KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON; It's Cold, Dark and the First Credit Card Bill of the Year Has Probably Just Dropped on Your Doormat. It's No Wonder National 'Divorce Day'traditionally Falls in January When Law Firms See a Huge Spike in Business. but before You Send Your Hubby Packing, Read Our Guide on How to Make Your Marriage 'Divorce-Proof'.'

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THE RELATE COUNSELLOR

January has seen relate, the relationship support charity, experience a 116 per cent increase in calls to its helpline from people needing relationship support*. Relate counsellor Christine Northam says: 'during these tough economic times families are under more pressure and this often leads to more arguments and break-ups. In the aftermath of the busy festive season couples are tired and get angry, they've probably spent too much time and money together and can't manage constructive conversations. For any couples who can't talk about the underlying worries and pressures I'd recommend professional support. a third party can help a couple talk through difficult issues and help solve them. It's confidential, and couples can be honest and get support for what they need to say.'

THE PSYCHOLOGIST

Dr Max Blumberg, a practising member of The British Society of Psychologists, says: 'everything boils over in the new year, people are stressed and when you are stressed you don't tend to make rational decisions. once you've decided to get divorced be prepared. There will be an initial sense of euphoria because you're escaping this person who you've perceived as making your life terribly miserable. But next you will be overwhelmed by the emptiness in your life.' words: Judy Cogan

Dr Blumberg's tips on getting through the tough times:

1. don't make any major decisions until mid-February or march or you may do something you'll regret.

2. Talk to your friends or family. Keep talking to your partner and you'll go around in circles.

3. look at patterns in the relationship. Is this something that happens each year at this time? How can you stop this pattern reoccurring?

THE MARRIAGE EXPERT

Harry Benson, Director of The Marriage Foundation, bctf.co.uk and author of 'Let's Stay Together', says: 'The new year brings out all the frustrations and weaknesses in a relationship that were heightened over christmas. I don't think anyone takes divorce lightly. Forget the legal side, easy or not, when a couple divorce they have to unravel years of history, memories and the commitment they made to each other. divorce doesn't make everything better. It simply gets rid of one set of problems by replacing them with another. …