There are many different effects of COVID-19. Some of those changes are obvious. Thousands of people lost their jobs. Kids had to learn from home. Others started working remotely.
People became more focused on their physical health throughout the pandemic, too, but what hasn’t been discussed as frequently is the mental health aspect of COVID-19. Depression and anxiety spiked during the height of the pandemic for a variety of reasons. Unfortunately, one factor of those mental health challenges is relationships.
Almost everyone spent more time at home last year under some kind of lockdown. For some, it made relationships stronger. For others, it caused tension. You might have started to look at your relationship or your partner differently as you worked through the challenges.
What were some of those challenges? How are they impacting your relationship today? Let’s take a look at some of the potential long-term effects of COVID-19 on relationships.
Here Are the Effects of COVID-19 on Relationships
Thousands of businesses had to close their doors due to the pandemic. According to USA Today, there were over 20 million jobs lost throughout COVID-19, too. While some of those jobs might return, much of the damage has already been done. Losing a job is hard enough on your mental health when you’re on your own. It can cause problems like:
- Loss of satisfaction
- Changes in sleep habits
- Changes in eating habits
Unfortunately, when you’re around a partner at home, it’s easy to let your frustrations and sadness out on them. Ultimately, losing your job can cause a lot of fear. You might not know how you’re going to make it financially. Whether one or both of you lost your jobs, you might have found yourself arguing about money more often than not.
Financial struggles also caused some people to put their relationship plans on hold. Maybe you already knew you weren’t going to stay with your spouse, but the pandemic caused the housing market to flip on its head. It’s a seller’s market at the moment, but inventory levels have been low. As a result, you might have been “forced” to stay with your spouse for financial security. As you already know, that likely didn’t do much to ease the tension in your relationship.
Forced Connection with No Communication
Another common problem in relationships spurred by COVID-19 is a forced connection. For some, having to spend every moment together was a good thing. Some relationships grew closer thanks to a commitment to communication.
Other relationships struggled.
If you find your relationship struggling even when you’re around your partner a lot, the problem is probably a lack of proper communication. Consider some of the warning signs of poor communication, including:
- Constant criticizing
- Lack of compromise
Eventually, you may have found yourself communicating less and less, just to avoid an argument. When you’re in the same household with someone but you’re not regularly communicating, it increases tension. That can lead to even bigger cracks in an already-fractured relationship. Anxious thoughts you may have been dealing with before could have turned into depression if you became completely burnt out by the state of your relationship.
Communication is an important key to any healthy relationship. COVID-19 heavily impacted it for many couples. If you were on the negative side of that, it might leave you with one lingering question:
Where Does It Leave Your Relationship?
If you already knew your relationship was on the rocks before COVID-19, you probably don’t need much advice moving forward. The pandemic either strengthened your bond or made your decision clearer.
The pandemic might be waning, but it still isn’t over. Filing for divorce during COVID-19 isn’t as easy as filing under normal circumstances. You should expect delays in your efforts, and you may not even be able to meet for your hearing(s) in person.
It’s also important to consider your finances and assets. If the pandemic caused you to struggle, financially, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting a fair split in your divorce so you have something to work with until you can get back on your feet.
It’s not an easy thing to make such a heavy, huge realization during a global pandemic. But COVID-19 taught us all plenty of lessons and gave us some bitter pills to swallow. Just remember: if you’re considering getting a divorce or you’ve already filed, you’re not alone. The BBC reported that there has been a spike in breakups and divorces throughout the pandemic as people start taking stock of their relationships and their own mental health.
Your partner shouldn’t be causing you to have constant anxiety or crippling depression. The pandemic might have been a stressful thing to go through, but if it opened your eyes to the reality of your relationship, consider that a gift, and keep looking forward to the next chapter of your life.