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A chilly Halloween may mean a freeze-out next year

Halloween is supposed to be spooky and scary, but in a good way, right? A Huffington Post article last week suggested that a couples' Halloween is a fairly accurate indicator of how the marriage will fare in the coming year. If the holiday is still fun, a couple should be okay. If Chicago's forecast of 39 degrees and clear skies is met by an arctic blast indoors, that couple could be headed for divorce in 2012.

There isn't any science involved here, no statistically significant sample to back up this theory. The author relies entirely on anecdotal data. The situations, though somewhat tongue-in-cheek, strike an awfully familiar note.

When you talk to your married friends at Halloween, you can sometimes predict exactly what their plans are. "Oh, we always dress up and take the kids out," or, "We go to the haunted house in the old brewery, then head out for a nice meal." It may seem like a rut, but that doesn't matter, because the constant is really a shared sense of celebration (or anti-celebration). Couples tend to do the same thing every year.

The partner who decides to change that up could be itching to get out. If a husband who has always been a stay-at-home-and-greet-trick-or-treaters guy suddenly suggests the booze cruise on Lake Michigan, his wife may be in for trouble.

An example given in the article tells of a couple who had always loved Halloween. The wife outdid herself every year decorating the house, looking for new ways to freak out the kids who came to her door. The husband says he realized one year that the decorating had become less and less exuberant over the past few Halloweens, to the point where there were no decorations, and his wife wanted to watch TV instead of answering the door.

A few months later, she asked for a divorce. He admits in retrospect that he should have noticed sooner that they had lost their shared enthusiasm for the holiday. If they had nipped the ennui or loss of interest in the bud and worked harder at regaining their sense of fun, they might still be married.

That's just one sign of trouble. There are more, and we'll get into those in our next post.

Source: Huffington Post, "Halloween Can Forecast Divorce In The New Year," Nancy Fagan, Oct. 25, 2011

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