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The Toll COVID-19 Has Had On Marriages and Relationships

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COVID-19 was difficult for couples around the world to suddenly be locked up with each other for months with nowhere to go. It meant that some couples would see so many fights that they would end up breaking up eventually or getting a divorce.


Last year many couples not only went for divorce but also went for help with their marriage too. Breakups for couples who weren’t married yet were also common. The rate of Canadian couples breaking-up last year increased dramatically, with an estimated 5 million calling it quits.

Millions of couples are estimated to have broken up because of COVID-19 last year and the stress that it brought with it.

However, some studies suggest that during the lockdown divorces and marriages decreased, but this could be because of the difficulty filing during the lockdown.

After it was lifted they saw an increase for divorces in places like China. As the lockdown rules have been easing, we have been seeing more divorce filings increase already.

While there are millions of couples around the world who might have had too much time together and decided it is time to call it quits, for others the lockdown together helped them thrive and connect even more. It certainly wasn’t a death sentence for every relationship, even if couples were spending an extremely high amount of unexpected time together in close quarters.

As far as why divorce rates have spiked, various theories are proposed.

For some it might just be as simple as differences becoming magnified during that time and with so much time stuck at home together, it couldn’t be avoided. Money is also one of the most common causes of marriage issues and arguments and COVID-19 certainly brought a lot of financial strain for millions.

Around Canada last year we saw that marriage licenses and registrations plummeted as they did in other areas because of the pandemic.

Many couples had to either cancel their weddings or re-arrange to do something much smaller if it were possible. This fueled a new trend of ‘micro-weddings’ where people opted for smaller ceremony solutions to the new COVID-19 problem they were facing which restricted gatherings and more.

Photo by Katerina Holmes on Pexels.com

Aside from actually filing for divorce there have also been more couples just searching for advice online about separating and dissolving their relationships as well. Some might have sought advice about separation but never decided yet that it was for them. For many couples the reality is that the pandemic played a significantly role in ending their relationship.

In British Columbia one recent study suggests that breakups are the third highest in the country here, with Nova Scotia and Quebec ahead. For those who are between 35-44 about 21 percent were found to have reported that they believed COVID-19 hurt their relationship.

Growing Stronger Together During Hard Times

Not everyone had a negative time going through the pandemic though and it didn’t mean losing any loved ones to divorce. For some it meant growing stronger and closer together last year. There were some who thrived with that new time together and a chance to strengthen that bond and grow closer.

One poll from Monmouth University found that about half of couples in the U.S. might say they have come out of the pandemic with a stronger relationship now. Many today have reported feeling satisfied with their relationship even after that extended period of time together last year. Some couples might have found that the pandemic altogether had little to no effect on their relationship.

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