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4 min read.

It’s widely documented now that sadly, divorce rates are predicted to spike in the coming months due to the extra pressure put on couples to self-isolate together.

We’ve seen it happen in China already and unfortunately, it’s not a new concept. With divorce stats typically at their highest after Christmas and the summer holidays when couples have spent a prolonged period of time together, it’s unlikely that the consequences of COVID-19 are going to be any different.

So we’ve produced a simple guide, which will hopefully help couples to weather the storm, survive social distancing together and in some cases, maybe even develop a stronger relationship.

  1. Make a schedule

It’s important that you create a schedule together so that you can share tasks around the house. A fatal error would be to expect one person to do all the housework whilst the other is sat around. Make sure you split the chores up equally, not only will they be done faster but there’s no chance of resentment if both parties stick to their end of the bargain.

  1. Schedule “you” time, daily

In everyday life, you don’t spend 24 hours together. It’s unlikely that most couples can do that without getting irritated by one another. That doesn’t mean there’s an issue in the relationship, it’s entirely normal. Make sure you plan in a couple of hours when you both get to do your own thing, in separate rooms so you’re giving one another breathing space to do the things that you’re each interested in.

  1. Also make room for quality time together

This might sound odd as you’re going to be around each other all day. But there’s a difference between sitting on the sofa and living with one another to actually giving each other your undivided attention and spending time in each other’s company. Perhaps take your daily allocated outdoor exercise together and go for a walk, or enjoy a meal at the table together. Doing something with no distractions is healthy for a relationship in or out of isolation.

  1. Try to develop a routine

If you’re furloughed or out of work, your days could end up getting monotonous and could impact your mental health. It’s important to establish a new routine just as you would have a daily routine in normal circumstances. This gives the day a bit of structure and you don’t feel lost and lethargic, trying to figure out how to pass the next hour.

  1. Keep on communicating

We’re all guilty of bottling things up. The difference is, we can’t go somewhere and vent to a friend or family member to feel better. So it could end up boiling over if it isn’t addressed early on. If something has bothered you share it before it becomes a bigger issue. Get it off your chest, talk it through like adults and then move on. Equally and more positively if you’re really pleased with something or your partner has done something to make you happy, share it. Spreading some positive energy can only be a good thing in these circumstances.

  1. Be considerate of one another

Most of us are used to having our own independence and our own lives. Being in isolation or being furloughed could really impact someone’s sense of self. If you’re the partner still working, do bear that in mind, don’t just think someone’s been given a free break. It could feel like the complete opposite for someone who’s used to being busy and needed. Equally, if your partner is still going to work they may feel anxious about it and frustrated. Do something nice for them, like prepare dinner so that they can relax when they get home. Small things make a big difference when someone is feeling uncomfortable, whichever situation they’re in.

  1. Try not to dwell when it becomes difficult

It is of course difficult not to feel upset when things become difficult. The key to resolving these issues is to make sure you don’t dwell on them. Try to do what you can to move on from the last argument or uncomfortable situation otherwise, you’ll be trapped in a vicious circle which will not improve.

  1. Appreciate the small things you like about one another

Take the time to compliment one another or write down one thing you like about your partner per day. It’s a great way to generate a positive atmosphere and avoid any negativity. It should also help to move on from point 7. Rather than dwelling on the bad things, focus on the good and remind yourselves of the things you really love about one another.

 We pride ourselves on offering sensitive support during difficult times. If you do need any help or advice, please contact our Associate Solicitor Lisa Cogger on 07814175350



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