January is the worst month of the year for your marriage

 
Catherine Neilan
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Elon Musk and Talulah Riley: One of the first casualties of January's divorce frenzy (Source: Getty)
While you're considering whether to take that smoothie machine back to the shop, your other half may well be mulling a different sort of swap.
We all know January is pretty bleak but it turns out it is also the worst month for your marriage – one in which most British couples either start divorce proceedings or start an affair.
This year January 2 was dubbed “Divorce Day” by the legal community, which has reported a major spike in the number of people looking to split from their partner. Being ahead of the curve Tesla founder Elon Musk got in a day early.
Meanwhile, the first Monday of the year is regularly crowned as the peak day for people to seek out an extra-marital relationship, and this year is no different, according to married dating website IllicitEncounters.com.
The business reports 30 per cent more activity during winter compared with the rest of the year, with January its busiest month.
There is a combination of factors at play, the agency suggests, including the claustrophobia created by “a week of family lock-down”.
This year must have been particularly challenging, because the surge started as early as Boxing Day, with the site reporting record activity on that day. “It doesn't take long during the festive period for the cracks to begin to appear,” it notes. It's not the only one. Rival firm Ashley Madison claims its new sign-ups were 621 per cent higher than its usual daily average between January 1 and January 5.
The good news is that after the gloom has lifted, sometimes the rift heals.
Family lawyer Marilyn Stowe told City A.M: "Christmas is an emotional time for many people. Christmas lights, trees, presents, music, alcohol can all arouse a desire to be with someone else.
But "when reality sets in... we do tend to see clients who have taken advice decide after all not to proceed."
Still that doesn't mean it will be plain sailing for the rest of the year. An Illicit Encounters spokesman told City A.M. the next peak day is right around the corner, falling on the Tuesday ahead of Valentine's Day. They call it “Red Tuesday”, apparently.
So if your spouse suddenly seems very busy, don't be fooled by their claims they are busy buying you an extravagant gift – it might be time to start irrationally checking their phones/emails/Twitter messages.

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