Summer holidays likely to be cause for relationship breakdowns - Northampton support group says

Relate is urging couples to talk about their feelings after a stressful summer before taking legal action.
Relate is urging couples to talk about their feelings after a stressful summer before taking legal action.

A Northampton-based relationship support service is preparing for a peak in the number of calls following the six-week school holidays.

Last year bosses at Relate Northamptonshire, in St Giles Street, say there was a 10 per cent increase in phone calls, compared to their average month, and they are expecting a similar surge this year.

Relate Northamptonshire CEO Carolyn Benjamin said: "There are several potential reasons for this post summer peak. First of all, summer holidays, whilst meant to be fun, can also be a stressful time for parents as they have to find childcare and ways to keep the kids entertained. If this doesn’t work out, it can put pressure on the relationship.

"Sometimes going away for a summer holiday and spending every day with your partner can bring tensions that already exist in a relationship to the surface. Sometimes couples will have a big bust-up while on holiday, or an affair will be revealed.

"Finally, people often tend to put off seeking support until after the summer when the kids are back at school. September is a new school year and much like the new calendar year, can feel like a good time to make a fresh start. However, often by this point, things are already at crisis point so it’s best to get in touch with Relate as soon as possible."

Relate counsellors are urging anyone experiencing relationship issues to seek support before heading to the divorce lawyers, who are also inundated at this time of year.

According to the latest data, 91 per cent of Relate’s relationship counselling clients said that their communication was “a bit better” or “much better” after attending relationship counselling and 84 per cent felt able to cope with any difficulties they might face in the future.

Carolyn added: “Whilst it’s never too late to ask for support, the earlier you can tackle problems in your relationship, the more likely you are to overcome them.

"Talking to somebody objective such as a counsellor can really help, so don’t hesitate to contact Relate.”

Relate Northamptonshire supports individuals, couples, families, children, young people and friends of all ages, backgrounds and sexual orientations.

Call 01604 634400, or visit www.relatenorthants.org.uk to find out more or to book an appointment or visit relate.org.uk to find your nearest service.