01/06/2015 02:39 pm ET Updated Mar 08, 2015

7 Tips to Get You Through Divorce Month

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It's a well-known fact that more separations and divorces happen in January. Even more breakups in less serious relationships happen this month. Why? January is the dreariest month of the year -- the weather, the lack of daylight, the Christmas bills and the lingering disappointments of the recent Christmas season.

Many people are thinking about leaving their marriage long before Christmas, but when the month of December approaches guilt comes with it because Christmas is a traditional time to spend honoring your family unit. "How can I break up my family now?" many ask themselves. Usually when we are unhappy in our marriage, Christmas only brings this into sharper focus. The stocking doesn't get filled; your spouse puts you last again; there was no effort put into your present. Meanwhile you have taken the time to prepare yet another turkey dinner, host another evening for friends and stuffed all the stockings full of thoughtful, little treasures. Somehow you've ended up with the short end of the stick again.

You've had enough! The bills are coming in; the weather is treacherous; it's always dark out and the thought of Valentine's Day with this person turns your stomach. There is no good time to end a marriage, believe me. Any day is highly inconvenient, but if you are ending it now, know that you are not alone. Millions of people are ending theirs this month, right this minute. This is a life-changing decision, one that can rarely be reversed. The first step is to be 100 percent sure divorce is what you want. After that, you can begin to move forward.

Here are some divorce month tips to get you started on your journey:

1. Start searching for books and websites on divorce, parenting through divorce, when to end a marriage and any other related topics.

2. Make a list of pros and cons of your spouse (don't get caught!) I realize this sounds simple, but if you make an honest list you might be surprised by what it reveals.

3. Make a list of your future goals.

4. Take stock of your marriage (take my marriage quiz here.)

5. Observe your marriage. Where will the ship go if you stop steering it?

6. Seek support with a trusted friend or family member.

7. Finally after careful thought, evaluation and introspection, begin your action plan.

It's important to take some time to research and contemplate what you intend to change in your life before discussing it with your spouse. This way you can be certain of your decision before the "shit hits the fan." Solitude is important before making a life changing decision like divorce.

Get ready for the ride of your life. Be courageous and be brave and you'll get through to the other side!