The Impact of COVID on Marital Satisfaction
Worldwide, the coronavirus has had massive health impacts on communities large and small. The domino effects include business shutdowns, loss of income, school shutdowns, and the inevitable resulting strain on families. Early reporting out of China indicates that marital satisfaction dropped significantly as a result of the incredible pressure felt by couples.
From Xi’an to America
A report by the Global Times notes that in the city of Xi’an, China, the request for divorce spiked to record-high numbers in recent months. In truth, a partial explanation for the bombardment of these offices is the fact that they’d all been closed for a month; but sociologists point to another element that fed the jolt in requests. For couples with underlying problems, the pandemic has brought marital problems to the forefront. Here in the United States, divorce rates jumped by over 30 percent last April according to the National Law Review. Are Floridians experiencing the same fallout from the battle with COVID? Will we see a rise in the need for local divorce attorneys in the coming months?
Quarantining is not easy, as many of us know. COVID, on its face, creates ample anxiety for many, simply because of its contagiousness and its unpredictable impacts on its victims. Social distancing and other efforts to control the spread, including closure of schools and workplaces, has intensified the sense of seclusion families have from their communities. Shutdowns impacting beaches, gyms, religious services, restaurants, movie theaters, and more have forced families to spend more time at home. Add to that the loss of income many are experiencing due to reduced hours at work or complete job loss, and you have a recipe for strained relationships.
Tips to Deal with the Stress
Any disturbance to routine can result in a certain amount of stress; a disruption of the scale people are experiencing due to the pandemic can be significantly more problematic because folks do not have access to many of the usual activities they have used in the past to mediate their stress. But there are tactics that can help us through these times. Understanding that stress is contagious is the first thing every couple needs to know. Dealing with one’s own sense of anxiety will go a long way toward keeping things calm on the home front. Here’s what that means for you:
- Identify the ways in which you and your spouse each tend to respond to stress, such as through overeating, drinking more than usual, nitpicking, etc.
- If you have concerns about your spouse’s behavior, approach the topic with love and concern, not accusations;
- Be a sounding board for your partner, not a fixer;
- Find new ways to spend down time together, like exercising together, reading together, or something else that brings you closer;
- Make a point of checking in on one another’s emotional state regularly;
- Try to give more than you require of your spouse when possible.
Now, more than ever, it is important to band together emotionally. Here at WiseLieberman, our Boca Raton divorce lawyers look forward to sunnier days ahead. Until then we hope you and your family remain healthy, happy, and cohesive during the challenges of coronavirus.