Today, the coronavirus pandemic affects almost all spheres of human life in different parts of the world. When it comes to marriage, this challenge, like a confrontation with a common enemy, will unite some couples, while diverging the paths of others forever.
One of the largest American online divorce companies OnlineDivorce.com, has already recorded an increased number of people who want to file for divorce. Some had already been planning a divorce for a while, and quarantine freed up the time to finally draft the necessary paperwork. Others were unable to pass the test of isolation and are now looking to get out of their marriages as quickly as possible by preparing all documents without leaving home.
Until the Coronavirus tears us apart
China was the first to encounter both the spread of COVID-19 and strict quarantine. They were also the first to experience the consequences of self-isolation, including a large number of divorces when the epidemic was stopped and restrictions were eased. In mid-March, the Global Times wrote that marriage registration offices in Xi’an, the capital of Shaanxi Province, received a record number of divorce applications.
“Because of the epidemic, some couples had to spend more than a month alone with each other, which provoked hidden conflicts,” one local official explained. He added that the schedule of some registry offices is full for several weeks in advance. However, a rise in divorces may also be because some couples had long planned to dissolve the marriage but had not managed to do this before the quarantine was announced. They had to wait more than a month because the local registry offices were closed due to the quarantine.
According to Bloomberg, in the city of Milo in Hunan Province in southeastern China, workers “have not even had time to drink a glass of water because they had been receiving and processing a record number of applications.”
A Shanghai divorce lawyer told the agency that since mid-March, when quarantine measures were eased in the city, the number of his clients has increased by 25%. “The more time they spent together, the more they hated each other,” the expert explained, According to another Chinese lawyer, all ten couples who turned to him for help are under the age of 35. Half of them called “the quarantine, which exacerbated their contradictions” the cause for divorce.
One of the best divorce solicitors in Britain, Baroness Fiona Shackleton, who once represented the interests of Prince Charles, Paul McCartney, and Madonna, also believes that after the pandemic, the number of broken families will increase. “Typically, the peak of divorces falls in the fall after the summer holidays and after the Christmas holidays. You can only imagine what it’s like for families to be isolated for such a long time,” she added.
Today’s cost of cheating
However, self-isolation is not the only issue associated with the coronavirus affecting the strength of the marriage. The most common cause of divorce – adultery – has also had far more tragic consequences than usual.
A 39-year-old resident of England became infected with COVID-19 after spending a vacation in Italy with his mistress. His wife did not know that he was leaving the country, believing that he was on a business trip within the UK. The cheater managed to return in the last days before the airspace closures and hid the fact that he had been in the country with record mortality from coronavirus.
Having discovered the symptoms of the virus, the man turned to the doctors and, after a positive test for COVID-19, admitted that he was in Italy and most likely could have become infected there. However, he did not reveal the name of his mistress, even though she (like many of her friends and relatives with whom she had contact) could also be infected with the deadly virus. At the time of his return, the patient’s wife had already self-isolated in a family house in the north of England.
The man thought that his alibi was perfect, and now he is more worried about his adultery being discovered, as well as the possibility of divorce and the division of his valuable property than he is with his state of health. However, it is worth remembering that in the case of coronavirus, it is not only about the health of one person, but also about all those who could be infected over the rather long incubation period. This situation seems like a dark comedy, but today many people have to remember the true price of lies.
They say that every cloud has a silver lining. Although a lot of people across the world had to abort or postpone their weddings due to the pandemic, some couples did not cancel before the difficulties and ended up facing their new circumstances with a positive attitude and creativity. Thanks to digital technologies, they were able to register their marriage online without hesitation and share their happiness with their closest loved ones by arranging a real wedding online via Zoom and other live-stream services.