This is When Divorce is Most Common, Says Science
If there's a "wedding season," then logically, there should be a "divorce season." And according to a recent study, there is. Obviously it's not in the summer, when brides and grooms are hitching their horses to each other's wagons in masses—but it's close. It's actually right after those hot months.
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Researchers from the University of Washington looked at divorce filings in the state between 2001 and 2015 and found that the number was consistently higher in August as well as March—the periods after summer and winter holidays.
So what is it? One last hurrah of a vacation and then—bam! Done like dinner? Actually, maybe. The study suggests that the peak in broken marriages may be chalked up to "domestic rituals" regarding—you got it—family vacations.
According to Julie Brines, study author and associate sociology professor at UWA, it's considered "inappropriate" to end a marriage during summer and winter holidays but right afterwards is fair game. She adds that couples try to work on relationships post-vacation and if nothing is resolved, lawyers are called.
"People tend to face the holidays with rising expectations, despite what disappointments they might have had in years past," Brines said according to Science Daily. "They represent periods in the year when there's the anticipation or the opportunity for a new beginning, a new start, something different, a transition into a new period of life. It's like an optimism cycle, in a sense."
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But that glass-is-half-full mentality is over pretty quick once couples realize their vacation didn't magically cure any marriage difficulties leading up to where they're actually at.
Kids may play a role in the timing, too. Brines and her colleague, doctoral candidate Brian Serafini, noted that parents may choose August to file for divorce because it's after the family vacation but before children start school.
As for March, the researchers believe it's the time of year couples get their finances in order—always a tricky issue—following the winter holidays. It's also early spring, the time of year typically associated with change.
So, nutshell, if you're only going on vacation because you think it'll save your marriage, think twice. When you're away from your regular lives of course things are going to seem hunky-dory but once you're back in the real world, things become real once again.
Denette Wilford is a writer dabbling in the worlds of lifestyle, sports and entertainment. Her work has appeared in Huffington Post Canada, The Loop, The TV Junkies, 24 Hours Toronto and TV Guide Canada. Follow her on Twitter @DenetteWilford