6 Reasons Why the Holiday Season Is the 'Perfect' Time to Break Up

Adriana Velez | Dec 29, 2014 Love & Sex
6 Reasons Why the Holiday Season Is the 'Perfect' Time to Break Up

chris rock malaak compton rockOh, you guys, comedian Chris Rock is divorcing Malaak Compton-Rock after 18 years of marriage! If you've ever heard his stand-up, this may not be very surprising. (Here's just a sampling of Rock on marriage -- NSFW. Is a joke ever just a joke?) Still, it's a bummer to hear, no less, because the news falls smack dab in the middle of the holidays. What is it with that timing?!

"This is a tough time in the Rocks' kids' lives for parents to divorce, but we have no way of knowing what has been going on in the family. Holidays can put stress on families, but a divorce for celebrities is a big business decision, so the holiday stress is probably not a factor," says Tina B. Tessina, PhD (aka "Dr. Romance"), psychotherapist, and author of Money, Sex and Kids: Stop Fighting About the Three Things That Can Ruin Your Marriage. "I'm guessing one of the couple, probably Chris, has a new love, but that's pure speculation. Time will tell."

For regular couples, though, there are other reasons why you might break up over the holidays. Check them out below, then tell us: Have you ever broken up around the holidays? Is it better to do it before or after?


Image via Johns PKI/Splash News

  • It's That Time of the Year


    Image © iStock.com/Jason_V

    Chris Rock is not alone. Apparently, the two most common times of the year couples split are March and -- you guessed it -- the holidays, according to data collected from Facebook.

  • You're Already Depressed


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    Let's face it: The holidays are already depressing for many people. "It’s all the socially normalized heavy drinking," one writer laments in Vogue. "It’s the crummy, emotionally stale holiday films that play on airplanes and make you cry, despite yourself. It’s Colin Firth’s bad Christmas sweaters. It’s Frank Sinatra crooning the first few bars of 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas' before the instrumental kicks in. It’s the frigid weather and the amplified desire to mingle with other warm bodies. And, again, with emphasis, it’s all the socially normalized heavy drinking."

    It's not that drinking and Frank Sinatra are causing spontaneous breakups. Divorces, especially, are usually a long time coming. But all those factors can give you a "might as well pull the plug now" kind of feeling. Why delay what you all know is coming? Just end it already.

  • Holiday Cheer Amplifies Your Misery


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    What's more, the relentless pressure to be MERRY just makes things worse. "People are bombarded with holiday messages and cheer, and they see they are miserable in their own relationships by comparison," Susan J. Elliott, a New York therapist-turned attorney and author of Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss Into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You, tells NBC News. "They want to end 'the façade' and so lots of people break up at the holidays and often in one of those self-exploding ways where it’s not a nice breakup. More like they go running out the door with their hair on fire.”

    More from The Stir: Most People Have Rebound Sex Only a Month After a Breakup

  • It's Flight or Commit Time


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    The holidays tend to be a pivotal time for some couples, Dr. Dorren Lynn, psychologist and author of Sex for Grownups, explains to ABC News. "It's kind of a flight or another step to commitment time," she explains.

    Are you going to keep working through couples therapy, or is it time to part ways? 'Tis the season for many couples to make that tough decision.

  • Gift-Giving Sheds a Harsh LIght


    Image © iStock.com/ericsphotography

    Something about buying gifts for your loved (?) ones can force us to see our relationships with especially sharp eyes. "Christmas gives us the opportunity to buy gifts that demonstrate how invested we are in meeting our partner’s needs," writes economist Marina Adshade, author of Dollars and Sex: How Economics Influences Sex and Love. "A person who is fully committed to his or her relationship probably already knows what those needs are and can find a perfect gift fairly easily. A person who is less committed to the relationship, however, will find looking for the perfect gift less of a pleasure and more of an unwelcome chore."

    Ouch. So if you can't find your husband the "perfect" gift, it's a sign your relationship is doomed? Maybe not, but it could make you wonder how well you really know him, and whether or not there's a growing gulf between you.

  • Breaking It Is Better Than Faking It


    Image © iStock.com/Renphoto

    “It's better to be authentic than have to fake your way through turkey at his mom's house when you know he is getting the ax," Marni Battista, founder and CEO of Dating With Dignity, tells Glamour. "It makes it challenging to enjoy the time together when you are filled with regret and remorse."

    And if you have kids? No one wants to ruin Christmas ... maybe that's why the Rocks made their announcement just after. But no matter your timing, kids can be remarkably sensitive at picking up tension between parents.

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