Does Disaster Equal Divorce? COVID-19 Has all the Makings

Talk about social distancing. Based on past studies, marriages could become another casualty of the coronavirus pandemic.

Undue uncertainty is cause for even the most steady-nerved individuals to take pause. The coronavirus pandemic has certainly turned up stress levels beyond breaking points when it comes to not only matters of life and death, but also financial, familial and emotional ruin. 

Rocky marriages and relationships are turbulent enough in normal circumstances. Adding massive job layoffs, quarantines and “safer-at-home” executive orders to the mix is a recipe for disaster.

Similar to hurricanes we often experience here in Florida, there has been plenty of panic behavior in response to our current state. Chaos at grocery stores is just one example. Supplies are at a premium. A huge difference with COVID-19 is the prolonged panic — with no end in sight yet.

It’s been proven that disasters (natural and/or manmade) can either push people together and/or pull them apart in more ways than one. Multiple studies have delved into elevated rates of births and divorces in the wake of recessions, storms, terror attacks and more. COVID-19 is a totally different animal.

A recent article published by Psychology Today points out that: “Given that women are waiting longer to start their families and the families they start are smaller, it seems unlikely that this pandemic will increase the birth rate. We won’t have answers for a very long time, but patterns, opinions, and indicators before the pandemic suggest the birth rate will remain low and the divorce rate could rise.”

The reality is that the coronavirus is still running its course. Waiting it out at a suitable social distance is all we can do. We’re all in this together, whether we want to be or not.

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