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Annually, the Post-Valentine's Effect for Many Married Couples

Certain days each year are both singular and memorable for their ability to trigger strong emotions and memories. Birthdays, for example. Weddings and graduations. Christmas.

With Valentine's Day freshly in the rearview mirror, it is interesting to consider the effect of that day, too, on many people, especially those with a less than blissful marital relationship. Many family law commentators, marriage counselors and other interested parties routinely comment on how February 14 serves as a particularly strong catalyst in prompting divorce proceedings in marriages that may have already been headed that way.

What is it about that day that especially prompts a large number of people to think about and resolutely act on an unhappy marriage?

The answers are readily forthcoming, say family law experts. Initially, it is virtually impossible in the early days of February leading toward Valentine's Day to ignore the flood of commercials featuring blissful couples in perfect relationships. That presentation is obviously far from reality in millions of cases, and February each year serves as a poignant reminder for many of the acute and fatal shortcomings in their relationships.

Valentine's Day also exposes cheating by careless partners. Imagine being a wife who receives the flowers intended for a mistress.

The day is, in short, a funnel of deep symbolism and hopes that are simply not real for many married partners. By focusing on the idealism of a union that is unattainable for millions, the day can serve to exacerbate frustration while at the same time gird for many the resolve to conclusively end a relationship that is not working.

And, thus, a box of candy can signify in a particular instance either a love offering or a parting gift.

Related Resource: "The 'Sweet and Sour' Valentine's Effect: A Ticking Time Bomb for Unhappy Spouses?"

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