Study Says Divorce Filings Spike in August; Dr. Paul and Terrie Chappell’s New Book ‘Are We There Yet?’ Reveals the Reason
Marital Disappointment Comes from Unrealistic, and Often Unspoken, Expectations of Spouses
LOS ANGELES—While the national divorce rate is declining, there are certain months of the year when decisions about divorce actually spike.
According to an article in the British publication the Evening Standard, March and August tend to be the months when divorce filings increase. The findings were based on a 2016 study from the University of Washington, which was presented at the American Sociological Association.
Why March and August? These months follow holiday or vacation periods, which can represent “optimism cycles.” Couples see these times as chances to restart their relationships, the research found, but when the holidays pass or the trip ends, the same marital problems exist.
Authors Paul and Terrie Chappell, married for 36 years, wrote an entire chapter about expections in marriage in their soon-to-be-released book, “Are We There Yet? Marriage—a Perfect Journey for Imperfect Couples.” In the book, out on Oct. 17, the Chappells candidly share biblical principles and personal, transparent illustrations that will equip couples to travel down the road of marriage further together.
“We see snapshots of marriage in other people’s lives, on social media and in culture,” wrote Dr. Paul Chappell in Chapter 2, titled “It Looked Different in the Picture.” “From these, we build our own expectations. But we soon discover that our mental images are vastly different from reality. Expectations and misunderstandings set couples up for an ongoing stream of disappointment. In marriage counseling, we almost always find that marital disappointment comes from unrealistic, and often unspoken, expectations spouses have of one another. We come to marriage with more expectations than we realize—cultural, familial, relational. … There are 1,001 influences, from the time we are born until this present moment, that shape our perspectives and underlying expectations.”
Expectations, the Chappells added, can be built on a spirit of pride or self-thought. Expectations are also often unspoken and sometimes unidentified—even when they are our own. And if expectations aren’t recognized, spouses can become embittered toward each other.
“Expectations, in fact, are so deeply embedded into our worldview that we rarely consider them as being a topic of discussion,” Chappell continued. “We simply assume everyone else looks at the world just as we do. Of course, not all expectations are wrong or unreasonable. Marriage itself is built on the expectation that your spouse will honor his or her vows to you. You want your spouse to expect that you love and care for him or her. Together, you expect your marriage will grow and that you are both fully committed to it. It’s also not wrong to expect that your spouse will follow through on promises or to make promises you want your spouse to believe.”
Whether newlyweds or married for decades, husbands and wives will find truth in “Are We There Yet?” to help them clarify their destination, communicate their needs, grow as a couple and even shed some baggage along the way.
With additional chapter titles such as “Paying with Foreign Currency,” “It’s a Two-Lane Highway,” “Unexpected Turbulence” and “Traveling Light,” “Are We There Yet?” explores topics from needs and communication to trials and forgiveness.
Pre-orders for “Are We There Yet?” are beginning now online at www.AreWeThereYetBook.com. Bonus items for those who pre-order before the Oct. 17 release date include: Chapter 1 in PDF format, a marriage Q&A video session with the Chappells, downloadable “Travel with Me” cards—52 questions to inspire your marriage journey; and a printed “Are We There Yet?” companion guide for the first 1,000 pre-orders.
For more information on Dr. Paul Chappell and Lancaster Baptist Church, visit paulchappell.com or www.lancasterbaptist.org, or connect via social media on Facebook, Twitter or the church’s YouTube or Vimeo.