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Thinking about divorce? 6 things to try before ending your marriage

Divorce Day: Why the holidays have a negative impact on relationships
Divorce Day: Why the holidays have a negative impact on relationships.

Jan. 8 is “Divorce Day,” the first Monday after Jan. 1 when couples start to reconsider their marriages following the holidays.

One survey suggests money tends to be one of the biggest reasons couples question their marriages, the BBC reports.

Matchmaker Laura Bilotta of The Dating And Relationship Talk Show on Global News Radio 640, says along with money stress, family can be a point of contention.

“I think there is a lack of personal attention for each other,” she tells Global News. “These issues get heightened during the holidays because the stress is higher than usual.”

READ MORE: Here’s what ‘divorce selfies’ are teaching us about amicable break-ups, co-parenting

For all kinds of relationships, a rough patch is common, but Bilotta says it’s important to know when it’s something more.

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“I think it’s normal for feelings of love to fluctuate in a long-term relationship,” she continues. “But when you are disappointed and disconnected to that relationship and you’re mentally and physically exhausted … that’s when you know it’s more than a rough patch.”

And while divorce may not be the option for every couple, there are many signs to watch out for, she adds.

If you and your spouse aren’t on the same page after counselling sessions or you end up in the same arguments over and over again, it may be time to consider divorce.

READ MORE: People who get married young are at higher risk of divorce

She adds that often, there is also continuous cheating or abuse involved in the relationship, which are all signs a marriage should end. “You’ve grown apart and you don’t enjoy spending time together and you don’t want to,” she says. “Your partner is not interested in your individual growth and vice versa.”

Below, Bilotta recommends six things to consider before having a conversation with your spouse about divorce. Her first tip is getting professional help, and communicating with your partner some of the major issues in the relationship. However, if you find yourself trying out these methods and failing over time, it may be time to call it quits altogether.

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Time is key

Bilotta says if you’re thinking about leaving a partner, consider how much time you are actually spending together. In 2018, make it a priority to schedule in date nights, do things together on a regular basis, even if that means exercising together or sharing a morning cup of coffee at home.

Encourage one another

She continues, sometimes we forget to encourage our partners, especially during times of stress. “When a crisis happens, be there for each other. Cheer your partner on and give advice. Remind them of situations you both had to overcome in the past.”

Learn how to argue

All couples argue, but Bilotta says there is a right way to do it.

“It’s natural and normal but avoid name calling and avoid blaming the other person,” she adds.

READ MORE: Want a divorce? Why you should tell your spouse and give it time

If you end up being the person in the relationship that is often stubborn or has a hard time being wrong, Bilotta suggests working on these traits and learning how to compromise with your partner.

“Be willing to apologize and ask and offer forgiveness.”

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Don’t take your partner for granted

“Remember to be your best self for them,” she says. Bilotta adds when people get into relationships, they have a mentality that they don’t have to worry about impressing their partner anymore and down the road, they don’t focus on things like health or their appearance.

Give small gifts

And when we say small, we mean small. Get them something small or even leave them a romantic note before you head to work. Whatever the gift is, a small gesture will keep the spark alive, she says, and shows that you are thinking about them.

Accept the differences

When couples fight, Bilotta says, both partners expect the other partner to make changes. For a relationship to work, you have to accept you can’t change people and sometimes, differences can be a good thing.

arti.patel@globalnews.ca