Timely articles on mental health issues and spirituality
One disturbing trend that I have seen in my practice since the advent of the COVID-19 virus is
the explosion of the need for marriage counseling. I have had so many new clients as well as
former clients contact me for help with struggling marriages, and I know from talking to
colleagues that I am not alone. According to the New York Post, divorce rates have been spiking
since April 2020, which is just one month after many states started lockdown protocols. The
data showed that 31 percent of couples admitted that irreparable damage had been done to
their relationship during lockdowns. The combination of spending more time together,
increased anxiety, deaths of loved ones, homeschooling children, working from home,
unemployment, and financial strain along with a myriad of other things has put couples in a
very difficult position.
Though COVID may not be responsible for all the problems couples have faced, it certainly has
exacerbated things. With the added strain marriages are crumbling like never before. Previous
separate routines may have masked existing problems that forced lockdowns brought to light.
COVID may not cause breakups, but it is more of a catalyst for break ups that may have
happened anyway. Even couples who were stronger before the pandemic and did not make
major shifts in their family roles have still been susceptible because coping skills that were used
previously have been taken away such as going out with friends, playing sports, or just spending
It is important to find ways to spend quality time together and not just a large quantity of time.
It is also important to spend time apart and engaging in self-care. You might feel comfortable
going out to restaurants for dates, but if you don’t there are still fun things that you can do at
home or at a safe distance. Here are some ways to combat the stress that the pandemic could
be placing on your marriage:
Remember to give each other grace and try to have empathy for one another.
Laura Dempsey is a licensed social worker and therapist with nearly 20 years of experience counseling children and families.