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Summer is finally here! For couples who have been experiencing a lot of marital discord, summer vacation can seem like a pivotal opportunity to get your relationship with your spouse back on track. Even if you and your spouse just have a "staycation" at home, you may have some high hopes that the time together -- minus the stress of your daily routine -- can renew your love and give your marriage the boost it needs to hold together.

Don't count on it, however. Research confirms what divorce attorneys have long believed: New filings for divorces tend to rise right after both the summer and winter vacation periods.

Does that mean that your regular lifestyle routines are the glue that's holding your marriage together? Not exactly. Instead, it probably means that people's regular routines are actually a huge distraction from their relationship problems. When you're busy with work and the kids have school and you've got a hundred things on your plate at once, it's very difficult to spend quality time with your spouse -- or think about how you really feel about the relationship.

During a vacation, all of those background matters disappear and you and your spouse are suddenly confronted with each other and all of the underlying conflicts that exist in your relationship. A vacation can show you exactly how incompatible you've become just by highlighting how differently you approach things.

There's no "quick fix" for a broken marriage. You can't let problems in your relationship fester and hope that a vacation or holiday will suddenly make them vanish. If you find yourself seriously contemplating divorce at summer's end, find out what steps you need to take next.

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