These are certainly interesting times in which we are living! I am basically a homebody, but the current restrictions are challenging even for me. For some, the personal toll has been excruciating. My heart goes out to those who are infected, and especially to those who have lost loved ones to the virus. The financial costs of the pandemic (from which none of us are immune) have also been significant for many, with no end yet in sight. Lots of parents have had both the blessing and the challenge of being with their children 24/7. Who knew we would all be homeschooling?
Another unexpected consequence of so much time together has been its effect on relationships. Many of us have learned things we did not know about ourselves and about our partners. For some, this has been a time to deepen relationships. For others, the cracks have widened. Extended periods of time together have forced some to acknowledge relational problems they have been denying or avoiding.
Stress of all types abounds right now, from health concerns to financial worries to individuals and families suffering from cabin fever. To help people handle this stress appropriately, many counselors and therapists are working from their homes, seeing clients via video conferencing. While not an ideal situation, it is at least one way to constructively deal with the magnitude of present stresses.
Many lawyers and mediators are also working from their homes, using video conferencing to assist clients. If you are feeling the strains of our current situation on your relationship, I urge you to seek help. I am available for divorce mediation, Collaborative representation, and marital mediation (all of which are much less expensive, formal, cumbersome, and stressful than litigation). The sessions can be for individuals or couples. If you’re experiencing issues in your marriage but want to work through them together and stay married, some sessions in marital mediation will be very beneficial. If you have decided that it is time to end the relationship, I can provide you with information or help you start the process now, even while the country is still locked down.
Keep in mind that except for emergencies, the courts have been closed during the shutdown. Under normal conditions, a backlog of cases exists; that will exponentially be the case once this crisis has passed. Even if a divorcing couple is able to come to an agreement right now, they will have to wait to get it finalized in court. Once the courts reopen, they will likely develop a strategy to deal with the backlog of both contested and uncontested cases as quickly as possible, but it will take some time.
Relational stresses are difficult enough under normal conditions, but can feel downright overwhelming and all-encompassing in times like we are experiencing. Feeling “trapped” under the same roof with someone with whom you are having personal issues can create a feeling of claustrophobia. Do not feel like there is no hope, or that you have to wait until the country returns to normal to get help. Please reach out. The best way to make initial contact with me is via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.