By Helen Jane Arnold
Summer and the long school holidays are over and autumn and a new academic year have begun.
How does that make you feel?
Energised by the fruitfulness of the season after a lovely, happy summer spent with your family – or depressed because the summer was a miserable, fractious time and you see nothing but gloom stretching ahead of you?
If it’s the latter, then it might be time to consider your future.
September is one of the busiest times of year for divorce lawyers
Recently published statistics from Relate, the national relationship counselling service, tally with September being one of the busiest times of year for divorce lawyers. Many people for whom the summer holiday was more of an endurance test than an idyllic getaway reach the conclusion their relationship is dead in the water and take the initiative to end it.
Staying together for the sake of the children
Many couples claim to stay together for the sake of the children, but if you and your partner have been at each other’s throats all summer long, think about whether having a family together is, in reality, good for the children. However carefully adults try to hide the rows and the icy silences from young ears and eyes, children see and hear. It can make them anxious and fearful, and it can upset them to know their parents are sad and dissatisfied. They sometimes think it is their fault.
Parents may try hard to maintain the façade of togetherness, but they cannot provide the role model for a loving marriage, and this can blight a child’s ability to forge close and trusting relationships in the future.
No one likes change. Many people carry on in a difficult marriage until something momentous happens to act as a trigger, such as meeting someone new or children leaving home.
Now is the time to take action
If the summer holidays confirmed for you that your marriage is unhappy and unrewarding, now is the time to do something about it. Don’t wait for a trigger; take the initiative. Don’t imagine that the children will suffer more if you get divorced – they will suffer much less if they are spending quality time with happier parents in different homes when the next summer holiday rolls around.
* Helen Jane Arnold is a partner with Benussi & Co