It’s no secret, the Covid-19 virus has put a strain on almost all aspects of our lives, relationships are no different. In the United States, divorce rates are relatively high, with around 40 to 50% of marriages ending in divorce. While in 2021 divorce rates did drop, weddings also dropped. As courts are resuming, divorce rates are predicted to increase. Due to the pandemic, couples were either quarantined by each other or forced to stay apart. People had to navigate an at-home life-work balance.
Covid-19 required couples to significantly change the way that they were accustomed to living. Working from home and navigating spaces, a lack of outside socialization and an increase in time spent together around the clock can change relationship dynamics. So what were some of the other issues that were plaguing couples during the Covid-19 pandemic?
Facing Financial Hardship
Covid-19 caused a drastic change in the economic market. Many people lost their jobs and were faced with taking different or part-time remote positions that offered significantly lower pay grades. This was especially prevalent at the beginning of the pandemic. According to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, there were 774,940 bankruptcy cases in 2019. In 2020, those rates did decrease with 544,463 cases reported.
While financial challenges do not mean that all couples will face relationship issues, some couples are not equipped to tackle these without added stress and aggravation. When financial stress is involved, it can put stress on all other areas of the relationship. It has especially put a strain on people who were already in low-income brackets or couples that both lost employment due to the pandemic. This has led to an increase in separations and may have us facing a spike in divorce rates as the pandemic continues.
Caring for a Significant Other
During the Covid-19 pandemic, many people became caregivers for their family members. People found themselves caring for loved ones that came down with Covid-19, or taking over the care of family members that needed caregivers before the pandemic. Around 85% of caregivers are charged with the care of a family member or loved one. With the Covid-19 virus, there was also a shortage of caregivers, requiring many people to take over more responsibilities when it came to providing care for their loved ones.
Caregiving can be a draining process in any circumstance, but the changes that the pandemic brought on made it hard for caregivers to find a healthy balance between caring for their loved ones while still caring properly for themselves. Studies have shown that without proper self-care balance, being a caregiver can break down relationships due to the added stress. With so many people operating as caregivers for their loved ones, this could be a cause behind an increase in divorces.
The Pandemic in Relation to Divorce
The Covid-19 virus has caused a significant change in relationships. Whether it be halting marriages, increasing separations, or ending in divorce, the Covid-19 virus has changed relationships. Especially for newer couples, people often discover that they were not as compatible as they originally thought when first getting married. Even for couples who have been married for many years, spending so much time together without being able to partake in their usual separate out-of-home activities, there was an irreparable strain placed on their relationships, resulting in separation or divorce.
While nothing is for certain, there are some troubling patterns that the pandemic has brought out in relationships. When it comes to partnerships with significant others, there can be a great number of stressors that can put a strain on relationships. The Covid-19 virus has significantly increased these, as courts continue to open up to a greater range of cases, there may be an influx of filings that were delayed due to the pandemic.