The COVID-19 pandemic is causing stress for everyone these days, only there’s a lot more than just lack of toilet paper and hand sanitizer to be concerned about.
With much of the nation quarantined at home to reduce the spread of the virus, many psychologists expect that divorce lawyers such as ourselves will be seeing a higher caseload in the future identified as cabin fever strains relationships.
Can your marriage survive the COVID-19 quarantine, or will it be damaged to the point that you’ll seek a divorce attorney after restrictions are lifted?
Hopefully, these tips will help prevent that by enabling you and your spouse to add relationship care to your self-care routine while staying at home!
How Is COVID-19 Affecting Personal Relationships?
Getting to stay home from work or even work at home may seem like a great thing at the onset, but many Americans are starting to see the other side of the stay-at-home order coin.
Sharing a space with the same person or people with no ability to walk away from them for a little while or go out and experience normal, psychologists studying the topic claim that everyday life for even a little while is generating a lot of stress between roommates, families, and yes married couples.
Supporting this idea in reports coming from China, the first population to undergo quarantines and lockdowns, there has been a surge in divorce filings since the lifting of quarantines in affected communities.
It’s also been suggested that domestic violence is on the rise.
Families and couples are experiencing high levels of anxiety due to being forced to stay at home all the time with kids and each other while money, food access, job, and schooling concerns mount.
What Can You Do To Protect Your Relationship and Marriage?
With all this going on, psychologists suggest that to avoid some of the relationship strain and the possibility of needing divorce help, couples practice these healthy relationship tips:
- Respect Boundaries - Boundaries are more important than ever when you’re cooped up together; be mindful of each other’s personal spaces and workspaces as these might provide the only place you can "get away” from each other for a little while.
- Make A Schedule Together - Write up a home schedule and assign tasks; it will keep you both occupied in taking care of the household and family as well as reveal times when you can do things together to keep nurturing your relationship.
- Keep Up Daily Habits - Follow your same morning routines, keep getting dressed to go to work when working at home, continue exercising, walking the dog, and any other part of your daily routine; the fewer changes there are to what you’re used to, the less chaos will be created.
- Plan Time Apart - and Together - Personal time apart is critical when everyone is forced together all the time, but so is together time and intimacy; schedule time so you can each have time alone but be sure to include undisturbed time together, too.
- Practice Active Listening - Listen to and acknowledge each other even if you don’t agree with each other’s opinions; acknowledgment goes a long way for reducing anxiety, depression, and the strain that can arise between partners if you don’t at least listen to each other’s concerns.
- Be Mindful of Criticism - During high-stress times, criticism can hurt a lot more than it should; mind each other’s feelings and avoid saying things that could create bad feelings that can build into arguments or resentment.
Talk To A Family Divorce Lawyer Who Can Help
It’s a trying time for everyone these days as concerns over COVID-19 abound as we see more every day how this virus is affecting all of our lives.
Life may be a little different today; however, keep in mind that this is temporary.
Divorce attorneys strongly recommend that couples heed these suggestions and make an effort to reduce the stress that confinement can cause.
Become closer, not further apart, so you won’t need divorce help afterward!
Schreier & Housewirth Family Law
1329 College Avenue, Suite 100
Fort Worth TX 76104
Gregory L. Housewirth is a Board-Certified Family Law Specialist practicing in Fort Worth, Texas. With 30 years' family law experience, Mr. Housewirth has represented hundreds of clients in divorce, custody, CPS, modification, and grandparent cases. In addition, Mr. Housewirth is a qualified family law mediator and a member of Collaborative Law Texas, a practice group dedicating to promoting collaborative divorce in Texas.