5 Things To Consider If Quarantine Made You Hate Your Spouse & Want To Divorce

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5 Things To Consider If Quarantine Made You Hate Your Spouse & Want To Divorce
Love

Is it the marriage that you want to end or the quarantine?

It’s been months of living with immense changes in your life brought on by COVID-19. Many are showing signs of mental and physical restlessness, understandably.

While quarantine was intended to help individuals literally survive, some marriages and relationships may not.

RELATED: Should I Separate From My Spouse? How To Know When To Call It Quits

So, what do you do when you hate your spouse and are contemplating getting a divorce?

If you feel pushed to the brink of divorce because of quarantine, here are 5 things to consider before calling your attorney.

1. What was the prevailing emotion in the marriage before quarantine?

The confinement of quarantine is the perfect condition to draw closer or turn away from one another.

If there was negative emotion in the relationship before quarantine, it may have softened in the rediscovering of mutual interests, spending quality time together, and relying on each other through these uncertain and difficult times.

If there was significant unresolved anger, bitterness, or even indifference, then hate — an intense dislike for your spouse — could emerge with the stresses of the pandemic and civic unrest. And if you find you are on opposite ends of the political debates, then look out.

The question is, were you thinking about divorce before quarantine?

2. How does working from home conflict with expectations of being at home?

Everyone is home, the internet bandwidth is stretched, he talks too loud, she laughs too much, it’s his turn to make lunch for the kids, it’s her turn to walk the dog, and the list goes on and on.

Before quarantine, everyone experienced more independence in their daily lives. Now, everyone is under a microscope.

“So, this is what you do all day?” Somehow, your expectations of your spouse do not match the reality of what you witness. And as you judge it, dislike pops up like an internal Emoji reaction.

Whatever the daily routines were before the crisis may have to be revisited before unmet expectations become bitter resentments.

3. How has being stuck together created a lack of intimacy?

In the beginning, many may have found the extra time together to be welcomed — hanging out, playing games, Netflix binging, trying new things, and vacationing at home.

After a period of time, however, the confinement has likely taken a toll.

Annoying habits are magnified, the division of the domestic chores may now seem imbalanced, the differences in parenting styles are now highlighted as a point of contention, while spending preferences and financial planning — or lack thereof — may have you pulling your hair out.

RELATED: I'm Happily Married, But Divorce Is Always On My Mind

No one is getting dressed to take the trash out — if the trash is even being taken out. Perhaps you feel your spouse has quit taking care of themselves or stopped trying to attract and please you.

How was pre-pandemic intimacy different in the marriage?

4. How have you changed during quarantine?

Many are feeling dissatisfied with life right now, and we look to attach that dissatisfaction somewhere. Could it be this is more about you than your spouse?

When you consider the situation that quarantine has put you and your spouse in, is it the situation you hate or your spouse? Is it the marriage you want to end, or quarantine?

Take some time to reflect and write a list about what has changed in your life. What and who are you missing? Where did you spend your time, who did you spend it with, and what did you spend it doing?

For example, are you missing the routine and social interaction of attending live group fitness at your gym? Was a monthly book club your mommy escape? Was Monday night football your stress-busting boys' night out?

These are just examples, but everyone has an outlet beyond marriage, and everyone has lost or given up something. Make your list. Is your hate or resentment misplaced?

5. Feelings come and go, but decisions can last a lifetime.

Hate is a feeling that can cause an emotionally-charged reaction. Reactions are impulsive and only recommended when in danger, like quickly removing your hand from a hot stove, or slamming on the brakes to avoid hitting the car ahead.

Responses, on the other hand, require pausing, letting go of ego and attachments to emotions before making decisions. Responses always make for healthier relationships.

Divorce is one of the most pivotal decisions anyone can make due to the lifelong impact on themselves and others. It warrants thoughtful, logical, and rational consideration.

When made from anger, the stress of the process of divorce — the business of division of assets, custody arrangements, etc., not to mention the unsolicited opinions of friends and family weigh in, creating a further burden.

Those who make this decision from a place of anger tend to stay angry. They make more decisions during the divorce process from this negative standpoint, creating ongoing and unnecessary conflict.

Ultimately, divorce doesn’t always solve problems of emotion in a relationship, but instead creates new ones.

If you didn’t hate your spouse before quarantine, then pause and recognize that you do not hate them now. Perhaps you hate the environment, the situation, and the circumstances that you are in with your spouse.

When feeling confined, it is a natural human reaction to desire to break out. All roads lead somewhere, and divorce is not necessarily the escape you are seeking.

Recognize all the changes beyond your and your partner's control, get a better understanding of your emotions to gain clarity on what’s really going on, seek support and guidance, and begin charting a new course with your spouse.

Your marriage does not have to be another casualty of this virus.

RELATED: 10 Surprising Marriage Tips, From A Divorce Lawyer Who's Seen It All

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Ann Papayoti, CPC, is a life coach and personal development professional helping people help themselves through losses and transitions as a relationship expert. For more information on how she can help you, visit her website.

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