Shrink Rap: Most Dangerous Times Of Year For Your Marriage
Editor’s Note: Dr. Paul Hokemeyer is a part-time local, who lives and works in Manhattan, Malibu, and Telluride. He is a nationally recognized expert on Eastern philosophies, relationships, and emotional healing. A Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, he holds a Ph.D in psychology, as well as a doctorate in the law. Dr. Paul also contributes to many prestigious news outlets, including The New York Times, CNN, The Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, The Today Show, Fox News, Oprah Radio, etc. From time to time he has penned a column, Shrink Rap, for Telluride Inside.. and Out.
Dr. Paul was recently interviewed by one of the nation’s leading consumer website, the stir.cafemom.com,about the most dangerous times of year for your marriage.
Back-to-school time. You know what that means: three dozen pencils to sharpen, a billion squeezy pouches of applesauce to tuck away for lunches, notebooks and crayons and new shoes to buy … Oh! And divorce to stave off.
New research from the University of Washington shows that people don’t necessarily get divorced whenever. ‘Tis a season — actually two — when breaking up is more prone to happen.
Sociologists weren’t even looking for this pattern. While researching the effects of recession, they happened to take a close look at divorce filings in the state of Washington between 2001 and 2015. They were surprised to find that they consistently peaked immediately in March and August — the periods after the winter and summer holidays.
What this may mean, researchers explained at the recent annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, is that we unconsciously believe that certain times of the year are taboo for divorce.
Like December. (Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa.)
Or February. (Do you really want to be the jerk who calls it quits so close to Valentine’s Day? We didn’t think so.)
Or July. Family vacation, dude. The kids have been looking forward to Disneyland all year long, and you can’t deny them of this rite of passage.
And … September. Because school’s about to happen, sports activities start, and let’s face it, your whole family’s going to be mad-busy.
It makes sense that we unconsciously root around for the best time to call our marriage quits. There will likely be an app in the future that helps us figure out the exact best day to break the news as well.
But where does this insight leave us? Tiptoeing through March? Walking on eggshells in August?
“All marriages go through highs and lows,” assures Paul Hokemeyer, PhD, JD, a licensed marriage and family therapist in Los Angeles, New York, and Telluride, Colorado. “It’s part of a typical relationship cycle.”
The trick to long-term success, though, is “recognizing the signs of a failing relationship and getting it back on track,” he adds.
As a marriage therapist who’s been working with couples for nearly two decades, Hokemeyer says these are the signs of trouble he looks for — and advice he offers.
Red Flag #1: You haven’t had sex in a month. (Or more.)…
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