IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - A lot of people recognize the holidays as a time of joy but experts say it's the season of divorce.
There is a lot of pressure to ensure the festive season is perfect.
When reality falls short of expectations, it can be very difficult for couples to deal with.
Statistics confirm that divorce rates rise in the month of January, following the holiday season.
A recent survey by a Los Angeles law firm found divorce filings jump by nearly one-third following the holidays.
Cam Melick, a licensed clinical social worker in Idaho Falls says he sees many couples give up this time of year.
"Traditionally this is a very stressful time of year, especially for couples. They're trying to manage a lot of different expectations and a lot of different time financial constraints. This is the time of year to be having those conversations and being mindful of the needs that each person has. As well asking that question why the relationship is having issues," said Melick.
We are constantly told to have a happy jolly Christmas, that it's the best time of the year but for many couples, it's actually the hardest.
"Social pressure, we got radio ads, we got commercials, we have all of these things telling us- hey, it's Christmas. Time to spend money and meet our loved one's expectations for the holidays. It's a perfect time for a breakdown," said Melick.
There are many factors that can lead a marriage to divorce but when it comes to the giving season two underlying marital problems seem to stand out.
"Time and money. I often see couples have a hard time coordinating. Who do we spend the holidays with? Whether it's Christmas or another holiday there's a lot of social pressure to provide these gifts and create a good experience," said Melick.
Talking money and deciding whos side of the family to spend the holidays with, is a conversation that can easily turn to a fight.
"We see couples and everything seems to trickle down for them in the home. It's always encouraged that they figure out between themselves what's going to be the most helpful for their family. That's where they're their focus needs to be," said Melick.
It's easy to recognize our own frustrations and is suggested to take a moment to understand your partners.
"This is the time of year to have those conversations and being mindful of the needs each person has," said Melick.
Melick suggests talking to your spouse long before the holidays begin to share each other's expectations.
This will help couples ease into the season a little more stress-free.
It is also suggested that you and your spouse agree on a spending budget to avoid miss communication.