By Veronica Davis
[From Bella: During the pandemic, lots of people pitied people who were single, especially if they were living alone – even though many of them were doing fine. In this guest post, Veronica Davis describes some of the ways in which it was the couples who were having a hard time.]
During the pandemic and especially following the worldwide lockdowns, the rate of divorce began skyrocketing. Couples who had been together for years and even decades were filing for divorce at a much higher rate than before. The trend seemed to extend to all couples, with relationships ending all over the world after couples had been locked in their homes together for months.
The pandemic provided the perfect opportunity for marital problems to arise, as people were stuck at home with little to do. Even with lockdowns lifted today, the increase in people working from home and unresolved issues that arose during those times has left some relationships unrepairable.
The pandemic changed a lot about how we experience daily life, in particular the number of people who now work from home. Working from home is great for convenience and flexibility, however, it also means that couples who live together are now spending nearly every moment of their days together. Working in an office space allows you to create time in a world that is completely your own, separate from your partner or spouse.
Breakups often spike when couples are forced to spend long periods of time together, such as during the holidays or on a vacation. However lockdown was not just an extended period of shared time, it also came with enormous amounts of pressure. Especially at the beginning of the pandemic, people were scared, confused, and angry about the circumstances, and these emotions led to disagreements.
Additionally, experts say there has been an increase specifically in women who are initiating divorces. In many cases, this is likely the result of disproportionately shared housework, as everyone is working from home many women still find themselves doing a majority of cooking, cleaning, and childcare.
A lockdown may have seemed like a great time to spend quality time together, as well as to share in keeping up with the responsibilities of home. However, the pandemic also served as an opportunity for individuals to show their true colors.
Addiction During Lockdown
Just as the pandemic increased rates of divorce, it also increased the number of individuals abusing substances. In the United States, there were more than 99,000 drug overdoses, which is an increase of around 30 percent since the previous year. With so much spare time available, and nothing to do but remain at home, many individuals turned to alcohol and other drugs to fill their time.
In some cases, spending extended periods of time with your significant other during lockdown also meant spending time with someone who had developed an addiction. Living with an addict can put a tremendous strain on the relationship, and can add stress to the other person’s life. Likewise, when one spouse is spending time abusing substances, they are going to be less likely to help out with other responsibilities around the house.
When a spouse who is struggling with addiction, addiction treatment is the only solution. However, during the pandemic, these resources were not always available at the capacity that they should be, and many couples turned to divorce.
For some couples, it is difficult to determine whether addiction caused the divorce or stress from the pandemic and the looming likelihood of divorce drove some people to substance abuse. The pandemic seemed to provide the perfect storm for the development of marital issues across the world.
About the Author
Veronica Davis is a writer, blogger, and legal assistant operating out of the greater Philadelphia area