Bad news for people who believe in love and marriage! Researchers have discovered a biannual pattern in which the divorce rate spikes dramatically during two months out of the year — kind of like the Victoria's Secret semiannual sale, except for the death of marriage.
In a new study from the University of Washington, researchers Julie Brines and Brian Serafini discovered "what is believed to be the first quantitative evidence of a seasonal, biannual pattern of filings for divorce" after noticing that "they consistently peaked in March and August" in Washington state from 2001 to 2015.
First of all, that chart looks exactly like Batman.
Secondly, the researchers believe that March and August are the most popular divorce months because people don't want to tarnish their holiday and/or family vacation seasons with the buzzkill of divorce. So they wait until less eventful months to face their marriage issues.
From a University of Washington press release on the findings:
Winter and summer holidays are culturally sacred times for families, Brines said, when filing for divorce is considered inappropriate, even taboo. And troubled couples may see the holidays as a time to mend relationships and start anew: We'll have a happy Christmas together as a family or take the kids for a nice camping trip, the thinking goes, and things will be better.
When things don't actually get any better, Brines said that discontented spouses may feel a sense of "disillusionment" that can finally lead them to file once things settle back down during the family holiday-free months of March or August.
It is, of course, worth mentioning that the ultimate predictor of divorce is probably less about the month of the year and more about whether you and your partner have grown so far apart that the thought of staying married to them makes you want to swallow poison.
But still: If you believe in love, maybe consider going into total hibernation mode during March and August, which we now know are two very bad months, just to be safe!