The coronavirus pandemic has affected all Americans to some degree. Millions of people have lost their jobs. Businesses have shut down. Many are struggling financially. Children are unable to attend school in person.
Relationships are also suffering. The quarantine has forced more people to work at home. This means couples are pretty much in each other’s faces constantly. People are not getting their daily dose of alone time. This is causing them to become overly stressed, moody, and irritable. It is also causing an uptick in divorces.
While some couples are happy to be able to spend more time with their loved ones during the pandemic, not everyone shares this sentiment. Many people enjoyed the time their spouses spent at work, as they were better able to appreciate their spouse once they came home. This is leading to divorce for many couples. If you are scared that your marriage may become another victim, here are some things you can do.
Identify the Struggles
The pandemic has caused a variety of struggles. First, it is important to keep in mind that when stress increases, patience and self-control tend to increase. This means the pandemic is causing people to become less tolerant. Even minor annoyances and small issues can quickly become big problems. Also, when we are scared or under pressure, our spouse becomes an easy target. When we need someone to blame, we just use out husband or wife as a scapegoat and this causes frustration and anger. Also, the extra time together is putting pressure on relationships. When a marriage is on the rocks, couples tend to keep things going by ignoring problems. But when a couple spends more time together, they try to fill the void by talking, and this causes problems to resurface. This then leads to arguments.
Prevent/Solve the Problems
Working and living together can be a challenge. Before you pull out your hair and start screaming, think about the things you can discuss with your spouse. Are you having trouble working separately in the same home? Do you feel like you are the one doing all the household chores? Are there are issues related to caring for the kids? Do you need alone time? If so, one thing you can do is create a contract.
A contract can outline a few key points that you want your spouse to understand or help out with to make things smoother around the house. For example, you can ask your spouse to not interrupt you during conference calls. This means they should be given a schedule of your work meetings for the day. If chores are an issue, decide who does the dishes or laundry on certain days. At the very least, your spouse should not be piling dirty clothes on the floor or dirty dishes on tables. If you have kids, who will ensure they are doing their distance learning? Which parent will help with homework? The contract can also include positive things, such as keep a sense of humor or do something nice for the other spouse every day. These actions can help lighten the mood and make it so the contract is not about nagging.
Also, communication and respect are key. Be respectful of your spouse’s work environment. Do not walk around naked in front of her laptop. If he or she is in a meeting, keep noise to a minimum. If your spouse is doing something that is annoying you, speak up. If you do not discuss the situation, you allow problems to fester, which leads to increased stress and irritability. Find ways to solve the problem, whether it involves spending money, chores around the house, parenting, or intimacy.
You may even need to lower your expectations. Remember that nobody is perfect. Even if you are a perfectionist, you need to keep in mind that people will annoy you, and you annoy other people, as well. You may need to change your ways and stop being so controlling. Let your spouse be who they are. You married them for a reason, so try to find that reason, even though it can be hard in these stressful times.
Do Not Automatically Threaten Divorce
A divorce is a major life decision. Once a divorce is finalized, you cannot undo it. While you can technically remarry your ex-spouse, why go through all that when you can just be patient? Emotions are running high right now, so give things time to settle down before you make a lasting decision such as ending your marriage. When things get tough, work on the problems together. Get counseling if you need to. Spend some time apart. A trial separation may even be necessary.
Keep in mind that even the best marriages require hard work. Do not give up now. The coronavirus pandemic will be temporary, but a divorce lasts forever. So do not make decisions you may later regret. Many people have regrets about their divorce, so do not be part of that statistic.
Seek Legal Help
Many couples are fed up with each other and have decided to call it quits. If your marriage is suffering, there are ways to alleviate the stress of marriage. If you have made the decision to divorce, Broward County divorce attorney Scott J. Stadler can help. Make your divorce easier with his knowledge, advice, and compassion. Learn more by calling (954) 346-6464 or filling out the online form.