The Huge Cost of the Pandemic on Love and Marriage

couple holding hands Myrtle beach sunrise by David N Cooper is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Today is Valentine’s Day and it would be nice to say “Happy Valentine’s Day” and really mean it.

But the truth is that America today is a hard place to be in love.

In addition to over 480,000 dead from COVID and illnesses worsened by COVID, people are suffering romantically. The economic consequences of the pandemic combined with tense situations and time with loved ones in very close quarters that brought out various problems.

For some it has been a blessing to get more time together to know each other, but for others it’s been a tough time because outside activities have been severely limited so there’s more risk of getting on each other’s nerves.

“For couples who had a tendency to use their business to avoid problems, the pandemic has made things infinitely worse. The lockdown has raised the emotional temperature a few notches,” said psychologist Gregory Popcak. “Things that were provocative before are now catastrophic.”

Bride Goku by Sean Molin Photography is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Is Divorce Going Up?

The short answer is no: divorce isn’t going up, but neither is marriage. Instead what’s been happening is people are doing nothing at all.

“This caution is making them less likely to get divorced, less likely to get married, less likely to have a child,” explained Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia.

Although the full statistics aren’t out yet, it looks like divorces are going down slightly and so are new marriages. One reason that’s also worth keeping in mind is that a lot of the courts that handle divorces have been much more shut down due to the COVID outbreak.

In addition, divorce can be expensive and increase financial instability and the pandemic has caused many unhappy couples to avoid calling it quits because of the financial consequences.

A divorce that makes you go broke during a time when it’s harder and harder to earn money or a marriage over Zoom are both options that are less and less attractive to people during the pandemic. It’s a lonely time, and for couples who are stepping on each other’s toes it can also be a time when all they wish is for some time alone.

Bad Discoveries

Another thing the pandemic has increased is people finding out about a partner who’s been cheating. More time together and less opportunity for excuses to duck out for awhile to pursue an affair as well as time together on your phones gives lot of opportunity for a husband and wife or boyfriend and girlfriend to take even more curiosity about who their partner is texting.

And they don’t always like what they find out, to say the least.

Pros and Cons

There’s an advantage and a disadvantage to this situation during the pandemic. The upside is that couples who were having hidden issues may have more chance to expose them to the sunlight of truth now during this intense time. Another upside is that couples who aren’t ready to marry yet will have the chance to romance each other more and get to know each other well before tying the knot, which could lead to a happier life together in the long run.

The downside is that other issues which might not have become a big deal in a relationship have more chance to become a big deal during these tense times. Another downside is that couples who are ready to get married and want to celebrate in front of friends and family may feel very discouraged and let down by the fact that they can’t move ahead with a proper wedding and celebration, which is really unfortunate.

Nonetheless, let’s not give up on love just yet folks. Happy Valentine’s Day!