According to a recent study, interest in divorce increased by 34% this April when COVID-19 lockdown measures were in place. This wasn’t a surprise for many divorce attorneys who understood the pandemic was exacerbating common marital woes such as financial stress, boredom, and disagreements about parenting. Ultimately, the COVID-19 crisis has taught us a lot about what it takes to find and maintain a long-term relationship with a spouse and hopefully avoid the need for a divorce law firm.
For justifiable reasons, the coronavirus has forced families to spend more time at home. Unfortunately, many spouses have struggled to maintain unity while being stuck under the same roof. With the pressure of the pandemic, couples are under stress. The proximity and the anxiety have caused many marriages to rupture. However, many spouses used to complain that they do not get to spend enough time together. So, what has changed?
In a relationship, you will face adversity. Family lawyers have seen countless divorces where the couple simply could not handle bumps in the road. When stress arises, they turn on each other instead of banding together to get through the challenge.
The key is that you need to lean on each other during hard times. You should have a sense of how your partner responds to adversity during a crisis. Even if you have not been through a crisis yourself, you should look for clues.
Oftentimes, when you are dating someone, your relationship goes from one success to the next. You might not even have encountered any serious stress before getting engaged. The COVID-19 crisis has taught us that couples should at least have some serious discussions about adversity. While you never quite know how someone will react under pressure, you could talk about certain issues, such as financial setbacks, before they occur.
The pandemic has doubled the importance of your relationship being able to survive stress. Family law attorneys often suggest preparation measures, such as having hard discussions now about how you would handle things as a couple. While it may be a difficult talk, the cost of not having it can be steep, especially when you learn important things too late.
Nobody could have ever anticipated that spouses would be stuck in quarantine for the better part of a year with their partners. For better or worse, divorce lawyers have seen an uptick in business because many relationships deteriorated during the lockdown period. For some spouses, the quarantine measures simply brought out lingering problems that were bound to doom the marriage anyway. Hopefully, the experience has taught us the importance of finding compatible partners.
It goes without saying that partners should enjoy each other’s company. Of course, the pandemic is an extreme instance that may never be repeated, but its lessons are enduring. The A big test before you are selecting your partner is how you feel about spending time with them in general. This is not just a dinner here or a weekend there. One of the questions that you should now be asking yourself is if you think that you could coexist under the same roof as this person for an extended period of time, even if you do not anticipate another pandemic.
Virtually all couples will argue from time to time. Some of those conflicts will be worse than others. However, COVID-19 quarantine measures forced many couples to work those arguments out immediately. It can be healthy for couples to address issues right away rather than let them linger. The alternative, especially during the pandemic, is to be trapped in the same home while a relationship is in a downward trajectory.
One lesson from the pandemic is that you need to find ways to ensure that your relationship stays healthy. A major way to do this is to strengthen your relationship to the point where it can bounce back from rough times. While it seems like we keep harping on adversity, the pandemic has shown us that you never know when obstacles will arise.
The key is bouncing back from tough times. The most important indicator of relationship strength is its resilience. This is what you need to consider when you’re choosing a partner. If you can rebound from a bump in the road in little time, then your relationship is healthy. COVID-19 has shown that mutual resilience is essential for long-term relationships.
The pandemic has also increased the level of conflict among couples. Being able to rebound from a fight without lingering tension and hard feelings is more of a must than ever. Otherwise, your relationship could be headed for turbulence and uncertainty.
One of the most common reasons for marital arguments is finances. Now, the pandemic has exacerbated those stresses as some families have seen jobs lost and paychecks cut. There’s also an air of uncertainty as no one knows where the economy could might go. As most family lawyers will attest, even the strongest relationships have come undone when spouses end up at odds over how to spend their limited resources. Couples that are not on the same page about money have a possible reason for an argument that they might not be able to resolve.
The pandemic has taught us that it’s more important than ever to have conversations about money and finances before you end up making a commitment. Many people hesitate to have this discussion because it can be awkward. However, the costs of not having this talk before any commitment can be steep.
Even if you already have a sense of how your partner feels about money, it’s good to have a detailed conversation about how you would work through different scenarios. Of course, you cannot plan for every contingency before you make a long-term commitment. Furthermore, you do not have to be in lockstep. However, entering a relationship with different conceptions of saving and debt is a recipe for disaster. The pandemic has also made clear that it might be helpful to avoid possible problems in the future by having prenuptial agreement to protect your interests should a divorce become necessary.
More than anything else, the pandemic has also taught us that you must plan ahead for your relationship. If you are in doubt about anything, it is better to have the conversation ahead of time. The high rates of marital breakups that divorce attorneys are seeing show that not every relationship can survive stress. While you may not think it will happen to you, the statistics do not lie. Couples struggle under stress, and you may be no different. If you anticipate that something may be a difficult issue for you, be sure to talk about it first. And consider signing a pre-nuptial agreement to protect yourself in the case that the relationship does not work out.
It’s a fact of life that not all relationships will last. Sometimes, it’s best to move on and learn from your experiences. If your relationship is beyond healing, consider consulting with a divorce law firm. Contact Lawrence Law at (908) 645-1000 to schedule your initial consultation with a family law attorney. We have offices in Watchung and Red Bank.
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