Marriage During COVID-19: Myths & Misconceptions
The COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult for everyone but especially for married couples who had to radically change lifestyles and routines to which they'd become accustomed. This change was especially difficult if they had kids around all day long, as well.
As relationships strained, all kinds of stories filled the media: the divorce rate would skyrocket, there would be a baby boom in the new year, COVID-19 badly affects libido. Let's take a look to see what's real and what's not.
Myth: I can't get married during the pandemic.
Reality: Social distancing protocols brought many wedding plans to a screeching halt over this past year. But while it's true that you can't invite the entire town to your wedding, you can still get married. Most vendors are eager to keep your business, so reschedule the party for next year and instead have a private union with your partner-to-be.
Sure, it's not the same as you planned, but couples still have the opportunity to have a romantic union in a scenic location. Call your officiant and meet at a local park, a scenic waterfall or anywhere important to your relationship. You can get married at a safe distance, and your witness can live-stream your ceremony. Plus, you can have as many guests as you like for free.
Myth: COVID-19 causes divorce.
Reality: You may have noticed during the pandemic that some married couples have become closer while others have separated. Many people blame the pandemic for their marital problems, but the truth is that we're still not sure whether there has been an increase in divorce rates. One consequence is certain: The pandemic highlighted the problems that couples had long before lockdown.
While it's true that the pandemic is putting all of us in a demanding situation, this can be made more difficult or easier depending on the health of a marriage. This is especially true in domestic abuse situations, which have been on the rise during COVID-19. However, experts are finding that being at home caused spouses to examine their marriage honestly and confront their problems. This leads many couples to realize that their marriage was already troubled.
Myth: The pandemic has boosted sex in a marriage.
Reality: With so many couples home, the popular assumption is that sex will be on the rise, and many experts speculate that we could be welcoming lots of newborns in the coming months thanks to the pandemic. Unfortunately, the truth is there seems to be no change in overall sexual activity, or possibly less sex.
Many couples are facing financial insecurity, which can cause acute anxiety, leading to sleepless nights, panic attacks and low sex drive. Unfortunately, this means that even if people want to have sex, many of them might experience stress-induced sexual dysfunction.
Myth: I can't have 'alone time' during COVID-19.
Reality: For many people, pre-pandemic, alone time was built into their schedule. I had 30 minutes to and from work that I would use to reflect, process issues and just enjoy the quiet. That's gone now. But making alone time a priority is still important.
Now, I program alone time into my day, and this can only be achieved with communication. Talk with your partner and make a plan to have time alone each day, even if it means just going to separate rooms or wearing headphones.
Myth: COVID-19 will strengthen my marriage.
Reality: The truth is most marriages are exactly the same as they were pre-pandemic. If your marriage was struggling pre-pandemic, or you're worried it might not survive quarantine, you may need to find some help.
Unfortunately, marriage counseling is a little trickier now that it has to be done remotely. Thankfully, most counselors are embracing technology by offering phone or video sessions to help their clients.
If your marriage is rocky, you can come up with all sorts of reasons why, but really, these are just excuses. The pandemic is a difficult time for all of us, but the hard truth is your marriage will succeed or fail regardless of external forces. If you want your marriage to last, you and your partner need to make its success a priority, and that might mean getting help.