Going through any sort of split – whether it’s a breakup, separation, or divorce – is difficult enough when life is normal (whatever that means), but it’s immeasurably harder during a pandemic because our usual tools and outlets for coping aren’t available to us. For some, it’s a group exercise class where the company of others, the high-energy music, and the militant instructor provide great distractions. For others, it’s seeing friends in person and laughing and crying over bad movies. Whatever the coping mechanism, few of us can imagine going through a breakup alone, as quarantine would have it.
But perhaps you are imagining what that would be like because your relationship has been feeling particularly rocky during this pandemic. Maybe it’s your relationship, at its core, that’s flawed, or maybe it’s just the pandemic playing tricks on you. To help you figure out the real issue, Dr. Laura Louis, PhD, founder of Atlanta Couples Therapy, discussed some of the common issues couples are facing during this odd time in history. You may find that your conflicts are much more common, and less alarming, than you thought.
This, too, shall pass
To couples considering breaking up over conflict that’s been a direct result of this pandemic, Dr. Louis advises, “Never let a temporary circumstance allow for permanent decisions…Don’t separate because of this pandemic, that will end.” If there are pre-existing issues, that’s something to examine, but if relationship conflict seems to be an immediate result of the pandemic, take a pause.