Should I get a divorce? It’s a question many spouses have pondered this year, particularly in that moment when someone decides to use the leaf-blower outside your office window during your Zoom meeting. Or upon seeing the same saggy-ass track pants someone has been wearing and sleeping in for four days. Or when you retire for the evening to separate screens because there is no truce to be found between The Crown and Shot Caller.
Many couples, whose relationships thrived on a healthy balance of daily distance, separate interests, and stimulating vacations, now find themselves struggling to find common ground after nearly a year of being stuck together in the same house.
At the other end of the spectrum, are couples where one partner is sequestered while working in a front line job or as an essential worker. The working-from-home partner, left alone to single parent for months at a time, might also feel like it’s time for a spousal trade-in.
“Studies have shown that financial problems, too much arguing and an unequal division in parenting and household responsibilities are among the top reasons couples separate or file for divorce,” reports Danielle Campoamor in The New York Times. Furthermore, “Nearly one in 10 of married or partnered people in the United States say they are very likely to separate from their partner or spouse at least in part because of issues related to the pandemic.”
So you’re not alone in your covid-coloured thinking. The question is, can you hold it together until vaccinations have freed you from a life of lockdown? Will love rise from its dormancy once things return to normal?
Wait, before you answer that and before you choose to break up or download Bumble, here are a few ideas to help get you through the stressful days.
“Self-care is essential. With everyone’s schedule changed, it’s important to establish and maintain some kind of a routine,” says Dr. Chris Kraft at John Hopkins Medicine. He recommends sticking to regular sleep hours, waking up on time, making the bed and getting dressed each day.
When you’re feeling estranged, the bedroom can be tense. Gwyneth Paltrow, purveyor of “This Smells Like My Orgasm” candles, made a public video call with her husband and an intimacy coach as a way to help others try to muddle through their sex lives this year.
It’s important to remember that alcohol is a depressant. A drink to take the edge off can easily remove all the filters too. “Keep an eye on the cocktails,” says Dr. Kraft. “Too much alcohol can set the stage for unhealthy interactions.”
Respect is everything. Text your spouse with non-urgent interruptions, rather than barging in to discuss the garbage pick-up schedule. Speak with kindness and levity. You might even invite them to choose a Netflix show and watch it together.
Or not. If you still want to speak to a divorce lawyer, Vexxit is here to hook you up.