With ‘Divorce Day’ fast approaching – the first working Monday of January is dubbed ‘Divorce Day’ by the legal profession as that’s the day most divorce petitions are filed. It follows what is often a stressful time for year for relationships that are already on thin ice, with Christmas and New Year often causing seismic cracks to appear and the relationship to become a casualty of falling through the ice.
I get it.
The festive period is fraught with stress, anxiety and far too many opportunities to mess things up, from a one-too- many festive sherry, to an inappropriate snog under the mistletoe, from telling great Uncle George what you really think of his out-dated attitude and opinions, to upsetting your mother-in-law for refusing her offer of helping with the sprouts (because she’s been boiling them to death since October!).
Then there’s your partner or spouse, either buying the wrong gifts or no gifts at all, or leaving you to deal with the kids and family whilst he goes out for a run, to the football, to buy a pint of milk (AKA a swift pint in the local pub that turns into a lengthy session with his mates) leaving you to worry about absolutely everything whilst still trying to run the home, respond to your work emails and be polite to the in-laws.
You’ve made it through all of that but you’ve woken up in this first week of January and thought ‘I’m not doing that again’ or ‘I’m not allowing myself to be put upon like that again’ and it’s got you thinking about whether it was just Christmas and New Year pressure or whether you feel like that all the time.
You’re an intelligent mid-life woman, and your instinct is s**t-hot in the workplace but now, when it’s closer to home, you’re not sure if your instinct is off.
Maybe it’s just hormones?
Maybe you’re not handling pressure the same as you used to?
Maybe it’s because the kids are older? Even though they’re more independent it seems just as stressful as when they were younger, because now you’re worrying about them drinking too much, offending relatives or just excusing themselves and leaving you to carry the load.
Maybe you just need a break?
Or maybe, you just need to be able to talk through this stuff with someone who’s been there, who’s totally objective and will let you change your mind a million times if you want to. Who won’t tell you what to do but will give you permission to say what’s really bothering you.
Often when we reach this stage in a relationship we just need to be able to vent our frustration and our feelings to someone who isn’t invested in our relationship. Who won’t take sides and who won’t tell us what we should do or say ‘I told you so’.
Just because you feel this way about your partner or spouse doesn’t mean you’re necessarily doomed. It just means you need to find a way to express yourself and to communicate your frustrations to your partner in a way that won’t cause a heated argument.
The best way to change what you want your partner to do is to model that behaviour and language to them, but where to start?
Try saying ‘Thank you’ for the small stuff, the unexpected cup of tea, them making the bed instead of you, them buying milk because they noticed you were nearly out, them putting the laundry out (even if they don’t do it quite the way you do it).
And when you find yourself about to speak in exasperation, frustration or anger, count to five and think about the words you want to use and the tone in which you’ll share them.
Such small and simple changes but they can have a massive impact.
Isn’t it worth it to avoid being a statistic on Divorce Day?
If you need a hand making these small changes, get in touch for a free and no-obligation heart-to-heart call I guarantee you’ll walk away with at least one small and simple change you can implement immediately to avoid becoming a statistic.