“Divorce Day” is the unofficial start of the rush to divorce in 2019. It’s the first Monday following the New Year, and the day that a lot of divorce attorneys say their phones start to ring off the hook.
A lot of couples intentionally put off acting on thoughts of divorce during the holidays. For some, it’s a gesture of kindness — they don’t want to upset their families and make the holidays miserable. For others, the holidays represent one last chance to make things right with their spouse. They need that last amount of “holiday togetherness” to convince themselves that they’re better off alone.
So, if your marriage survived the holidays and Divorce Day has passed without either you or your spouse picking up the phone, is your marriage safe — at least, for now?
Maybe not. The problem is that you — or your spouse — may know someone who took the plunge on Divorce Day. According to researchers, having a divorced friend increases the likelihood that you will end up divorced by 75 percent. In fact, just having a divorced co-worker (even one you don’t like) can increase your risk of a divorce by 50 percent! If your sibling gets a divorce, your risk increases 22 percent.
Before you start thinking there’s something in the water or air that’s making divorce contagious, however, consider this: researchers say that it may not actually be so awful if your best friend or sister gets divorced and that starts you thinking about doing the same. In fact, it’s probably a sign that you’re making a healthy stride toward getting out of a bad marriage.
In other words, if your marriage is happy and fulfilling, Divorce Day doesn’t mean a thing. Having a whole pile of divorced friends won’t destabilize your marriage if you’re in wedded bliss. On the other hand, if you’re already unhappy, there’s strength in numbers; seeing someone else gain a new lease on life through divorce can help you decide that you need to do the same.
If you’re seriously thinking about a divorce, get a little professional advice before you make your move. A counselor can help you sort out your feelings and an attorney can help you learn more about your options.