With social distancing our “new normal” and many states maintaining
a shelter-in-place mandate, unhappy couples are stuck at home with no
escape. With school cancelled, no babysitters to help, working at home,
caring for children and trying to manage relationships which for some
were already shaky, couples are really being challenged and asking for help.
As a result, in quarantine couples are arguing a lot more.
Why so explosive?
- No outside distractions like going to work, the gym, or having dinner with friends;
- Boredom: more drinking, doing drugs, watching porn;
- Couples’ differing opinions on the seriousness and handling of coronavirus;
- Existing marital issues escalating;
- Heightening mental health issues.
It’s normal to feel overwhelmed and hard to absorb everything that
is going on. I suggest talking to each other, but trying not to argue.
Stay away from your “trigger” subjects even this will be hard.
Discuss some privacy boundaries. Provide each other with some alone time
in quarantine. Give each other some space.
Many people are overdoing it right now with drinking and using drugs, to
cope with fear and anxiety. People are trying desperately to manage boredom,
fear, and depression. Relying on alcohol and drugs is not the answer to
coping with stress.
If you feel like you or your spouse are drinking or overdoing it with drugs,
feeling depressed or anxious, please reach out to your primary care doctor
or a psychiatrist to see if being prescribed some medication short term
to manage your stress could help.
In addition to being a divorce attorney I am a licensed medical professional
and I can tell you getting some interim medication to help with your stress
is better than struggling without professional help.
Also try some healthy coping skills. Exercise is great!
I am working virtually with a gifted trainer myself. It really helps! Do
some breathing exercises, try mediation, take a walk, (adhering to social
distancing), create a daily schedule and limit how much news you watch,
and definitely don’t watch the news before going to bed. For example
try Yoga and Pilates online, or watching the daily Met Opera streaming
broadcasts. There are many apps online to help you with these tasks.
Handle Childcare Together:
Sit down and discuss sharing the management of the children. Divide the
responsibilities. Discuss who is going to supervise the on-line learning,
oversee the child’s schedule, help with exercise. It’s time
to implement “survival mode” to keep the children safe and
happy regardless of what you are going through as a couple.
Talk Peacefully About Separation/Divorce:
For those of you who were already talking about divorce, continue talking.
If it’s possible to work out some details in civil conversation,
do so. You have time to think through what you both want. If you have
children in the house, speak privately, if possible. It’s a time
for safety and peace.
If divorce has been in the air for you as a couple and If it is not amicable,
then try to maintain some space from each other during this time. Now
is not the time to have heated arguments in close quarters. Arguments
can also escalate in to physical violence.
If you must engage with each other try emailing or texting each other.
Deal with your issues, but not face to face to help keep things from getting
out of hand. If all else fails speak virtually with a therapist or marriage
For those of you needing immediate divorce assistance consider mediation.
It’s a good place to start talking about divorce and you don’t
need to go to court. Mediation gives you a third party to spearhead discussion
and help you make decisions.
It’s important to remember we are all experiencing a major change
in our lives and juggling unusual schedules. There is a lot of uncertainty
but this too shall pass. Remember, we are all in this together. The whole
earth is trying to cope. You are not alone. Don’t be afraid to reach
out for some help!
As a medicially-trained divorce attorney and mediator, I am available to
answer your questions and address all your concerns.
If you are having marital difficulties and thinking of divorce call me.
During the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic all our
FREE 1 HOUR CONSULTATIONS are
conveniently conducted virtually by telephone or TeleDivorce by Zoom or Skype to reduce
risk and maintain safety for everyone!
I hope to hear from you.
Stay Healthy & Safety!
Call New York Divorce Attorney Lois Brenner right now to schedule your
free consultation! 212.734.1551