Marissa Higgins
August 23, 2016 1:18 pm
Warner Bros.

Who doesn’t love a vacation? Whether you’re travelling solo or with your family, there are few things we look forward to more than getting to spend time away from work while exploring a new place. Unfortunately for our relationships, however, new research suggests that instead of giving your relationship some TLC, family vacations can actually do the opposite.

That’s right: New data from a research study conducted at the University of Washington suggests that family vacations can actually be a tipping point for divorce.

Julie Brines, leader of the study, discovered that divorce rates are highest across the board in March and April, regardless of all other factors. And what does Brines think this suggests? That seasonal trips are a tipping point for dissolving relationships to end. Of course, this is not to say that going on a trip causes a divorce, just that there is a correlation.

As Lauren Levy explains at PopSugar, the logic here is that many people go on vacation hoping to revive their relationship, and if that doesn’t happen, they leave feeling more disappointed than ever. If you are traveling with other family members, too, such as children or elderly parents, it’s possible to feel extra stress on vacation between packing, making reservations, taking care of people’s specific needs, and so on.

This can leave you returning from your vacation only to wish you were going on vacation, solo-style.

As Brines explains to Medical News Today, “People tend to face the holidays with rising expectations, despite what disappointments they might have had in years past.” She continued, “They represent periods in the year when there’s the anticipation or the opportunity for a new beginning, a new start, something different, a transition into a new period of life. It’s like an optimism cycle, in a sense. They’re very symbolically charged moments in time for the culture.”

Just remember: Going on a family trip doesn’t 100% mean your relationship is going to end!

Far from it. It’s important, however, to be realistic and not get too caught up in ideals or what you want to happen. And if there are issues in your relationship, talk about them! Not even a perfect vacation can fix underlying issues without open and respectful communication.