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Divorce and Family Law

Why marital strain can show during the coronavirus outbreak

The situation with the COVID-19 virus is changing daily — and many different areas around the nation have virtually shut down in an attempt to slow the spread of the disease.

For a lot of married couples, this may be a “make it or break it” event. Forced closeness with a spouse can either cause a couple to bond together even more strongly or cause the relationship to fragment beyond repair.

Why? Experts say that this issue appears during every natural disaster because:

  • Couples who are ill-suited to each other already may find that they have very little in common now that they’re stuck at home together.
  • Spouses with problems controlling their anxiety and anger may lash out at their spouses or children, which can create unsafe environments and increase incidents of domestic violence.
  • Couples who have vastly different coping methods may get on each other’s nerves. If, for example, your spouse is obsessing over the news hourly and you’re trying to focus on staying calm, that can make you deeply resent each other.
  • Individual reactions can expose differences between spouses that are startling. If you always believed that you could rely on your spouse, it can be shocking if your spouse leaves you to cope with the frantic scramble for supplies, the increased child-care duties and the emotional fallout from the daily stress.

No doubt, the majority of marriages will weather this storm like any other. In some cases, however, couples will be forced to confront negative emotions about their relationships they’ve been denying for years. Others will have to contend with a permanently changed view of who their spouse really is when this is over.

It’s wise not to react to a situation until you’ve had a chance to process your feelings further. Divorce is always an option later.