My husband and I celebrated our 13th anniversary on New Year’s Day. After our Facebook post went live, we also discovered others who had taken the plunge on the same day. Why not New Year’s Day? Most of our family and friends were off that day and already gathered for the holidays. No one had to miss out on their New Year’s dinner because our after ceremony reception was a New Year’s dinner complete with black eyed peas.
When I often tell others that New Year Day is our anniversary, I will usually hear a story about someone who married on New Year’s Eve, which is also a popular day to get married. We have met several couples who married on December 31st before the stroke of midnight. When I asked others why they married around the New Year, their thoughts were similar to ours in that we wanted to start the New Year off in our new life together. A huge plus for getting married on December 31st or January 1st, is never forgetting your anniversary. We will always remember our special day on January 1, 2003 at 1:00 p.m. in the afternoon (1-1-1).
Did you know that just as many people choose to file for divorce once the New Year arrives? As I was writing my latest book “Divorced and Still Highly Favored”, I came across an article posted on the Huffington Post website that indicated more people make decisions to get divorced at the beginning of the year. Divorce lawyers have observed this pattern and are now using this knowledge to their advantage and advertise accordingly very heavily around this time of year.
Some of the reasons for the increase in divorce during the first of the year is because individuals may make New Year’s resolutions to get a divorce. Some realize during the holidays that they refuse to end another year the same way and thus begin the divorce process. For others, the timing wasn’t right during the holidays perhaps because they were being protective of their children. My first divorce came right before Christmas. What a way to ruin a child’s holidays. Nothing says “Merry Christmas” to a child like a broken family. To prevent further holiday blues, some will wait until the holidays are over and file as soon as possible.
Some couples stay together until the end of the year because of tax benefits. They can file taxes as married and get the deductions. With all of the financial information that has to be gathered, it is somewhat easier to gather the documents at the same time one is gathering information for taxes. All this documentation is usually available by the end of January when W-2’s are received.
Hopefully, your New Year started off on a positive note. If you got married, congratulations. If you are starting off the New Year with thoughts of changing your marital status to divorced, I pray that you will get the help you may need to save your marriage. There is really never a good time for a divorce but the Bible says that there is a time for everything… Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (CEV) Everything on earth has its own time and its own season. There is a time for birth and death, planting and reaping, for killing and healing, destroying and building, for crying and laughing, weeping and dancing, for throwing stones and gathering stones, embracing and parting. There is a time for finding and losing, keeping and giving, for tearing and sewing, listening and speaking. There is also a time for love and hate, for war and peace.
Truth is, there is never a perfect time for a divorce. No day of the week, or month of the year is optimal for this life altering event. The dissolution of a marriage can come when life seems to be going perfectly well, when you are sitting on the mountaintop, or it can rear its ugly head when you are already down in the valley feeling like you can’t take any more misfortune. As we begin this new year, my wish for you is happiness, and Godly favor. Happy New Year!
Janice R Love, Author
First Lady, Mom, Stepmom and Divorce Ministry Coach