Did your marriage hit a rough patch this summer? You are not alone. According to new research from the University of Washington, divorce rates spike each year in August, with September filings not far behind.
What’s driving this end-of-summer divorce trend? Let’s take a look at relationship problems that tend to be unique to summer — along with tips you can use this fall to help mend your marriage and avoid divorce.
4 reasons why couples file for divorce in late summer
Summer break is not long enough to fix a broken relationship
Couples trapped in troubled relationships often attempt to work through their issues over the course of their summer vacation weeks off from work. Spouses may take a “second honeymoon” to reignite the spark, for example. This could be exactly what the doctor ordered to help couples feel renewed closeness. But more often than not, the relationship cure-all spouses had hoped for fails to materialize. Plus, spending lavishly on an expensive trip only adds to financial tensions the couple may be experiencing.
Did your recent vacation push you towards the brink of divorce, instead of pulling you back from it? Remember this simple truth: there is no easy fix for serious relationship problems. You need time and you need support. Consider attending couples therapy this fall to see how the two of you can work through your relationship issues with guidance and feedback from a trained professional.
Work/family balance went out the window
When the kids are on summer vacation from school, it’s a juggle for working parents. Maybe you were responsible for caring for the kids all summer while your spouse was at work and you feel burned out — or you worked all summer without much time off and feel resentful that you were not included in special family activities. By the time Labor Day rolled around, both of you may have felt disconnected as parents — and spouses.
If the work juggle created tension this summer, use this fall to get your groove back. With your kids back at school, see if you and your spouse can both take a few days off to just relax and be at home together. Make date night a regular habit by hiring a sitter and going out. Or simply watch a movie together after the kids are in bed. On the weekends, find a fun family activity that all of you will enjoy. Who’s up for apple picking or visiting a corn maze?
Empty Nest Syndrome
Just sent your youngest off to college? Many couples who suddenly find themselves empty nesters also find themselves re-evaluating their marriage. Now that it is just the two of you, marital problems that simmered beneath the surface may suddenly flare up in the open, or there may be a feeling of boredom without the constant hum of family activity.
Drifting apart without the “glue” of raising kids together? It’s time for a relationship reset. Is there a home renovation project the two of you have always wanted to start? Interested in taking a class together? Finally have time to start training for that 5K? Couples who successfully adjust to their children moving out on their own are the ones who take time to create new goals and dream new dreams. Have an open conversation and start planning your future together.
Deciding to divorce now so the holidays are easier on the kids
Some couples decide to make the pre-emptive move to divorce in August so they can have co-parenting plans settled before Thanksgiving and the winter holiday season. If you and your spouse have been going through a difficult time, you may be feeling a sense of urgency to end the marriage in advance of the holiday season so that your children will have time to adjust.
If there is one decision that you never want to rush, it’s making the decision to divorce. Take time to talk to an attorney about all your options (including creating a reconciliation agreement), see a family or couples therapist, and most of all, take a step back and carefully evaluate your next move. It’s noble to want to safeguard your kids, but do some serious thinking about what is the best way to do this. Could reconciliation still be a possibility?
Summer may have strained your marriage, but there may still be a way to mend and strengthen your relationship if that is what you both want to do. Please see our other helping resources for more relationship tips:
Need legal help to save your marriage? Learn how a post-nuptial agreement or reconciliation agreement can give couples on the brink greater peace of mind. Please contact us today to schedule your initial attorney consultation and get answers to all your questions. Call us at 888-888-0919, or please click the button below.