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Summer Togetherness Turns Up the Heat on Cooling Marriages

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RALEIGH — For many families, summertime means more time together -- with fun vacations and weekends at the beach. But for some couples, summer just turns up the heat on an already-rotting relationship.

"Family time is not always a happy time for people," says lawyer Lee Rosen.

Local divorce attorneys say their business always goes up during the summer and after holidays.

"I hear from people that the marriage was on the rocks anyway and that this time together -- this holiday, this vacation -- that was what really put the people over the edge," Rosen says.

Take it from one man whose wife left him for another man after his Christmas vacation in 1998.

"It probably was no more than a few hours after we got home that night that she said she wanted to tell me something, and then she told me about the other man in her life and the next day, she was gone," he says.

The man says his wife later said she would have told him sooner, but did not want to spoil their holiday vacation. It was ruined anyway.

Rosen says some couples hope vacations will bring them closer together but in the end, it tears them apart.

"When they get there, they get down to the beach, they check into the hotel or the condo, everything settles down, and they realize the marriage is still awful. They try and they get shot down. Well, they get home and they call us," Rosen says.

For some troubled marriages, counseling is the answer, but even that does not work for everyone. Here are some signs a marriage may be close to the end:
  • One spouse becomes violent, refuses counseling or cuts off access to your bank account.
  • One spouse has unexplained absences from work or home.The man in this story has since met another woman and hopes to get married again some day.
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    Laurie Clowers, Reporter
    Edward Wilson, Photographer
    Julie Moos, Web Editor

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