The novel coronavirus – COVID-19 pandemic is impacting everyone, some more harshly than others. But for marriages and families, it means making huge changes in daily routines due to financial hardships and confinement measure put to mitigate the spread of the pandemic further. By now, you might have seen how loud your partner has become? That parenting is not one of his or her core strengths? If so, you might have spent most of your time together at home without going to work or running errand as you used to.
Coronavirus – COVID-19 has ushered a new normal to the world and more particularly to marriages and families. With the new normal, various families have been affected in different ways which have in turn elicited various reactions. But in what ways has the pandemic affected marriages?
What are the Effects of COVID-19 on Marriages?
- Couple Finding New Ways Living Together
The coronavirus pandemic is obliging us to spend the majority of our time staying in the same surrounding with our partners. Keep in mind that before the pandemic families had a different way of living, today, families have invented new ways of living, working and parenting and getting along with each other. The good news is that, now, families have plenty of opportunities and time together to iron out those issues that have for years been avoid with the excuse of lack of time. The bad news is that couples are more or less have to hash out those issues that they have been avoiding.
The first case of coronavirus was detected in late 2019 in Wuhan, China. Since then, anxiety levels have risen and couples have taken some of the anxiety out on each other. For those marriages and relationships that are perhaps unsteady, experiencing some tension and uncomfortable and don’t have ways of dealing with anxiety and stress at this COVID-19 era, they are bound to hit the rock bottom.
- Increase in Divorce Cases
The rapid spread of coronavirus across the world prompted governments to lockdown countries. China was the first country to shut down in the capital of Shaanxi Province with tens of millions of people under lockdown. Once the lockdown was lifted the city’s divorce cases spiked. In length period under lockdown, many couples who were quarantined at home evoked underlying conflicts which had to end in divorce once the lockdown eased.
As the pandemic continues to spread across the world and governments imposing lockdown and precaution measure to slow the spread, families are likely to stay at home. Disputes in families are bound to rise as members will be arguing more than before because one person does not take precaution like the way others want them to. For instance, if one doesn’t wash their hands long enough or the other has gone out with complete disregard of rules set to stay coronavirus free.
Therefore, a quarantine experience, especially where there are underlying issues of poor communication and resentment, can be overwhelming to marital relationships. With the endurance of the forced togetherness, seeking a divorce after the government eases restrictions and opening up is inevitable.
- Early Marriages
According to International children’s charity, World Vision, coronavirus COVID-19 could put an estimated 4 million girls at risk of early and forced marriage. When the world is experiencing a pandemic like COVID-19, the rate of child marriage soars. The coronavirus pandemic has cut out families’ livelihood leading to financial tension which pushes the households over the edge. And with the deepening poverty caused by loss of livelihoods is likely to lead families to marry off their daughters early.
The coronavirus pandemic is also hindering girls’ access to reproductive health services which could lead to a rise in teenage pregnancies as well as increase pressure to marry early.
Schools protect girls, and when they are closed as they are in the coronavirus era, the risks of early marriage becomes heightened. It is most likely that even in post-coronavirus, many girls will not go back to school due to forced and early marriages.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is here with us, and so much is going on. The situation is changing quite fast that not even a partner is noticing everything that the other needs or desires. As such, it has dealt a heavy blow to marriages and families across the world. Since the pandemic is not yet under control in most countries, its effect on marriages is yet to be realized in full.