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Is January really “Divorce Month?”

The new year means a lot to lots of people. This year you might want to start a new hobby or open a new business. You might want to organize that closet. Or you might want to reevaluate your relationship.

January has long been considered “divorce month,” according to the New York Times. The reasons for this include the “New Year’s push” that drives resolutions, though many choose to make such decisions after the holidays have passed. But no one should decide to divorce based solely on calendar considerations. The big factor for the decision to divorce is simply this:

Is my marriage still working?

While that seems like a simple question, it is anything but. “Working” means something different to everyone in the world. For some, working means quiet days and pleasant weekends. For others, it means extravagant romantic gestures and beautiful words. What most can agree on is that some things simply aren’t part of a functional relationship:

  • Physical abuse
  • Insults
  • Emotional abuse
  • Loss of trust

Those are the worst-case scenarios. Perhaps your marriage is, by most metrics, “good,” but something is missing. Maybe you wish to have children, and your partner doesn’t. Maybe you just don’t love them anymore.

How do you define a working relationship?

This is really a question only you can answer. You can talk to whoever it is you trust about it, but in the end, the decision of whether you can make it work is going to rest with you. What matters most is deciding or discovering what makes you happiest and pursuing that.

Finding the way forward takes time

The mechanics of getting a divorce is relatively simple: waiting periods, forms, meetings. The decision to divorce, however, can take time. It can be the hardest decision you ever have to make.

A new year is not a reason to upend everything. If you don’t know what you want to do about your marriage now, then you shouldn’t be rushed just because the calendar says so. When it’s the right time for you, you’ll know.