The pandemic’s quarantine has been incredible for many marriages. These couples who may have had busy schedules that included work, kids and social activities have been able to slow down and reinvest in the union. Now it is about playing board games, watching movies and cooking together. And there no long commutes if both work out of the house.
Unfortunately, others have found that all that together time is highlighting trouble spots in the marriage. Without the time to work and pursue their outside interests, one or both spouses realize that the marriage is not a healthy or fulfilling one. This can then lead to divorce and new relationships, but not necessarily in that order. This is born out in countless stories in the media and a large surge in membership to dating sites like Ashley Madison, which specializes in married people.
Infidelity amid the pandemic
Some spouses were happily married before the coronavirus hit, but they still had extramarital affairs. Others have looked elsewhere for comfort because of the pandemic. In either case, some read flags could mean a wandering eye:
- New interest in exercise: Going for a run or bike ride can reflect the need to stay active, but those going for a couple of hours or more may have something else on their mind.
- Jealously guarding their device: Those who don’t leave their phone anywhere unattended may be trying to hide something.
- Constant contact: Some people keep running conversation with friends via text or phone but going somewhere to do it privately could be cause for concern.
- Time in the car: It can be either having “business calls” while sitting in the car or running errands for what seems like a long time.
- Digital affairs: There is a well-documented increase in the number of virtual affairs happening online, either involving sexting or even Zoom.
What comes next?
While some may wish to wait until after the pandemic is over to split up, health and safety concerns are likely if a husband or wife spends time with someone outside the house. In normal times, the realization of a spouse having an affair often puts too much stress on the family.
If these are issues, it may be better to gather information to confirm suspicions. Then confront them about their reckless and hurtful behavior. Now is also a good time to copy financial information likely getting collected for filing income taxes. The spouse may also want to consult with an attorney to begin the process. Law firms work remotely using video conferencing, phone and email to handle much of the work for divorces.