It’s perhaps unsurprising that the collateral damage of lockdown has seen a record spike in divorce inquiries around the world with UK family law firms reporting an average surge of more than 40% during and since quarantine. These patterns have been replicated in China and Sweden. What’s more, relationship experts and academics are predicting that the pandemic-induced break-up curve may not even have peaked yet.
The chronic stress we have all been under during Covid-19 has placed couples under enormous and sustained pressure. The pandemic has thrust domestic arrangements and frustrations into sharp focus and its burden is made all the heavier because of the ongoing uncertainty. For some couples, this is having a devastating impact on their relationship as they are hit from all sides; from economic concerns, to new working from home arrangements and sick family members to managing children’s stress and hybrid virtual schooling. Money is one of the most common causes of marital strife and over the last year people have had to contend with unemployment, being furloughed or taking home lower pay cheques. Decreased income increases the strain due to conflicts on how to prioritise spend and the psychological impact of worrying how to make ends meet has really reduced relationship quality.
If you’ve began to see cracks in your relationship during isolation (or even huge, gaping chasms) then please be reassured that this is only natural having been stuck with your partner for so long without the normal daily distractions. Even the healthiest of partnerships will have been through the mill so it’s vital that you allow yourself some time to recalibrate before rushing into any life changing decisions when your marriage could well recover.
So how do you go about getting your relationship back on track? Sara Davison’s highlights some top tips below.
- Don’t rush into a breakup. Give your relationship time to adjust after isolation. It will take some time to get back on track as you establish a new daily routine. When other distractions come back and you can live more independently you may feel your connection reigniting.
- Commit to take some action. Good relationships don’t just happen, they take work and commitment. Decide to do everything you can to rescue your relationship so you know in your heart of hearts that you have done your best. The worst-case scenario is you leave with a lot more clarity and with less guilt having tried your best, but the upside is you could save your marriage.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. Let go of the little things that have upset you and drop minor grudges that may have been stacking up irrationally due to ‘virus stress’. It’s easy to get tunnel vision about issues that really don’t matter.
- Refocus your mind. Write a list of all the things you love about your relationship, including the things you are grateful for. It is easy to only focus on the negative points so this will help you maintain a balanced view.
- Kindness is king. Kindness is often the first thing to disappear during rocky times in a relationship however it is key to a strong marriage foundation. Finding ways to be kind and loving can often melt tension and rekindle romance.
- Actions speak louder than words. Being the change you want to see in your partner can be the most effective way to bring them around. You may find they reciprocate and make more effort with you without you actually having to ask them.
- Be spontaneous. Surprises can be very romantic so take advantage of being able to eat out in your favourite place again or have drink in your local to rekindle your connection. It’s important to get your sparkle back so be creative!
Recent challenging times will have had an impact on both of you and maybe changed the way you think about life and the priorities that are most important. Take this time to get to know one another again and rediscover who you each are.
These steps won’t always be the easy option and sometimes you may feel like throwing in the towel and walking away. Bear in mind nothing worth having ever comes easily and a good relationship needs nurturing. If things have gotten off track it will take some time and effort to restore it. But the good news is that it is possible and it could even make the relationship stronger and happier than ever.
To book onto Sara’s virtual retreat, Heartbreak To Happiness, or to find out how you can become a Divorce Coach please visit www.saradavison.com
For more advice on how to navigate breakup or divorce, listen to Sara’s podcast at www.heartbreaktohappinesspodcast.com