How has your relationship fared during lockdown? Have you found yourself rediscovering everything you loved about your partner? Or are you beginning to wonder why you were ever attracted to them in the first place? 

Covid-19 has had far reaching consequences across the board. Of course, we’ve seen the impact the virus has had on the UK economically, socially and physically. But it goes far deeper than that. At the end of March 2020, Two cities in southern China reported record numbers of divorce cases. And they weren’t alone. In the US, an online company providing a legal contract creation service, saw its sales of a basic divorce agreement up by 34%. It’s clear that so much love simply hasn’t survived lockdown.

But why? Here, we’re taking a closer look.

The trivial became significant

Couples annoy each other. It’s part and parcel of cohabitation no matter who you live with. The reason it’s not usually problematic is that in the main, you don’t spend every hour of every day together. 

Lockdown changed all of that. ‘Trivial’ annoyances that might previously have been overlooked (think putting plates in the dishwasher or leaving the washing on the stairs) have been magnified as couples have been forced to be together 24/7. 

In short, trivial issues have become anything but. Pent up frustrations, resentment and an obvious lack of regard for one another has caused a lot of damage. 

Existing problems were exposed

In relationships where problems were already bubbling under the surface, Coronavirus has created the perfect storm. For many couples, having separate routines and social groups has masked what lies beneath. 

Lockdown has made it impossible to sweep these problems under the carpet. There was simply nowhere for disconnected couples to hide. Separation has been the result. 

The gender gap 

Here’s an interesting statistic to come out of 2020; there’s been an increase in the number of women instigating divorce proceedings. Some commentators have suggested that lockdown exposed the fact that women continue to do a disproportionate amount of the household chores. This is despite both partners being at home. 

The rose tinted idea that you could work together and come out of lockdown stronger and more unified, hasn’t happened for a lot of people. 

Mental health issues

Covid-19 has done nothing to ease the anxiety levels of the nation. In recent years, anxiety has been dubbed the ‘modern epidemic’ by those both experiencing, and treating it. 

In the past year, many people have developed difficulties with their mental health, and those with pre-existing conditions have found them worsening. The strain this has put on relationships has caused many of them to crumble.   

As if all of the above wasn’t enough, financial strain, job insecurity and uncertainty for the future have also played a starring role in how the pandemic has affected our relationships.  For law firms, this isn’t a complete bolt from the blue. Solicitors often see a spike in divorce enquiries after times when families spend longer periods of time together. Christmas being a classic example.

Harrogate Family Law has always had a firm understanding of the reasons why some relationships don’t survive. Whether that’s because you’ve simply grown apart, or your spouse/partner is displaying behaviour that it’s no longer viable for you to accept. 

If you need expert advice about separation or divorce, contact us today.