2/12/21 – Despite Dire Predictions, More Couples Find Stronger Relationships During Pandemic

Cleveland Clinic psychologist Dr. Susan Albers-Bowling. Photo courtesy of the Cleveland Clinic. 2/12/21

There were many predictions that quarantine was going to have a negative impact on relationships and lead to more break ups and divorces. But, a recent survey shows some couples feel it actually brought them closer together.

“For many couples, it has been a polarizing experience that if they were on the rocks or having a lot of tension already, the coronavirus experience really made them stop and think about what they want and what they value. And many decided to break up the relationship,” said Susan Albers, PsyD, a psychologist with Cleveland Clinic. “But for couples who have normal every day issues and conflict, this has brought them closer together.” According to Dr. Albers, not only were couples spending more time together at home and doing more activities together, but they were also doing a better job of dividing housework – and that’s helped increase their satisfaction.

She said couples, who are both home around the clock, should make sure they also have some alone time for themselves too. And be sure to show your appreciation. “In a review of over 43 different studies and 11,000 couples interviewed, the number one factor in keeping couples together, and close, is expressing appreciation of your significant other,” said Dr. Albers. “So today, make sure you tell them one thing you really appreciate about them. It can be small or something that is really significant to who they are.” If you find yourself having relationship troubles, Dr. Albers encourages reaching out to a couples counselor.