During certain times of the year, it appears that some milestones are more popular than others. For example, the Christmas and New Year's holiday season tend to spark a flood of engagements in your Facebook timelines. Once summer hits, the weekends fill your calendar with wedding and bridal showers galore. And of course, Fall brings on the back-to-school rush. But what about break ups? Experts say this is these are the most popular seasons when couples break up, and honestly, it makes a lot of sense.
"If couples are going to break up, I usually see that happen at different points of the year," Water Street Family Counseling marriage and family therapist Holly Hemphill tells Romper. She shares that most often break ups happen at the beginning of the New Year or toward the beginning of (to mid) summer. Although feelings surrounding splitting with your partner may not be centralized to those to times of the year, the conversations and actions surrounding splitting during these seasons are actually pretty logical, whether you consciously realize it or not.
"Both of these times of the year are based on children," Hemphill says. "Parents want to get through the holidays and do not want to traumatize kiddos over the holidays." And that makes perfect sense. The holidays are a time of closeness and often tradition, and it can feel much more devastating for both parents and kids to embark upon a major life change during this time. Additionally, when you really think about it, the bulk of big, widely-celebrated holidays occurs toward the end of the year. With Halloween at the end of October, Thanksgiving just a few weeks away in November, and Christmas right around the corner in December, it's easy to put your relationship on hold and let those big changes occur after the new year's begun.
For the parents who choose to part ways during the hottest season of the year, Hemphill shares that they often look to the summer season because they feel it will give their children "a longer period of time to adjust to new living arrangements, more opportunity for therapy if necessary, and overall extra time for needed support." From experience, I can also add that the house market is much more lively come summer time, and logically, summer months offer more solid options for parents going their separate ways all around. In the chaos of moving, starting new schedules, and everything else that comes with separation, knowing your kids have a few months away from every day responsibilities offers a solid trial-and-error period to adjust. And it's totally worth it.
Separations, break ups, divorces (or whatever form a split between two people takes) are hard. They're time consuming, emotionally draining, and sometimes financially straining too. So the idea that there's a time of year when you might see a higher spike in separation doesn't mean you're doomed to end your relationship at the beginning of the year or start of the summer. It simply means that the complicated, messiness behind a relationship that doesn't last surprisingly comes with some foundation of logic too. There are definite periods of time throughout the year that makes embarking upon a major life change, like breaking up, easier for couples, families, and children.
Through all of the change, hardship, and emotions, keep in mind something psychology and Science of Gratitude reporter Shuka Kalantari said in her interview on The Science of Happiness: post-traumatic growth occurs after adversity, and "people are remarkably resilient after divorce, including children," as data shows that people post-divorce are quite a bit happier after just a few years. So even though it's hard to stay optimistic while you're in the thick of it, know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherlode, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.