Three Reasons People File for Divorce in January

There are more divorces filed in January than any other month, so says The Huffington Post. There is never a good time to break up and if you don’t do it now, you’ll probably be in it another year. With the holidays over the thought of staying in an unhappy relationship one more year can seem overwhelming. While New Year’s resolutions often fall away by February, many feel if they don’t file in January they may fall back into denial and pretend everything is okay for another year. There are many reasons people file for divorce in January, but as a divorce coach, here are the top three that I hear people talk about the most.

Reason #3 – Selfishness or Compassion?

Even though the decision to leave a relationship is often made during the holiday season, nobody wants to file for divorce while everyone is celebrating and gathering together as a family. Divorce brings an enormous amount of pain and suffering for, not only the couple but extended family and friends as well. The logic most people have is that filing in January is a better time.

There are two ways of experiencing the decision to wait until after the holidays. Both are true. The first is selfishness and goes something like: “I couldn’t do that to my family during the holidays,” or “I don’t want to deal with it right now.” So, people wait until January.

Here’s another way people experience their decision to wait:

Even though it might not seem like it, compassion is driving the decision to wait until after the holidays. People who wait until January are often concerned about causing suffering to their children or spouse or extended family. There is a sense that they are easing the pain by waiting.

Reason #2 – New Beginnings!

The beginning of a new year always brings with it hope for a better year than the last. If they hope to save the marriage is lost, then it’s time to start over. The dread people feel around staying in a hopeless situation filled with resentments, anger, and misunderstandings is often overwhelming for people who decide to divorce in January. Most people feel if they don’t take the leap in January, they never will. So, filled with a sense of courage, they jump. Maybe they have tried everything. Maybe they were never committed enough to really put themselves fully into the relationship. It takes a ton of courage to look at yourself and be willing to retract the claws of blame long enough to really see if the marriage can be saved. I can help with that. If you’ve tried everything, give me a chance and I guarantee that if I can’t help you save your marriage, you’ll leave it knowing you’ve given it your all. You’ll also be better equipped to deal with your marriage in an empowered way and keep your heart open to a future lover.

Reason #1 – To Benefit the Kids!

Most people stay married for years because they don’t want to cause their children pain. They think they’re doing them a favor. But, when I ask them what they think they are teaching their children by staying in a loveless, unhappy, or abusive relationship they usually have big insights that lead to action. It’s not an easy thing to realize you’ve been teaching your children how to settle for less and how to be unhappy and how to put themselves last. When I ask my clients if they would want their children to stay in a relationship they were unhappy in, they ALWAYS reply “No!”

It’s a humbling experience to realize the very reason you’re sacrificing your own happiness may be the very thing you are teaching your children to do later in life. They learn from watching you. They learn how to DO relationships by what they see you do. They really do learn by example. They learn how to be treated by what you put up within a relationship. They do!

Maybe this realization helps you to decide to file for divorce in January. But, I recommend talking to me first. Because I have helped tons of people change their relationships into ones they can be proud of teaching modeling for their children. After working with me, guilt will reside and you can feel confident you’re making a good decision for yourself and your children, regardless of the decision you make. If you do decide to break up, you will understand why more divorces are filed in January than any other month.