We are embarking upon peak divorce season, people. (… Hooray?)
Speaking to Sydney Morning Herald last year, family law expert Daniel Myers explained: “The influx tends to be at the end of January as a result of a separation that occurred after Christmas, and it’s when the kids go back to school that we really see the numbers.”
So popular is the decision to divorce over the new year period, that in Britain the first Monday back at work is referred to in legal circles as “Divorce Monday”.
Undoubtedly, the festive season – where the bustling rush, rush, rush of the year quietens into a hum of family, self-help and reflection – sees many women reevaluating their marriages and, often, their feelings towards their significant other.
In what can be an uncomfortable and confronting time, a comforting fact is this: If you’re feeling uncertain about the future of your relationship, you’re certainly not alone.
Knowing that so many women struggle with the big “do I stay?” question at precisely this time of year, we reached out to psychologist Amanda Gordon, the director of Armchair Psychology, for guidance on what the big signs that you’re falling out of love are, and what to do about them.
The big red flag
Despite what others might tell you, feeling attracted to someone who isn’t your partner – and having fantasies about that person – in no ways means you have fallen out of love or that your relationship is over.
“[To suggest] that is nonsense,” Amanda, who has been married for 42 years, tells Mamamia. “Being attracted to someone else is possible even in the context of a true loving relationship.
“When you are in love with your partner, though, as a rule, you keep your attraction to someone else as a fantasy and certainly don’t enact it. That is, you recognise that we are all sexual beings, and having chosen to be in a monogamous relationship, you abide by its rules – and if you’re smart, you’ll revel in your sexiness and bring it into your loving relationship, in the way you relate to your partner.
“Dress yourself up and throw yourself into making your loving relationship sexy, too – you’ll never regret having fun or enhancing intimacy.”
The sign women need to look out for is entirely different.