How to Stop Your Wife Divorcing You in January (or at any time!)

By Merlin Matthews

I hope that you are looking forward to, or enjoying, a lovely festive break (depending when you’re reading this). I also hope that you and your beloved are growing deeper in love with each passing week.

However, the statistics are clear that there is a Big spike in divorces straight after the festive season, with January being called ‘divorce month’ in the legal profession.  NB. Although this is written from a conventional ‘man & woman’ perspective, there’s a lot of truth for all humans. Also, a significant partnership may not involve being married.

Why avoid divorce? 

Cost (money, time…) stress, children suffering, stress…  And if you do separate, you may well face a similar thing with a new person, a few years down the line, if you don’t ‘learn the lessons’.

Research shows that almost 1 in 5 married couples were considering staying together over the Christmas period before putting an end to their marriage in January. The same survey found that 1 in 4 people describe themselves as being with their partner for the sake of their children.

70% of the time it is the women who files for divorce…

There are various reasons including:

  • feeling unsupported / doing most of the household and child-rearing
  • gaining fewer emotional benefits from marriage, which could make single life seem more appealing
  •  women no longer dream of being housewives (they want satisfying careers and marriages)
  •  less willing to accept being in an unhappy relationship than men      – tend to have more close friends than men

(This is a statistical thing. Some men file for divorce. Credit to the men who do help/support in the household)

Some Causes of (Festive) Divorce and How to Avoid them (‘Festive’ and ‘General’):

MONEY  

This is one of the main issues in relationships. Festive ~ spending too much money on gifts (and food etc) in the festive season will make a bad situation worse. Possible solutions include;  Gifts for the children, not for adults. (Is too many/big gifts teaching kids to be consumers?)

Do not buy unnecessary gifts, cheap or otherwise. Eco and economical. Many are not wanted or appreciated (see “Martin Lewes”).  Vouchers as a gift (eg. massage, breakfast in bed, sorting some life admin…) General ~ Put some effort into learning money management, perhaps as a family. Address self-worth and limiting beliefs.

INFIDELITY 

Festive ~ At the office party don’t get too drunk (and avoid getting too intimate with the other staff). General ~ (re)-build the passion in your relationship. Develop the polarity between you. Regular date nights. Learn massage (it’s easy and everyone loves it). Perhaps you could renew your wedding vows, or come up with some new personal ones?

PARTNERSHIP  

Women do not want to plan and take charge of all of the day-to-day responsibilities and problems at home.  Festive ~ shopping (inc. gifts for the kids), tidying and cleaning, making the massive meal, clearing up and washing up… There are many tasks, so it seems smart to divide them up, and get house-guests and children to help (according to their abilities). General ~ divide up tasks and review regularly.

COMMUNICATION  

Open-hearted communication is the main thing I suggest for my clients and friends.  Take it in turn to “hold space” for the other person, which the next two feed into. Acknowledge their feelings and opinions (you do not have to agree with them), in a non-judgemental way. This encourages the other person to open up and get to the  underlying issues.  “Active listening” ~ no distractions, no interruptions, asking for elaboration and summarising key points demonstrates that you understand (also shows you’re listening).  “Time boxing” ~ setting aside say 5 mins each and then repeat. This way you get heard but don’t go too far down the ‘rabbit hole’. Neutral space helps, as does outdoors / walking.  “Love languages” ~ work out your and your partner’s. This is to ensure that your love ‘lands’ with each other.

Emotional needs 

Some say that women often have a higher expectation of how a partner will meet their emotional needs than transpires. My take is that it is good for both parties to work out what their needs are, and to share this with their partner (see communication). Reviewing is good, as needs change over time and to be re- assessed, to get clarity and shared.

If things are getting heated between you:

Acknowledge the other person’s reality. And be aware (and tell the other person) that your ‘reality’ is your “story” although it is your truth/reality at the moment.    Breathe:      – Take a moment before replying      – Long tail breathing (longer on the outbreath) calms the nervous system, the vagus nerve (parasympathetic)      – Have a 5 minute break, so you can (both) calm down. NB reassure your partner you are interested in what they have to say, will be back and are committed to talking. ‘You’ just need some space to calm down.   Communication Skills can be learned, though we don’t get taught them (directly) at school. Use proven techniques. See what works for you. There is no ‘one way’.  Practice.

Festive Specific ‘Triggers’ 

Booze: The festive season is known for overdoing it, which means tempers can fray and that people can say things they later regret.  Being hungover won’t help – you can greatly reduce or avoid this by drinking water throughout the day/drinking time, not just ‘a glass before you go to bed’.

Keeping up a positive family image: Married couples may feel pressure to stay together even if they don’t want to, because of keeping up appearances for friends and family.  Staying together ‘for the sake of the children’, though this may be setting them a bad example of how to be an adult. Children learn from what we do, not  from what we say.

Partner: Like in lockdown, some people get triggered by spending more time with their partner.  A solution – make sure you have some ‘me time’. And my favourite, open-hearted communication.

Time with your/your partner’s Family: It may be that you love your parents/siblings, BUT they can be negative/bring you down. One of my main teachers, Blair Singer, says to “love them from a distance”. It may be that one of you does not like/get on with your partner’s family. Perhaps; make it a short visit, take breaks (walk around the block), long tail breathing.

Recognise they are as fallible (messed up), as are you. They are a product of their upbringing and life.

‘Walk a mile in their shoes’!  In Your Service 🙏🏽❤️  Merlin Matthews

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