Community Psychiatry’s Moe Gelbart, Ph.D. was featured in Fatherly discussing marriage issues during COVID.
7 Issues That Doomed Marriages During COVID
Understanding what caused other relationships to crumble helps ensure yours is safe.
By Jeremy Brown | September 2, 2020 | Fatherly
A lot of stark truths have been revealed in the past six months since COVID emerged. Truths about what we believe, how we cope, how we work, and how we relate to each other. Marriages in particular have been put to the test as couples everywhere try to navigate parenting, working, and running a household while learning how to manage stressors and situations they’ve never had to before. Arguments are common. So are harsh realizations. But the situation isn’t going anywhere.
A Lack of Independence Led to a Relationship Feeling Stale
As important as contact and communication is between married couples, it is also important to have time for individual activities and friendships. Absence does make the heart grow fonder, after all. With the world being the way that it is under COVID-19, finding time for independence has proven difficult. Without that outlet for individual discovery and release, certain couples have found that their own relationships have begun to stagnate. “Relationships require each partner to have a certain degree of independence and unique experiences to bring to the relationship table,” says psychologist Dr. Moe Gelbart, Ph.D., Director of Practice Development for Community Psychiatry. “Being together most of the time can make the relationship feel stale, with nothing new to discover.” Scheduling alone time and discussing the means to make this happen can help drastically.
The Inability to Deal with Stress Fractured Partnerships
The pressure brought on by the pandemic is significant. And for couples who have not yet had to deal with a major crisis, it brought on considerable stress and created serious cracks and fissures in the foundation. The ability to find proper releases for stress while still being there for one another and your family is crucial for the livelihood of a marriage. So is teamwork. Many therapists said that the pivot required to maintain everything proved too difficult and marriages crumbled under the weight. “Issues related to serious illness, death/loss, job loss and economic hardships may have caused some couples who were not prepared to deal with this as a team to fall apart,” Gelbart says. Again, the approach here is to get on the same page and discuss your feelings but also to find means to handle stress in productive manners. Self-care is always important. But right now? It’s all the more so.
Adapting to New Roles and Routines Proved Too Difficult
The immediate change in family life — and the loss of so many places that provided families structure — forced many couples to spend a considerably larger amount of time with their kids. For some, this proved too much. “Having children home 24/7 without the ability to go to school has changed the work responsibilities at home, and for some couples has stretched and broken them as a result,” says Gelbart. Again, this comes down to an inability — or unwillingness — of one or both partners to bob and weave with the moment. Adapting to new rules can be exceptionally difficult for those not accustomed to them.
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