We all know the infection and death rate of Covid-19. The Center of Disease Control recently claimed that men do not take Covid as seriously as women and that they are less likely to follow safety measures. This is certainly true for Mr. & Mrs. Rust, who were interviewed by USA Today.
Patricia Rust, 68, is an advocate for mask-wearing and social distancing, to the point of being militant. Her husband, 71, frequently refuses to wear a mask and socializes in large groups. She had this to say regarding their difference of opinion:
"We just had a fight the other night where I said, 'That's it, we're going to get divorced. I need to stay safe and you refuse to allow me to be safe or feel safe in my own home. I have pleaded. I have cried. I have begged. I have yelled. And he refuses to listen to anything I say."
And it's not just mask wearing and social distancing that are causing strife within relationships. The BBC recently reported that being on lockdown with a spouse has exposed dirty secrets, like a cheating boyfriend; or elevated issues, such as division of labor within the household. This happened to Richard Cunha Schmidt (41) and Rafaela Carolina Ferreira Schmidt (31). They cited the lockdown as the reason for their divorce after 12 years of marriage.
"For the most part, it was 12 beautiful years together. But the pandemic spared nothing. It came to expose that in a 24-hour relationship with two children, and one home office…a lot of things were not matching anymore. There were those moments of anger and disagreement, of using the situation against each other. I felt that. The issues of wearing masks, coming back to the house, taking clothes off and taking a shower, I took it all very seriously. His view was different. I think it's funny now, but we were really furious at the time."
Richard had this to say:
"We started to fight about things. Futile, unimportant things. Lockdown was very strict, we couldn't leave the house, not even to get some air. And I think at first I didn't accept all this rigor."
It's not all bad though. A survey conducted by the UK charity Relate found that 8% of people said lockdown had made them realize they needed to end their relationship, BUT 43% said it brought them so much closer together. Dr Feuermana, psychotherapist in Florida, says:
"The pandemic has caused stress for everybody. There's a collective trauma. But couples that were strong beforehand are even stronger. They already knew how to use their relationship as a resource at a time of stress. The couples who have been worst affected are those where there were problems before this started."