Huntsville marriage counselor says pandemic can put a strain on relationships

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Recent stay at home orders have forced families to spend more time together.
For some couples, all that time together gets old.

“Without those breaks from one another, you have, for the first time, a lot of couples that have spent more time together during that COVID period than they ever have before,” said Cornerstone Counseling Center owner Dr. Stacy Ikard.

Therapists said couples having to stay at home during the pandemic are either strengthening their marriages or experiencing an increase in conflicts. Ikard said she believes some couples will eventually experience permanent separation because of the emotional and financial stress they may be experiencing.

“We’re likely to see more periods of divorce following COVID because couples have decided that their relationship will not be able to be sustained,” she said.

But Ikard said there are things you can do to add a little space between you and your partner like joining an online book club or taking up a new hobby you can do separately.

Ikard said ‘me time’ is valuable, but when that’s not enough, she recommends couples seek some sort of counseling to work through the emotional stress.

“I think it’s important for couples to talk about role divisions in the household so everyone feels like they’re pulling their weight,” Ikard said.

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