as be you!
In building a healthy relationship both parties must contribute to the process to make it happen. Both need to be creative and enjoy your time together. Make it a point to have a date night and communicate what you want and need from each other in your relationship. I can tell you that the clients I see in my office, tell me that silence can certainly contribute to a failing marriage.
In my opinion, lack of communication is the number one reason for divorce worldwide. When you don’t talk to one another, no one knows what the other is thinking. Someone may start making assumptions about the other partner and it’s downhill from there. Communication is one of the easiest fixes in a marriage and can be enjoyable as you both learn better communication skills.
In closing if you need help in building a better marriage or want to prevent a divorce, now is the time to do it. Don’t wait for the perfect time. There is no perfect time. The sooner you work on it the better.
If you marriage is in serious trouble and you’re ready to do what it takes to save it, then call for a free complementary 20 minute consultation with Dr. Mike at 303.456.0555.