Covid-19 indeed turned our lives upside down. The coronavirus pandemic has become a strength test not only for immune systems but also for relationships. Forced isolation took many families by surprise. For most couples around the world, quarantine has become a reason for break up or even divorce.
Covid Challenges vs. Relationships: What Changed?
As previously mentioned, during the pandemic, many people's relationships had to withstand some new challenges. Here are some of the biggest obstacles such couples have faced.
Shaken Work/Life Balance
Before "it all" happened, most people were working in their offices. Unfortunately, the Covid situation changed things significantly, and most businesses transferred their workers to a "work from home" model. Those who weren't that lucky were forced to quit their jobs due to the company's inability to withstand the crisis.
Working from home seemed like a fantastic idea for many people, while it turned out to be not so exciting in reality. New work conditions required people to make changes in their routine that they were not ready for. It became common for many employees to work more than they used to because they got constantly distracted. Eventually, their relationship with their loved ones started to become shaky due to constant business.
Another common issue has been the inability to find a proper workplace. Some workers lived in big houses and could easily create an office for themselves. However, some did not, and that raised many issues.
Too Much Time Together
The lockdown caused many couples to find themselves stuck together in their homes without any chance to get out. Conflicts within families began to escalate. After all, traditional ways to relieve stress didn't work: spouses couldn't go shopping with their friends or visit a beauty salon. Isolation led to "cabin fever," like in the Stephen King novel, The Shining, where an aspiring writer gradually goes insane, locked up in an alpine hotel with his wife and son. Many couples ended up on a long unexpected expedition without any prior psychological preparation.
Long-Distance Relationship Failure
It was devastating to hear that tourist trips wouldn't be possible due to the lockdown. However, for some couples, closed commuting meant something worse – an inability to see each other for a long time. Eventually, relationships struggled, and many couples decided to break up.
Staying at Home with Kids
Since all kindergartens and schools began to close due to the pandemic, the parents' lives got harder. First of all, children don't care whether their parents need to work. It became much more complicated for couples to maintain the same level of productivity while also taking care of their children. Secondly, it is sometimes complicated to explain to small kids why they can no longer go outside, visit their friends, or go to school.
In this situation, children often "steal" the time their parents could spend with each other and work on their relationship. Eventually, parents have just too many things on their plate, and it causes additional stress. "People trying to work and also take care of children - everything has been thrown into chaos," says Dr. Marni Feuerman, a psychotherapist from Florida.
Lack of Personal Space
The pandemic was a rather unexpected event, and people got isolated in their homes without necessarily being prepared. When two people are living in a single-roomed flat, it seems like a normal situation. However, if you're stuck there and cannot go to work or meet with friends, it becomes a real prison. Everyone needs some personal space where they can be alone for some time. Lack of such space on a daily basis can and most likely will make the person get a little bit angrier each day. Many couples started getting irritated with each other because of that. "People are more on edge, they're more likely to be aggressive or to act out, and that's within the walls of the home or outside," says psychologist Kira Mauseth.
Covid-19 became a reason for one more phenomenon – quarantine dating. It has become a hot topic on the internet lately. This term stands for having dates in online video messengers such as Zoom or Hangouts. Many couples tend to speed up the dating process to move in together as quickly as possible and not end up disconnected due to the quarantine. It often leads to a situation where people rush into a relationship only to realize a few weeks later that it is a complete mistake. However, it would be too late to call it quits as you are already isolating together. "Some couples tend to figure things out while for others, it becomes a complete hell. Matters are even worse for those who rushed into marriage before it all began. Now they are trying to find a way to get a divorce just as quickly", says Bob Butterworth, the CEO of CompleteCase.com.
No one expected to end up in the situation that quarantine forced them into. Being locked down together became a good thing for some couples, and they finally got some time to figure their problems out. For others, it was a complete disaster that only led to a breakup. As long as the marriage rate is higher than the divorce rate, we can be pretty hopeful that people can find reasons to stay together even at a complicated time like this.