How has COVID19 changed relationships

The nation continues to navigate through all the COVID19 rules and guidance and everyone would agree this is a very strange and stressful time. With regular life paused, many are feeling the need to take a step back and analyse how changes can be made in our lives to improve our health and happiness. This might be changes in career, moving somewhere new or for some it might be a change to the status of what was a romantic, loving relationship.

Being in lockdown, slowly coming out and getting freedoms back, only to be faced with the prospect of going back into lockdown in winter is making many people question whether their relationships are going to stand the test or whether they need to call time now. For couples who are already living apart or couples who are living together, there can be some clear signs that the relationship has changed:

For couples living apart:

1. You’ve realised you don’t miss them and are in absolutely no rush to return to your significant other.
2. You’re questioning your compatibility given that lockdown has either forced you together at home or you have spent a considerable time staring at your partner on a screen, and realised that you have very little in common.
3. You’re finding it hard to connect with them.

For couples living together:

a) You’re far more easily irritated by them. Little things like leaving dirty dishes in the sink, socks on the bathroom floor and wet towels on the bed might not have bothered you so much  before COVID19 but now feel like a deal-breaker.
b) You’re wondering whether they’re really right for you and whether you do want to spend the rest of your life with them.
c) You’re fighting a lot more, whether the topic of the argument feels big or small.

How people view their relationships through the lens of lockdown likely depends on the shape the relationship was in before COVID19 but if you are that person who is considering whether or not this is the end, there are three important questions to ask first:

a) Are your feelings of discontent permanent? Or have recent events just gotten under your skin?
b) Can the relationship be saved? If there’s one thing I know, it’s that no relationship is perfect. Can your problems be fixed, or are they unfixable?
c) Is there a chance you’ll regret your decision? It’s normal to second-guess big decisions, but before you pull the trigger, make sure you’ve thought about question number two and are confident that splitting up is best for you.

If you still feel like a breakup could be inevitable, you do not have to go through it alone. At Barker Gotelee our family solicitors are on hand to guide you through a separation, work out how best to divide assets and take care of all the necessary paperwork to legally bring an end to the relationship. To arrange an initial consultation please call 01473 611 211 and ask for Victoria Brosnan or Danielle Ryder.

Amanda Erskine is a solicitor in the Family department at Barker Gotelee Solicitors in Ipswich.

Ipswich Divorce Solicitors – for more information on our range of legal services, please call the team on 01473 611211 or email