December is the most stressful month for couples as they fret about Christmas and finances


December is the most stressful month for couples as they fret about Christmas and finances, study reveals

Christmas is a day many look forward to all year round – but it is often only when you get into December that you remember how stressful the festive season can also be.

The combination of spending money you don”t really have and hanging out with the in-laws can prove to be a real relationship buster.

A new study, released today, has revealed that December is the most stressful month for couples. One in five have already considered splitting in the past two weeks.

Source of arguments: The average couple will have four rows a day during December - a total of 124 over the month (file picture)

Source of arguments: The average couple will have four rows a day during December – a total of 124 over the month (file picture)

The poll of 3,000 Brits reveals more arguments happen during the festive month than at any other time of the year.

The average couple will have four rows a day during December – a total of 124 over the month.

Money worries, problems over family logistics and workloads are the main sources of confrontation.

Other top concerns include how much to spend on each other and on the children, and a lack of time and attention for each other.

Twenty per cent have already considered splitting up with their other half this month – while a further one in 20 doubt their relationship will survive until the New Year.

Deborah Jeff, Head of Family Law at west end law firm Seddons, which carried out the research, said: “Although December can be a wonderful time for many families, it can also be a time of stress and strain for others.

“If a relationship is already suffering due to poor communication or lack of time for each other, this will be heightened during a month when we are busy focusing our attentions on keeping other people happy, such as extended family and friends.

Root of the problem: Money issues are the biggest source of stress between couples as they fork out for presents

Root of the problem: Money issues are the biggest source of stress between couples as they fork out for presents

“January is a time when we see a significant increase in the number of clients consulting us for advice about divorce and separation.

“But it needn’t get that far. We work with relationship counsellors who encourage our clients, where appropriate, to re-evaluate what is important to them in the relationship and look at the bigger picture before divorce or separation are even considered.

“The stress of the Christmas period can cause couples to forget all the positive aspects of their relationship.

“/12/15/article-0-0CFF6C5F00000578-385_468x361.jpg” width=”468″ height=”361″ alt=”I”m not budging! Visiting the in-laws or cooking and preparing for guests are two more big sources of arguments” class=”blkBorder” />

I”m not budging! Visiting the in-laws or cooking and preparing for guests are two more big sources of arguments

Other common triggers for December rows included drinking too much at Christmas parties, spending too much money on gifts for the children and even such simple matters as domestic arrangements in the home.

Twelve per cent of unfortunate couples admit they argue all the time over Christmas.

Almost one in five even said they were dreading this December because they were anticipating the rows they will have with their partner.

For some, the arguments have proven too much with 23 per cent of people considering, or going through with, a separation during December in previous years.

But while 39 per cent put this down to the amount of arguments, 16 per cent admitted the separation was simply to avoid buying them a Christmas gift.

Marital trouble: Many couples do not give each other enough attention during December

Marital trouble: Many couples do not give each other enough attention during December

A third even claimed they like to be single over the festive period.

Deborah Jeff added: “The quest for a perfect Christmas and keeping everyone happy can often result in couples neglecting each other or just bad communication.

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Supermarket sweep: Deciding what food to buy is another source of contention

Not having enough money Visiting the in-laws Not doing enough to help out Cooking and preparing for guests Visiting friends and family Deciding what food to buy How much money to spend on the kids Spending too much money on each other How high the heating should be turned up Endless washing because nothing will dryTaking too long to get ready Not giving each other enough attention Drinking too much at a social event with friends One of us feeling fat or unattractive Not having sex because one of us is tired Deciding who has to drive One of us saying something inappropriate in front of guests Drinking too much at the office party The fact the house is constantly full of visitors Seeing each other less due to work and social events