“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” Hans Selye
For over a year, we’ve all been forced into very close proximity with our spouses. And only those in our immediate family or trusted circle.
We started to see a light at the end of the tunnel, but now that too is giving many people pause.
While there are some couples that benefited from the closer proximity to one another, more couples have struggled through the pandemic than thrived.
And if any couples were struggling pre-pandemic, the issues inside their relationship have likely only become more pronounced.
I often say that our struggles don’t age well. Relationship challenges aren’t like fine wines. When those marital issues are left unattended, they often worsen with time.
That’s because the patterns of engagement don’t magically change. The resentments just continue to pile up, until love feels so far away that you’re not even sure you like one another anymore.
Specifically, in what ways has COVID hurt our marriages?
- A lot of time together: The irritations are now up-close and personal.
- We cannot distract ourselves as easily: The wine nights with the ladies have become fewer and far between.
- Stress has never been higher: Working from home, educating our kids, concern about the people we love…you name it, everyone’s stress levels have increased.
- Harder to stay grounded: Churches have moved online, we feel less community than maybe ever before, and we’re left with what’s on our TV and in our phones to connect.
- Affairs are easier to start, but difficult to maintain: Technology makes it easier to connect with people initially online and we’re certainly spending more time looking at our phones.
One day, there will be tons of articles and books written about what happened to our marriages in the time of COVID.
And many of the stories will conclude with marriages coming to an end.
Already, divorce rates will have increased tremendously.
For some, ending a bad marriage may have been long overdue. COVID just brought the long-standing issues to the forefront, making them undeniable. But there will be others that could have been remedied had they been equipped with solid relationship tools to navigate the stressful and difficult times.
If your marriage is struggling, here’s something you should know about me:
- I don’t believe every marriage should be saved….
- I know that far too many marriages end too soon because they aren’t well-equipped…
It’s not about MY answer for YOUR life; it’s about YOUR answer for YOUR life.