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Some couples realise rather quickly that they have made a mistake.Martin Copland and Julie Minter were struck by regret shortly after their split in 2003.I feel terrible about that.'The split was rancorous, with Steve unwilling to accept his marriage was over. I couldn't understand why she was breaking up the family,' he says, 'but we couldn't have a civil conversation with each other.'They were forced to see one another once a week when Steve picked their daughters up for visits and would argue about everything from whether Steve was ensuring the girls were doing their homework to the fact Ann was now in a new relationship. 'The romantic spark was much stronger when we got back together,' says Ann. 'The girls were wary when we first got back together, but they know now we'll be together for ever,' says Ann.Christine Northam, a counsellor from Relate, says crunch points in relationships, such as stressful jobs or coping with small children, are often what cause divorce.Martin, 54, and Julie, 46, from Pavenham, Bedfordshire, fell in love in 1998.'We weren't spending enough time together to keep our relationship alive.''Julie missed my 40th birthday because she was on a work trip to New Zealand,' says Martin. We just couldn't see how to make it work, which was so sad.'By 2005, work had taken Julie to Houston, Texas.
The couple fell in love in 1998'It's difficult to say what went wrong.
'I started to think: 'These are the times we should be together. ' We had disagreements over what our priorities were and couldn't seem to compromise.'They remained friends, with Julie even helping Martin move into and decorate his new home. She got engaged to a ranch owner, but she and Martin kept in touch by email.
'When I heard Julie had become engaged, I was sad, but I also hoped she was happy,' says Martin.
The pair had a whirlwind relationship and married in August 1999, above The Berrys are one of a growing number of couples who fit a pattern described last week by family judge Sir Paul Coleridge.
He said those who divorce are likely to regret it after living with the consequences.'It has been obvious to me that…a significant proportion of people who separate wish they had not five years down the line,' said Sir Paul, who retired from the High Court bench after launching the Marriage Foundation think-tank.
Martin was an export business adviser, and Julie was running a start-up export company.