Have you heard of cuffing season?

I recently heard the term from a client who lives in Michigan. It’s the season in fall and winter, the colder months, where people decide to “couple up.”

Maybe I never heard of it because I live in Florida and the weather doesn’t get all that cold. (Though I still light my fireplace and pretend that it does!).

So, I did a Google search to learn more, and I found out it’s a thing. You know what’s also a thing?

Relationships that end right after the holidays.

Maybe its because people want to keep the peace during the holiday festivities. Or maybe they don’t want to face the truth of their pain when the rest of the world expects them to feel love and joy. So, they dive into the holidays with fake smiles and hope for the best.

But when they open their eyes on New Year’s Day, they realize that nothing has changed. And they desperately want the upcoming year to be different. So different that if they’re unhappy in their relationship, this is the time they decide to leave.

I’ve read it’s called the January comedown, but I think of is as the start of un-cuffing season.

If you can relate to the feelings and you’re considering ending your relationship, you’re obviously not alone. And you’ve probably been feeling this way for a while. Did you know people take anywhere from 1 to 5 years before they make a decision to leave their marriage?

So, there’s no need to rush into anything right this minute. Take a breath, think things through and make a plan.

Here are some initial factors to consider before you make a move:

Have you done everything you can to save your marriage? If not, then go all in. Evaluate your relationship, decide how far your reality is from the relationship you wish you had, understand what your husband wants in the relationship and if you are willing to give it to him, and vice versa. Once you’ve done your best, if you decide you want to divorce, you’ll be able to proceed with confidence in your decision.
If you are confident in your decision – prepare. Gather financial information, ensure that your personal data and communications are confidential, decide where you want to live during the divorce proceeding, and know how much money you will need for yourself and your children going forward.
When you are prepared and have a plan, the next step is to decide when and how you will tell your husband that you want to leave.
And you’ll want to decide when and how you’ll tell your children about the divorce and know how to comfort them. It’s never easy, but there are ways to lessen the emotional stress.
Once you have an initial plan, you’ll want to decide how you want to proceed legally. Do you want to hire a lawyer, go to mediation only, or file on your own?
Take some time to consider these factors before making any move, and don’t stress about the next steps just yet. Considering too much at once will cloud your judgment and become overwhelming, which will probably stop you from making any decision at all.

No matter what you decide, it’s so much better than living in limbo. You’ll be taking charge of your life which will ensure that when you wake up in 2020, you’ll be happier than you are today.

That’s my wish for all of us!

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