According to Richard Gray (MailOnline), writing for the, the holidays may be horrible for your marriage and could be linked to spiking divorce rates after the Christmas break.

For over 14 years, scientists at the University of Washington examined behavioral patterns of those filing divorce each year.  They found that divorce rates follow a seasonal pattern and there were more divorce filings after Christmas, spiking to its highest point in March. Professor Julie Brines, a sociologist at University of Washington who led the study, said: “People tend to face the holidays with rising expectations, despite what disappointments they might have had in years past.” The holidays “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.”

  • Financial burdens after the Christmas rush – Oftentimes, families want to hide the issues in their marriage by over-compensating in other areas.  The holiday season makes this more difficult as couples may spend above their means in an effort to mask the problems.
  • A desire to delay decision-making – Couples may put off a separation during the holiday period because it’s an important time for the rest of their family. No need to ruin that time when a decision can be made in the months after.
  • As Professor Brines commented, the holidays are times when people feel hope and optimism.  When the holiday season is over and the time comes to put away the decorations, the reminder of how life was before sets in.
  • The longest and darkest days of the year come around the holidays.  This is a naturally depressing time for many people anyway.  As Spring approaches, it’s lighter out and new growth begins, couples often make the decision to go ahead with the breaking of their marriage.

But there’s hope!  Anything is possible through hope in Jesus! Christmas time is not just about the hustle and bustle, spending above our means and decorations.  It represents the birth of Christ, but more importantly the start of the Gospel journey that led Jesus to the Cross where he would suffer and die for our sins.  Because of this and the eternal hope we have in His resurrection from death, there is hope for every part of our lives…including marriage!

Before giving divorce a thought or actually going through the painful legal process that destroys families, spend the next week watching this series on marriage:

  1. “Truth and Marriage”
  2. “Adorning Christ in Marriage”
  3. “What Makes Marriage Good?”
  4. “What Makes Marriage Good (Part 2)”
  5. “What Makes Marriage Good (Part 3)”
  6. “Leading a Unified, Gospel-centered Home”
  7. “The Two Outfits of the Christian Wife”
  8. “The Privilege of Every Husband”

Just give the Lord a chance to speak to your hearts. Let’s begin with this: