COVID-19 Prompts Spouses to Face the Possibility of Divorce
During the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, life as we know it has changed in profound ways. For many married couples, the additional strain of living on top of one another with nowhere to go for weeks (and months) on end is causing increased tensions and marital disputes. Under normal circumstances, a married couple may have been able to meet with a therapist, go out on date nights, seek support from friends and family, and other such interventions. However, with the strict limitations imposed by the governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order, married couples may find it increasingly difficult to avoid conflict and bitterness. While it may be too soon to tell whether there will be an uptick in the number of divorces once the pandemic subsides, it’s worth it to explore your options so that you can prepare for the future, whatever it may hold.
Abnormal Times Lead to Increased Stress
This unprecedented time is contributing to increased anxiety levels across the globe, as people are frightened about their health, their jobs, their housing, their finances, and more. When both individuals in a partnership are anxious and stressed, the marriage may become more strained as each person tries to cope with their own fears. Unfortunately, it is common for people to pick on each other or act out against the other person when they feel threatened, so many marriages may be more on edge under these current conditions. Relationship experts anticipate that several couples may discover that they simply cannot go the distance, and they may emerge from this time period with the desire to go their separate ways.
For some couples, the quarantine conditions have led one partner to realize that their spouse had been having an affair. Before the eruption of the virus, the affair may have been more difficult to detect, as both spouses spent a good amount of time apart during the day—at work, at the gym, grabbing drinks after work, and more. However, once both spouses are around each other all the time under their shared roof, one spouse may suddenly notice how much time their spouse is spending on the phone or online. Some spouses have even expressed anxiety about their spouse pretending to go on a walk and actually meeting up with a lover—which could increase everyone’s exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Dealing with the psychological and emotional stress of quarantine is hard enough, but also realizing that your spouse is having an affair can be especially devastating.
Understanding Your Options
If you have come to the realization that divorce is the best path forward for you, it may seem overwhelming to think about how you could possibly start the process, given the restrictions and measures in place to contain the spread of the virus. One of the most important steps you can take right now is to lean on your trusted friends for moral support. Even if you can’t spend physical time with them right now, calling or FaceTiming them to check in and share your feelings and anxieties is a great way to feel supported and empowered. It’s also worth it to reach out to an experienced divorce attorney who offers phone or video conference consultations. Together, you can discuss your goals and concerns, ultimately giving you the tools and resources you need to trust that the future can be brighter.