Pandemic Problems and Promises Arise in Relationships

The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t just taken a toll on people’s health and financial wealth, but it has touched relationships, too, negatively, ESSENCE reports.

From quarantine-related arguments to underlying relationship issues brought to light by the pandemic, it’s easy to see why there was a “surge of breakups” in 2020, the magazine reported.

But today, good news breaks — things are looking up. Divorce attorneys noted in the magazine article that they have noticed a decrease in the ending of marriages this year, NY Times reported.

ESSENCE interviewed Tori Williams, a licensed mental health counselor at Humantold, and she shared what has been the inspiring force behind people wanting to stay together or end their relationship.

Williams said that the pandemic forced people to slow down and “be.”

“Some for better, some for worse. Most of us lived and thrived in our chaotic lives. The pandemic was its own type of chaos, and just like it only further highlighted some of what we already knew existed (in a social context), it did the same for all types of relationships. Slowing down meant becoming more aware, listening, and honestly reflecting on what’s working and what’s not. On top of the fact that the pandemic heightened our individual mental health struggles,” Williams said. “Depression, anxiety etc. is real and can be very ugly. We think we are ready for what some of that could look like, until it’s right in front of us. When we love people as only one version of themselves, it’s hard to see them as something else.”

She also said that the pandemic “put a lot of things into perspective.”

“Who would have thought that in this lifetime we would experience a whole pandemic, changing life as we know it?” Williams said.

She added that she saw people on all types of “apology tours” attempting to correct their wrongs because the pandemic reminded everyone “that we are all on borrowed time.”

“It showed us who and what mattered,” Williams said. “It’s true that an awareness of tragedy, in this case a lot of loss and death, calls relationships into the spotlight for healing and makes us confront our purpose and meaning within and outside of them. As much as some of us hate to admit it, we need/desire love and companionship. Physical isolation quite literally took lives during this pandemic. We’ve all lost enough as it is. I don’t think anyone truly desires to be alone so I believe that along with the realization that COVID does not discriminate in its impact, [it] gave us the strength and grace to hold on to our partners despite the petty stuff that may be going on.”

Read the full story here.

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