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Why the Pandemic is Causing Spikes in Breakups and Divorces

Why the Pandemic is Causing Spikes in Breakups and Divorces

One of the less publicised consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic is the large uplift in the number of divorce filings. Since the first lockdown of 2020, many couples have been under increased stress due to the pandemic, with growing numbers of couples choosing to break-up and married couples seeking divorce.

There are several factors that have emerged as the top reasons behind the increase in break-ups, including:

Incompatibility

Couples have been forced to spend more time at home together throughout lockdowns and working from home rules, which has been challenging for some couples who have never spent so much time together. Due to this unusual situation, they have found that they are not as compatible as they thought they were when they were distracted with work and were able to spend social time with friends and family.

When people are seeking a divorce, they must provide the grounds for divorce and unreasonable behaviour is the most likely if the couple have not been getting on during the pandemic. There are lots of different types of behaviour that could be seen as unreasonable, such as one person preferring to spend time away from their partner.

Increased stress

The pandemic has been a very worrying time for people, with concerns about our own health and our family’s health, to worrying about the impact of the pandemic on a business or job. In some cases, people have lost jobs or their business has folded due to the effects of lockdowns or other pandemic related problems. Having these additional worries can cause couples to argue more and get irritable with one another, often leading to the decision to split up.

Increased drinking

Health authorities have reported that more people are drinking higher amounts than the recommended alcohol guidance than pre-pandemic. Increased drinking can strain relationships, be the source of arguments and can make people more likely to say something they would usually be able to hold back in an argument. Where one or both partners have started drinking more alcohol, this is leading to increased numbers of divorces.

Opposing views

There has been a lot of rules to follow and decisions to make throughout the pandemic and many couples have found that they have different views on a lot of the choices they have made. For example, some people have been reluctant to have the vaccination while their partner wanted to get theirs as soon as possible. Some couples have found that one person has limited contact with other people as a health precaution, but the other has chosen to socialise and spend time in pubs and other venues with a higher risk of contact. These are the kind of issues and views that would never have arisen but are now causing couples to separate.

Reflecting on life

Another top reason for couples heading for divorce is that one or both partners have had more time to reflect on their life and their relationship. They might have been staying in an unhappy marriage because they didn’t want to face the process of a divorce. The effects of the pandemic have caused more people to decide that life is too short to stay in an unhappy relationship and that divorce is the best option for their long-term happiness. 

Some people have decided they want to make significant changes in their life, such as moving to another area or they want to do lots of travelling, with their partner not sharing their ambitions to make large scale changes. In lots of these scenarios, one partner is making the choice to leave their marriage in pursuit of their individual happiness, leading to increased numbers of divorces.

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