Spike in Divorce or Baby Boom

Posted on May 4, 2020


What will be the relationship impact of us all sheltering at home?  I read an article[1] that reported a spike in divorce filings in China that was attributed to couples spending too much time at home together due to COVID.  On a separate note, my wife had speculated a baby boom[2] this winter resulting from couples having more time at home together.

Perhaps those things are not mutually exclusive.  However, if I were choosing, I would hope for the latter rather than the former, particularly if that means that couples are enjoying more intimacy while sheltering at home.

It is true that added stressors can exacerbate existing relationship distress.  These are certainly stressful times for many.

It is also true that human beings are made for connection.  It is part of the human condition to need someone to whom you can turn for care, comfort, and support when you are distressed.  When marriage works well, this is one of the great benefits of marriage.  A healthy marriage helps up cope with the stressors of life.  A close marriage is the secure base from which we can conquer whatever life throws at us.

There are many things you can’t control in this situation.  But perhaps there are some relational things you can take charge of during this time.  First, which of the two options (relationship distress or improved intimacy) sounds better to you?  Assuming it is the latter, have you shared that thought with your partner?  Merely sharing the feeling that you want more intimacy in the relationship is intimacy.  It is allowing yourself to be known.

If you’re really stuck, get some help.  Therapy is much less expensive and stressful than divorce.

[1] https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8108385/Divorce-cases-spike-China-couples-spend-time-coronavirus-quarantine.html

[2] It seems to me that if couples are having more sex, it does not necessarily translate into conception given modern birth control.  But I could be wrong.