Yes, you read that correctly. A law firm who practices primarily in family law (including divorce) is sharing tips about keeping your marriage together during these difficult, uncertain times.
A recently published article outlines the stress that the coronavirus pandemic is placing on married couples. The article states that experts predict that the increased time that spouses are spending together in their homes as a result of the coronavirus pandemic will lead to two other increases: birth rates and divorce rates. Although some couples will find that this time together strengthens their marriage, others will find that such prolonged time together in close quarters will result in tension and stress, with no productive outlet. This may be particularly true in situations where a marriage was already on shaky ground.
The author of the article has compiled several tips to help “divorce-proof” your marriage during the COVID-19 crisis. Here are a few that caught our eye:
- Do tell your spouse if you need alone time. Although some may not want to tell their spouse that they need alone time because they are afraid of offending them, needing some time alone and apart from your spouse is a necessary part of any marriage. During the coronavirus pandemic, finding alone time may be as simple as going into a separate room and closing the door or taking a solo walk around the block. Spending some alone time, even if it is only twenty minutes a day, can help to reduce the tension between spouses.
- Be willing to understand that your spouse is experiencing the same stressors as you. The common phrase echoed during this time is “we are all in this together.” This is certainly true in a marriage. Both you and your spouse are working through the same difficulties and it is important to be understanding of that in your interactions with your spouse.
- Establish a new pattern of behaviors. The COVID-19 virus may have changed many of our daily activities, but it doesn’t have to completely tear apart our patterns of behavior. More people are now working from home, losing work, not going to school, or not being able to participate in customary social functions, but many activities can still be done virtually. As much as possible, try to establish a new set of daily activities. If you enjoyed going to the gym to exercise in the mornings, try to exercise in your home at the same time. If you normally have your friends over on Saturday night, consider a group video chat = at the same day and time every week. Having a set structure provides stability and can reduce the stress you may find in your marriage by giving you outlets that you are accustomed to.
We are not marriage counselors (quite the opposite, actually), but we’ve represented enough clients to anticipate the types of issues married couples may be facing during times of crisis. We hope that these tips may help if you find yourself struggling in your marriage during this time. We hope you can weather this storm, but if you find yourself on a different path, feel free contact us to speak with one of our experienced attorneys. We are here to help.