As I write this, the United States is entering the second wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic, continuing to battle systemic racism and police shootings of Black people, like Walter Wallace & still others, while many Americans are still losing their jobs or experiencing economic hardships. And, the much-anticipated Presidential Election has come and gone, with the winner known, but not acknowledged by the loser. If you are like me, as you examine this current landscape, you have difficulty finding something positive and upbeat. This scarcity of good news has indeed crept its way into our marriages over the last several months. Many, if not all, unions feel the effects of direct or indirect prolonged stress on their relationships, in some form or another.
One thing that I have learned about married life during the Pandemic is this: The virus does not create problems in a marriage; it just reveals the issues that already exist. Another thing that the Coronavirus has taught me about my marriage is: While COVID does not create marital problems, it can magnify them. This is a deadly double! Tracy and I are not alone in these “lockdown discoveries” about our marriage. The ripple effects of COVID-19 on marriages are just beginning to be studied, and the early returns are encouraging. In an article from the Deseret News, entitled, “Is this the end of ‘soulmate’ marriages? COVID-19 may change relationships forever”, University of Virginia sociology professor and director of the National Marriage Project, W. Bradford Wilcox, believes that the pandemic will actually make many marriages better, regardless of the stress placed on them by the virus, and possibly decrease the current 50% divorce rate. “The silver lining coming out of this, at least for marriage, is that marriage will emerge stronger, more stable, and more likely to be a secure harbor for our children,” Wilcox said.
Aha! Finally, some good news coming out of this horrible disease! If Wilcox’s assertion is true, married couples can look forward to having a healthier marriage post-Pandemic. However, between now and then, the question each couple must answer is: “How do we hold our marriage together as we try to make it from one unpredictable day to the next?”
One simple but profoundly meaningful way to keep your marriage intact during these turbulent times is to find the ways that the Pandemic…wait for it…has been a blessing to your marriage. I can’t believe I just said that, but it’s true. If marriages are better after COVID, they must be improving right now, as we are going through the ups and downs of lockdowns, masks, Zoom meetings, and no social activities. Here are a few marriage blessings from the Pandemic:
NO MORE ARGUMENTS ABOUT WHERE WE’RE GOING OUT FOR DINNER…BECAUSE WE’RE NOT!
THE HONEY-DO LIST IS COMPLETED!
WHICH IN-LAWS WILL WE SPEND THE HOLIDAYS WITH THIS YEAR…NEITHER!
MY NON-COOKING SPOUSE HAS MASTERED THE ART OF AIR FRYING!
NOW YOU FINALLY HAVE A DATE NIGHT…THE HOME GYM!
NO FUSSING ABOUT MY SPOUSE ALWAYS MAKING US LATE, BECAUSE WE DON’T HAVE ANYWHERE TO GO TO BE ON TIME!