COVID-19 has had an adverse effect on us in many ways. The virus has killed hundreds of thousands of people around the world, and has led to severe economic downturns in many industries. COVID-19 has been an objectively horrible occurrence of 2020.
The virus has also done a number on marriages, particularly in the United States. Divorce rates have spiked since COVID-19 started making its way through the country. Here are a few factors to be aware of as you and your spouse navigate through these complicated times.
Death of Family and Friends
Many of us know someone who has died from COVID-19, or from COVID-19-related complications. Losing a loved one is never easy, and the loss can add stress to a marriage due to the sudden influx of emotions the bereaved is experiencing. If the couple is not prepared to handle the sudden, acute pain of loss, it could lead to divorce filings.
Newer Couples are at Risk
Every marriage has experienced some stress during COVID-19. Newer couples, however, have been hit especially hard by this pandemic. These couples are often not as experienced in dealing with difficult circumstances together, nor have they had enough time to build up their finances together in order to weather the economic storm that has accompanied the pandemic. COVID-19 is a heavy burden for newlyweds, and it is one that many have not been able to handle.
Unemployment is a difficult hurdle to overcome no matter what the circumstances are. Unemployment during a pandemic is an even larger hurdle, as jobs have become scarcer due to businesses’ economic struggles. Many couples who were not financially prepared for a prolonged period of unemployment have not done well during COVID-19.
COVID-19 has amplified the mental health challenges that millions of Americans face every day. Being home all day and being removed from one’s daily routine throws a person’s life off balance. This can be a difficult situation for people dealing with mental illness, especially depression. Mental health challenges affect partners, spouses and families. When couples are spending so much time together, the stresses can increase and lead to divorce, as it has in 2020.
Many married couples with children have had to take over the children’s schooling arrangement. As if that wasn’t difficult enough, couples have also had to handle parenting duties 24 hours a day, something that school and/or daycare used to take care of while they were at work. Not during COVID-19, though. Raising and educating children is tough; the global pandemic has added extra responsibilities onto married men and women everywhere, and it is something not all of them can manage.
To avoid the marital pitfalls of COVID-19, listen to each other a lot, talk to each other about your stresses and fears, and be kinder than usual to everyone. With communication and warmth, married couples are more than capable of getting through this together.