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July 12, 2020

Contributing author

Marriage difficulties and problems in the era of COVID-19

COVID-19 and the stay-at-home orders that followed has left some couples wondering how to move forward. In fact, there are some who have reached their “limit,” whatever that may be.

Research has proven that natural disasters can significantly enhance the strengths and weaknesses of any intimate relationship. For example, a study that was seen in “The Journal of Family Psychology” took a look at couples after 1989 Hurricane Hugo. It was discovered that at this time, more couples were filing for divorce than the usual amount after this significant trauma. Many of these individuals had to seek the help of attorneys who understood divorce and alimony laws to ensure the desired results were achieved. If you have kids, the process can be more complicated, especially if you want to change their last name. If you need help with this, you can also check out EZ Name Change for a smoother, simpler process.

Just weeks before the pandemic hit the U.S., the applications for divorce in the Chinese city of Xi’an increased significantly. It was also found that domestic violence increases during times of isolation.

Getting Away from the “Norm”

The majority of couples will spend most of their days apart because one or both people work outside of the home. With the pandemic, partners are having to spend more time together, in many cases the entire day. Along with significant changes to their routine and having to be together 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there are other factors that affect couples, such as anxiety about possible unemployment, health, financial insecurity, lack of social connection, caring for elderly parents, juggling childcare, and more.

If there are currently any vulnerabilities in this relationship, they will likely be revealed with these growing stressors. Having to be around a person’s partner all the time will highlight these stressors even more, and result in new issues arising. This often leads to the desire for a divorce and the need for a lawyer who understands divorce proceedings.

Stress and Stay-at-Home Orders

Many couples will use different coping mechanisms to manage their stress. For example, one person may be focused on the risk, while the other is focused on trying to keep their life as normal and regular as possible. One of the people may take a more proactive approach while the other seems more hopeless and passive. It is these differences that make many couples clash and the polarization could result at the end of a relationship if the couple doesn’t take the necessary mitigating steps.

Steps to Take

Believe it or not, one of the most common remedies for cases of conflict between couples is to increase closeness, which for many, means sex. While this may not be at the top of a person’s mind while they are worried about a serious virus, children, or finances, the truth is, a romantic connection is extremely beneficial.

However, when someone is in a situation where their partner doesn’t feel like having sex, don’t try to shame or nag them about it. This is just going to make them feel worse. Hugging, a massage, and hand holding can also be connecting and beneficial. The goal is to rebuild that positive connection that is why couples got married, to begin with.

When it comes to managing marriage difficulties during COVID-19, there is no secret formula. There are steps that must be taken to ensure that the desired results are achieved and sometimes, if there are differences that are not able to be overcome, then seeking the help of an attorney is the best course of action. It will pay off.