As a family lawyer, much of my life is spent with people in the wrong relationship. Every relationship is different, but there are common themes. Sometimes people meet at the wrong time, sometimes they don’t grow with each other, a lot of times people don’t talk enough beforehand, or set aside things they need in an effort to reach that marriage milestone, only to realize that nope, it turns out that thing was a have-to-have not a nice-to-have. And sometimes the relationship has simply run its course.
The pandemic has amplified these issues and has therefore been the straw for so many relationship backs. In fact, the mental and physical toll that COVID-19 has had on personal relationships is striking to watch up close.
My relationship has arguably thrived during COVID-19. As of today, I’ve been with A. for 15 years. We have had brilliant patches and rough patches and everything in between. But lockdowns and stay-at-home orders have added a new layer. Because we are basically each other’s only company most evenings. Which if you didn’t like a person, would be…awful. For us, it has meant long, late night conversations reminiscent of our early dating years. It’s meant picking up new hobbies, like A’s renewed love of cooking or my poor guitar playing. We have new habits, like sitting out front with coffee on the weekends or before work, or meeting for a cinq a sept at the end of the day. We are more involved in each other’s work life because we are now makeshift work colleagues in two different offices with the same roof. There’s time to debrief at lunch, or a short break while the kids are in school, which means we aren’t cramming the debrief into dinner. Basically, there is just more time to be married and not simply married+kids+work+house+ahhhhh.
Everything isn’t perfect; trying to schedule our days can be frustrating with two full-time and demanding jobs and kids in online learning. It’s a lot of “I’ll make the snack, you make the lunch, but maybe give them a screen at 4:00pm since we both have calls”. And obviously we both miss friends and family. But there is no one I would rather be dealing with this pandemic with more than A. He’s just the absolute best.