The Pandemic’s Impact
Without a doubt, every life on the globe has been irrevocably changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. In March 2020, most of us went from never having heard of a “coronavirus” to our lives being nearly totally controlled by one. In the United States, 2020 also saw an increase in political polarization, often putting families and friends at odds. Honestly, what didn’t happen in 2020? We witnessed a stock market crash, Black Lives Matter protests following the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others, wildfires all over the west coast… it was truly a wild year.
In the midst of all of this were… you and your spouse.
When the pandemic hit, you were suddenly both working from home, or perhaps one of your jobs became far riskier. Either way, stress was through the roof and the future was unclear. The baby on the way became a “pandemic baby” and you found yourself worrying how they would meet their grandparents, or whether you and your spouse would be able to be together in labor and delivery. Household rules had to be re-negotiated, all the way from whose job it was to fold towels to when the kids were allowed to see their friends (and whether or not it was allowed to be in-person). Maybe you got sick. Maybe you lost a loved one.
In short, life became chaotic very quickly.
Even amidst the chaos, there have been some positives to emerge from the pandemic. Many couples report feeling closer now with their spouse than ever before, and have been grateful for the extra time at home together. Some couples report feeling safer with their partner, and have appreciated having someone to navigate the pandemic with. The increased family time was welcome by these couples. While the world felt like it was turning upside down and all the rules were changing, some couples clung to one another and learned to lean on each other even as everything else felt that it was going wrong.
Some marriages have suffered.
Perhaps, however, this isn’t your story. Perhaps things in your relationship were tense before the pandemic, and throughout it, things got even harder. Tragedy after tragedy piled up in 2020, and 2021 brought no relief. For some, the last two years have been a non-stop barrage of difficulty, and these stressful circumstances have only made marriage harder than it already was. You have never felt more infuriated by your spouse, less understood by them, or less valued by them. Did you really marry this person? Perhaps you and your spouse are ships passing in the night, or even in a standoff, waiting for the other to make the first move.
If this sounds like you, you aren’t alone. Many couples have struggled through the pandemic, and there is hope; help is available. Though you both feel beat up by the circumstances of the last few years, there may still be time to gain compassion, understanding, and belonging, despite the ongoing pandemic. You and your spouse have made it this far struggling alone, and maybe it is time to reach out.
Help is available.
Couples therapy is an option for couples who are feeling burnt out, tired, and ready to try something new. In couples therapy, you and your spouse will have the opportunity to explore what the problem has been, and what alternatives exist for you. You’ll be able to explore the feelings surrounding your marital problems in a safe, supportive environment, and you’ll experience new ways of relating to one another.
2022 could be your marriage’s year to hit the “refresh” button. Couples therapy at Circle of Care is affordable, accessible, and here when you are ready.
 Pietromonaco, P. R., & Overall, N. C. (2022). Implications of social isolation, separation, and loss during the COVID-19 pandemic for couples’ relationships. Current opinion in psychology, 43, 189-194.
 Holmberg, D., Bell, K. M., & Cadman, K. (2022). Now for the Good News: Self-Perceived Positive Effects of the First Pandemic Wave on Romantic Relationships Outweigh the Negative. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 39(1), 34-55.
 Pieh, C., O´ Rourke, T., Budimir, S., & Probst, T. (2020). Relationship quality and mental health during COVID-19 lockdown. PLoS One, 15(9), e0238906.
 Slavich, G. M., Roos, L. G., & Zaki, J. (2021). Social belonging, compassion, and kindness: Key ingredients for fostering resilience, recovery, and growth from the COVID-19 pandemic. Anxiety, Stress, & Coping, 1-8.