January is #1 for inquiries and filings, but according to a University of Washington study, August is second.* With Covid, divorces are expected to be higher. BusinessInsider.com lists six reasons why August is popular for divorce:
- Couples think the summer break will fix their marriage, but end up disappointed.
- Summer can highlight marriage problems because of added emphasis on family bonding.
- When kids leave for college, empty nest syndrome can kick in.
- Some couples wait until the end of summer to give their family one last memory.
- August gives the children enough time to adjust to the divorce before the holiday season.
- People are more likely to meet someone new during the summer so it’s easier for them to end the marriage.**
As a counselor I find the first two reasons for August divorces not surprising. Too few couples pursue marital help. There are good resources, seminars, and workshops that can help rebuild marriage relationships.
As an adult child of divorce, reasons 3, 4, and 5 make me want to scream at the naivety of hurting spouses.
First, gray divorce (divorce after the kids have grown) is near epidemic proportions. The US divorce rate among adults aged fifty and older doubled between 1990 and 2010, and it is projected to triple by 2030.*** The myth that, since the kids are grown, the divorce won’t affect them is soundly thrashed in the new book, Home Will Never Be the Same Again: A Guide for Adult Children of Gray Divorce by Carol Hughes and Bruce Fredenburg.
Second, regarding “One last memory,” ironically, neither the divorced parents nor the children will remember anything good from that last summer together….ever.
Third, if research shows it takes spouses 18 months or more to recover from the emotional divorce fallout, how will the kids be adjusted by Christmas?
As a realist, divorce with kids usually creates more problems than it solves. Except in cases of abuse, rather than divorce, the answer is learning why you negatively respond to your spouse, and taking steps to heal personally and heal the relationship.
Unfortunately, the common response is, “Yeah, Kent, but it takes two!” They’re right, but they have the wrong two. It’s you and God working together. “Well, I’ve tried that for years and nothing has changed!” God always works to change the individual who is praying to Him. Are you allowing Him to change YOU?