We have all probably noticed a less faces in our Zoom meet ups. And, after a few uncomfortable inquiries, we may have gotten the news that our married friends have slowly been decoupling over the past 11 months of this pandemic. This has been coined, the so called divorce tsunami, which has largely been fueled by the pandemic.
Smaller Zoom meet ups
According to industry surveys, requests for divorces are up by 25% to 35% this year. Online divorce document purveyors are also reporting upticks of over 30%. Some of this can be attributed to pandemic induced bad behavior, like pornography addictions, infidelity, abusive behavior, and the like. Though, some of the decoupling can simply be traced to constant contact highlight existing issues or even couple just getting sick of each other.
Reduced intimacy may be at the heart of the problem
As couples but heads and argue, their intimacy level falls, especially among couples that live together. The Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy found that 34% of the couples they surveyed (about 750 adults) were fighting more since the pandemic started.
Even if couples are not fighting more, 24/7 contact breads overfamiliarity, which can also result in reduced sexual desire. This is because, according to experts, sexual partners need at least some distance to differentiate themselves to effectuate sexual desire.
Experts recommend finding ways to balance intimacy and connectedness with independence and autonomy. Find ways to find physical distance, even within the same house, and do things apart. This can create that independence, which may lead to more intimacy and happier couples.
Find ways to reduce stress. This can be taking walks or hikes, both together and separately. Find a new hobby that one can do together and separately. Practice mindfulness, even if it is just spending 10 minutes a day alone in the car. This can significantly reduce stress.
Finally, reducing conflict can increase intimacy. Seek couples therapy immediately. This can generally be done relatively cheaply and is often covered by insurance. It can also be done remotely. Zoom is not just for keeping up with friends, family and work.
What if none of this works?
If nothing works for those in Kendall County, DeKalb County and the greater Chicago metro suburban area, divorce may be the only option. Remember, divorce is not failure, it is simply a way two people find their happiness.