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“Nicole” waited until January to ask her husband “Jason” for a divorce.

“Nicole” is not alone… January is famous for being “BREAK-UP” month. Ask any family law attorney and you’ll hear about how calendars fill up after the holidays.

 Same for marriage counselors, psychologists and love-doctors. The couples we see, though, are usually still open to considering whether their relationships are worth fighting for.

It’s good news that many marriages, which may seem to be in serious enough trouble, can be happily fixed.

For sure, “Jason,” screwed up. “Nicole” discovered he had a female colleague at work with whom he was sharing family secrets. Their so-called “platonic” relationship had now crept over into their weekends. The colleague called with personal problems, at her whim. He seemed all too happy to rescue… and reciprocate. “I used to love Jason so much,” she says.

“Christopher,”a self-described “workaholic,” defended his “right” to work sixty- hours a week. “Veronica,” his wife, called his work, “his mistress“. Veronica” was lonely. Her two best friends were getting divorced. “I don’t think ‘Christopher’ would even notice if I left, too” she said.

January seemed the perfect  bolt-time. “Nicole” didn’t want to” spoil Christmas” for their kids. “Veronica’s girlfriends were planning an exotic vacation to celebrate their “freedom.”

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Each of these women was smart enough to seek professional counsel before throwing in the towel on once-good marriages.

 SPOILER ALERT: It is much easier to fall in love… than it is to dissolve a long-term relationship.

 If JANUARY-RELATIONSHIP-BLUES, have gotten to you too, you’d do well to slow down your thinking.

You can always decide to divorce.

But first, think about your partner and whether his good list is longer than the bad list… most of the time. Yes? Give him some slack. He could be worth it.

  • Don’t believe me? Just think about some fictional character you’ve loved and about some flaw they’ve exhibited which makes they seem real, vulnerable and … more lovable.
  • Be honest. Have you been willing to give your spouse a graceful way to save face when he/she screws up? Everyone, even you, screws up sometime.
  • Have you even been willing to share, in ways he/she can hear, about how lonely you’ve become in your relationship?
  • Does your spouse know you care for him/her? And that you also care about his/her needs too?
  • Do you allow a safe time/ place/space when your partner can discuss safely, feelings that matter.
  • Remember that any “should I stay/ should I go, decision-making, should include lots of of self-search steps.

Back to “Nicole” and “Jason.”

Turns out Nicole had been spending inordinate amounts of time, in the past few years, doing “her own thing,” especially, it seems, when Jason was home. Together, they had gotten into a boring routine. Jason felt shut out from her life in so many ways.

Over time, he e took more and more pleasure from sharing with and nurturing his appreciative talk-buddy. He said he was guiltless. “We’ve never even touched.”

“Nicole,” was angry at “Jason” for not understanding how the emotional bond he had with his colleague, felt like he was cheating on her.

About “Christopher” and “Veronica.”

Have you noticed how often things are not as they seem? These two looked like the perfect couple.

“Veronica” had married Christopher when he was in law school and she was working as a sales clerk. When he began to earn a big salary, she quit her job. After twelve years together, with no children, Veronica spends her days at the gym, shopping and meeting her now mostly single girlfriends for drinks or dinner in the evening. This is not a formula for a successful marriage… or for a life.

IF YOU EVER WORRY ABOUT BECOMING A JANUARY BREAK-UP STATISTIC, TRY THIS FIRST:

 Commit to spending MORE time together. Find a hobby of some sort that you both enjoy. Dance? Play golf? Cards? Take turns planning events, dates vacations. Commit to delighting him/her.

Make a conscious effort to enjoy each other more. In Orange County? Spend a day at Disneyland. (Christopher had never been to Disneyland and discovered that he loved it.) Find a way to laugh together. Often.

Like Music? The theater? Movies? Bicycle riding? Don’t just talk about doing these things. Buy tickets and/or make a commitment… one which is  likely to stick.

Aim to limit your friendships to friends who are friends to your relationship.

WITH A NEW ATTITUDE, LOOK AHEAD. FEBRUARY, AFTER ALL, IS THE MONTH OF LOVE.

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Thanks For Visiting,

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