- Has photos (1 photos)
- Has videos (0 videos)
- Has audio (0 audio)
December is the most stressful month for couples, a study revealed yesterday.
The findings, which emerged in a study of 3,000 people, show more arguments happen during the festive month than at any other time of the year.
Money worries, problems over family logistics and workloads lead to an increase in tension in December, it emerged.
Other top concerns at this time of the year include how much to spend on each other and on the children, and a lack of time and attention for each other.
Incredibly, one in five have already considered splitting up with their other half this month – while a further one in 20 doubt their relationship will survive until the New Year.
Deborah Jeff, Head of Family Law at west end law firm Seddons, which carried out the research, said: ”Although December can be a wonderful time for many families, it can also be a time of stress and strain for others.
”If a relationship is already suffering due to poor communication or lack of time for each other, this will be heightened during a month when we are busy focusing our attentions on keeping other people happy, such as extended family and friends.
”January is a time when we see a significant increase in the number of clients consulting us for advice about divorce and separation.
”But it needn’t get that far. We work with relationship counsellors who encourage our clients, where appropriate, to re-evaluate what is important to them in the relationship and look at the bigger picture before divorce or separation are even considered.
”The stress of the Christmas period can cause couples to forget all the positive aspects of their relationship.
”By getting some perspective and taking time out for each other, clients can then see whether it was the time of year which led to difficulties or if the relationship was already under strain for other, more significant reasons.”
The poll of 2,000 Brits revealed the average couple will have four rows a day during December – a total of 124 over the month – with money worries the most likely cause.
Having to visit the in-laws over the Christmas period came second in the reasons for arguments, followed by someone not doing enough to help out around the house.
Having to cook and prepare for guests and visiting friends and family completed the top five.
Other common triggers for December rows included drinking too much at Christmas parties, spending too much money on gifts for the children and even such simple matters as domestic arrangements in the home.
Twelve per cent of unfortunate couples admit they argue all the time over Christmas.
Almost one in five even said they were dreading this December because they were anticipating the rows they will have with their partner.
For some, the arguments have proven too much with 23 per cent of people considering, or going through with, a separation during December in previous years.
But while 39 per cent put this down to the amount of arguments, 16 per cent admitted the separation was simply to avoid buying them a Christmas gift.
A third even claimed they like to be single over the festive period.
Deborah Jeff added: ”The quest for a perfect Christmas and keeping everyone happy can often result in couples neglecting each other or just bad communication.
”By keeping a sense of perspective and being willing to compromise, your relationship needn’t be a casualty of the season.
”Even something as simple as having planned some time for just the two of you once all the entertaining is over can support your relationship over the Christmas period.
”But if the issues are still there in the New Year, get specialist legal advice and consult a relationship counsellor before making any long-term decisions.
”By working on the issues between you, the relationship stands the best possible chance of being saved before any steps are taken to separate or divorce.”
TOP 20 TRIGGERS FOR A DECEMBER ARGUMENT
- Not having enough money
- Visiting the in-laws
- Not doing enough to help out
- Cooking and preparing for guests
- Visiting friends and family
- Deciding what food to buy
- How much money to spend on the kids
- Spending too much money on each other
- How high the heating should be turned up
- Endless washing because nothing will dry
- Taking too long to get ready
- Not giving each other enough attention
- Drinking too much at a social event with friends
- One of us feeling fat or unattractive
- Not having sex because one of us is tired
- Deciding who has to drive
- One of us saying something inappropriate in front of guests
- Drinking too much at the office party
- The fact the house is constantly full of visitors
- Seeing each other less due to work and social events
Although December can be a wonderful time for many families, it can also be a time of stress and strain for others. If a relationship is already suffering due to poor communication or lack of time for each other, this will be heightened during a month when we are busy focusing our attentions on keeping other people happy, such as extended family and friends.Deborah Jeff, Head of Family Law at west end law firm Seddons