A shocking new study finds that a quarter of married parents in the United Kingdom are quietly contemplating divorce. While most people consider the possibility of divorce for a period of time before divulging their feeling to their spouse or hiring an attorney, the statistic that 25% of parents in the U.K. are secretly thinking about divorce is startling high. It also suggests that many unhappy couples are not actively seeking relationship help or openly discussing marital issues with their spouse.
The research, conducted by British charity OnePlusOne, also found that six in ten people in a committed relationship have experienced problems, but only 23% of those people have attempted to remedy the situation by seeking help from a friend, family member, or professional. Less than 5% of couples involved in the study had sought relationship help from a counselor or therapist.
OnePlusOne Director Penny Mansfield CBE says, “Seeking help at an earlier stage—when the first thoughts about separation creep in—can be the first step in resolving problems and making the likelihood of splitting up less likely.”
This new statistic about British divorce is unsettling to say the least, especially for anyone who is confused or unsure about his or her spouse’s level of marital satisfaction. However, according to relationship experts and counselors, the day that your spouse is most likely to file for divorce has already come and gone for this year. January 2nd is reportedly the annual date when unhappily married individuals are most likely to finally speak up about their concerns by requesting or filing for divorce.
“We definitely see a peak in enquiries about divorce in January and by the time people come to us for legal advice, emotions can be running high,” says Jo O’Sullivan, a family lawyer who advises OnePlusOne.
The influx of divorce filings on January 2nd may be attributed to the end of holiday stress and a desire to start the new year off fresh—which, for some people, can mean finally ending an unhappy relationship with their spouse. Couples who file for divorce have usually been pondering divorce for months or years before they take the plunge and submit a filing.
OnePlusOne encourages all parents who are considering divorce or separation to seek help and support that might help repair their relationship or facilitate a smoother transition into co-parenting after divorce.