Despite all the well-wishing “Happy New Year!”s uttered over the last week, January can be a depressing month. It is cold—bitterly cold today, even in Arkansas. You are broke from splurges on gifts. You are five pounds heavier after holiday feasting. If you enjoyed time with your family over the break, you miss them. If you did not enjoy time with your family over the break, you might still be in a bad mood from having to put up with them.
And today is the worst. Today is a Monday—widely acknowledged to be the worst day of the week. So, today is the first worst-day in the worst month of the year. Yes, today should be the worst day of 2014.
Unsurprisingly, then, the first Monday in January is one of the most popular days during the year to initiate divorce proceedings. Across the nation, family lawyers are scrambling to keep up with the influx of calls from people who just can’t take any more. The beginning of the new year is a great time to start a new beginning without one’s spouse, it seems.
Let me be clear: I see a lot of ugly situations as a family lawyer, including a lot of really ugly marriages. Divorce is often the answer (and is sometimes the only answer).
But not always. There’s some other stuff you can do besides get divorced.
So in honor of the most depressing day of the year and the day upon which one is most likely to decide to get a divorce, here are some other things you can do with your time:
1. Plan to attend Paul David Tripp’s marriage conference entitled “What Did You Expect?” at Fellowship Bible Church Little Rock on March 7 and 8. You will not be disappointed
2. Talk to an Arkansas family lawyer about legal actions that you can take other than divorce. Divorce isn’t your first option; it is your last option.
3. Decide to go all of January without saying either “I deserve . . . ” or “You always . . . .”
4. Write out every single thing that you have personally done to make your marriage more difficult for your spouse. You can stop after one hour.
5. Hold hands with your spouse, no matter how awkward it may seem.
6. Anything. There is almost nothing you can do today that would make this day (and 2014) worse than filing for divorce.