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Why the 'make or break' holiday never works...

View profile for Susan Howarth
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Summer vibes or summer blues?

It’s that time of year again – the kids have broken up from school, you’ve got 6 weeks to entertain them, a job to juggle and a holiday to cram in.

So, are we all ‘party tummy’ at the prospect or is there a touch of pre-holiday blues going on?


Seasonal forecast: soaring stress levels

The reality is that summer can spell a significant increase in stress levels for many couples.

Works demands seem to mount in the run-up to a break and then there’s the added pressure of finding the extra money for the holiday itself. Not to mention scheduling the children’s timetables and funding their activities.

But this is often within the realms of normality, and this stress can often melt away once you’ve finally unpacked the suitcases and settled with a coffee or a beer!


Holiday heaven or holiday hell?

For many of us, a holiday is the perfect chance to recharge our batteries. We get to throw the alarm clock and the rule book out of the window for a while – we get to relax, play and reconnect individually, as a couple and as a family.

A relationship that’s hit a rocky or stagnant patch can often be refreshed and rejuvenated by a good holiday.

But what if your relationship has been suffered from more serious issues? Constant arguments, increased distance or lack of communication?

Unfortunately, unresolved fundamental problems and emotional baggage will travel with you. Combined with holiday expectations and an excessive amount of time together, it can often be a recipe for disaster.


From sundowners to showdowns

As a rule of thumb, the ‘make or break’ holiday just doesn’t work.

The romantic notion that sandy beaches and candlelit meals will magically mend a broken relationship is sadly misguided. Often, the forced and artificial surroundings simply serve to increase tension and anxiety, further highlighting and exacerbating relationship cracks.

It’s no surprise that divorce lawyers and relationship counsellors often note a surge in divorce and separation enquiries in September.



Pre-empt the holiday blues

If your summer holiday feels like it might be a ‘make or break’ one, try not to panic – you still have options.

Firstly, be realistic about where your relationship is at. Consider cancelling the holiday so you can address the problems - if it’s too late to cancel, try to manage your expectations and perhaps plan ahead for your return.

Joint counselling can be a good first port of call – organisations like Relate can offer a calm, civilised and unbiased environment allowing you and your partner to discuss and explore your problems and feelings about the marriage.

It’s also a good idea to seek legal advice from a specialist at the earliest possible stage, to help you understand your legal position and options, including family finances and financial settlements (particularly important if you are financially the weaker party).


Here to help

At SH&Co. we know that the concept of separation or divorce alone can be extremely painful.

You may or may not be sure about how you feel and what you want – in our experience, it’s very common for your thoughts and feelings to shift and change before any firm decision is made.

That’s why we’re here – to listen and provide legal advice.

We provide a FREE 30-minute appointment or you can pop in to one of our FREE drop-in clinics to speak to a family law specialist – for more information or to book an appointment, call 01606 48777.