In our last post, we were discussing Halloween and a Huffington Post article that posited an interesting theory. The author suggested that a couple's behavior on Halloween can predict how their marriage will fare over the next year. She gives a few examples of changes in Halloween celebrations that can lead to divorce.
The first example was the couple that has established a tradition around Halloween. One partner suddenly changes things up. He decides to canoe across Lake Michigan instead of answering the door; she decides to hit the blues clubs in Chicago instead of going to her in-laws'.
Another example is a little more subtle: costume change. A secure and happy couple, the author suggests, is comfortable wearing silly costumes or looking dowdy. When one partner dons a sexy or risqué costume, though, it could be a bad omen.
The little French maid or shirtless fire fighter costume could very well be a partner's way of trying on single life. If the reaction from others is positive -- if the partner likes the results of the sexy outfit -- it could be the first step out the door.
Finally, the author points out that Halloween is really a shared holiday. And the particularly silly and festive atmosphere around Halloween can make flaws in a relationship all the more noticeable. In particular, when the togetherness shifts to separateness, it's a sign the relationship is in danger.
This is not to say that any of these are signs of a marriage's inevitable failure. One story included in the article ends on a happy note. She noticed that her husband was growing distant when he didn't want to participate in planning their annual Halloween barbecue. He was physically distant at the party itself. She convinced him that they should try couples counseling a couple of months later.
It worked out for them. The point of the article, really, is that paying attention to a marriage -- noticing how each partner is participating in the relationship and the traditions the couple has established together -- is a good first step to avoiding a break-up.
Source: Huffington Post, "Halloween Can Forecast Divorce In The New Year," Nancy Fagan, Oct. 25, 2011