COVID-19 Pandemic Effect On Marriages
Just over eight months into the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are working from home, meaning they may be spending a lot more time with their significant other(s). Often times spending 24-hour days, without a break, can lead to stress, unnecessary arguments, and awkward tension. In such cases, the failure to effectively communicate will almost always lead to mismanaged expectations, which in turn lead to disappointment.
Although the pandemic prevents many occasions to have that sometime needed two or three-hour separation time from your spouse or significant other, make the best of the time you do have together. The importance of good communication is obvious in these situations. Each of you need to find that quiet place within your home where you can devote several hours to doing the things you love and find less stressful. This is often-time difficult, but necessary, especially if you have kids. Studies conducted during the early stages of the pandemic indicate that domestic violence seems to have increased. The evidence also showed that married couples who devote quality time together at least once a week not only have lower divorce rates, but also increase the perceived quality of their marriage. If you plan a creative date (e.g. a walk in your neighborhood, an in-home movie night, a candlelight dinner, or simply putting a puzzle together) you will also create fun memories together, even during the pandemic that you can cherish later on. You will never regret the time you put in planning a creative date. The study is enough evidence to suggest that you start dating your spouse more! But regardless, many relationships are under significant stress. If you find yourself stuck in the same routine every day, a date night can be something you will look forward to all week. Hard data on marriages, divorces and pregnancies are hard to find so soon into the pandemic, but many researchers are fielding studies and results could begin to come in the next few months. Many are concerned with people locked in close quarters for such a long period of time.
Make memories together during well thought-out date nights. Date nights improve marriages, according to common sense and a comprehensive, quantitative study conducted by the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia. Dating throughout marriage, even when the pandemic is over, will combat the stress often prevalent in marriages. The study showed improvements for married couples who go on frequent dates across categories such as happiness, commitment, communication, parenthood stability, and community integration. Date nights help create new experiences in relationships that have fallen into the mundane ruts that we naturally gravitate to as creatures of habit. Either way, date nights will make your future, and your past, better.
Lastly, who doesn’t need stress relief every once in a while? Date nights are fun! Your spouse isn’t just there for you for the tough times, but for enjoyable times too. When either of you are at your low point, will you have each other to pull you back up? How strong is your emotional bond with each other? If it needs some improvement, then odds are you aren’t dating each other enough. We have all experienced the consequences of poor communication with our spouse. Sadly, the business of life often gets in the way of planning intentional dates with your spouse. Negative feelings will slowly pull you apart. By opening up to each other on dates, spouses build strong bonds that solidify their commitment to each other.