Forget the flowers and romance. Valentine’s Day could be bad for your marriage.

Divorce inquiries almost double on February 14th, says lawyers, with some women citing a partner’s lack of romance as an example of ‘unreasonable behaviour.’ – the most common ground for divorce in UK law.

Manchester-based Gorvins solicitors say they took almost double the number of divorce enquiries last 14th February, with the firm’s head of family law, Nicola McInnes saying that a day devoted to romance and public shows of affection can trigger the end to a troubled marriage.

And seeing other couples’ lovey-dovey Facebook posts rubs salt into the wounds, with more than half (56%) of couples saying social media has caused friction in their relationship.

‘The surge in calls is usually because it seems that being surrounded by shops selling cards, flowers and the pressure to be romantic, is the final straw,” said Ms McInnes.

“Valentine’s Day might throw into focus all the cracks in a marriage as well as the desire to have a fresh start since it could mirror how their own relationship hasn’t lived up to expectation.”

She points out that some people seize on lack of interest on Valentines Day as grounds for unreasonable behaviour –  the speediest way to get a divorce since if both parties agree to a split on these terms a judge is unlikely to raise any objections. And it doesn’t necessitate having to otherwise wait two to five years for the divorce to be finalised.

Valentines Day already has a troubled association with romance – only this week, research published by the University of Melbourne, found that people who get married on February 14th, have a 37 percent higher chance of splitting.

And while relationship experts often blame the stress of trying to stage a perfect “chocolate box” at Christmas it seems that Valentines Day  is also a time when issues within a marriage or a long-term relationship come to a head.

Looking at social media on Valentines Day seems to be a particular issue – a third of men (33%) and 28 per cent of women say they’re likely to spy on their partner.

Adds Nicola McInnes: “On Valentine’s Day and the day after, many clients will have looked at sites such as Facebook and seen them filled with posts from happy couples citing gorgeous restaurants they visited for their romantic night out.

“Lots of people also post pictures of flowers or gifts they have received. For someone in an unhappy relationship, these images might add to feelings of neglect or bring home the fact that their marriage is missing something.”

“And even though a bouquet of red roses will never be the one thing that could fix an otherwise challenging partnership, it just reminds people of what they think they are missing. If their relationship isn’t already working, it seems that Valentine’s Day is the proof they need that it is time to break up.”


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