How lockdown and the pandemic has affected relationships

Collaborative Post¦ It’s odd to think that this time last year, we were just starting to realise that the Coronavirus pandemic wasn’t going to be over quickly. With many of us furloughed or working from home, we had been under the same roof as our partners for far longer than we had ever been before. I certainly never thought I’d spend such a huge amount of time with my husband until we were pensioners! Of course, this has gone on for far longer now and has affected people’s relationships in many ways. For some, it has strengthened bonds, while others have been tearing their hair out and even filed for divorce. Others have managed to find love in the Covid-19 pandemic, despite the odds being against them.

With vaccinations being rolled out across the UK and Covid test kits being readily available, hopefully things are on the way up. However, this will be a time we always remember. Everyone’s pandemic story is unique, as is how it has affected their relationships. Let’s take a look at some other bloggers’ experiences.

Resentment and Appreciation

The pandemic affected my relationship with my husband in really varied ways. I resented him for the fact that I took on the home learning whilst trying to work (my role is more flexible and less tied to a desk than his) whilst he got to shut himself in our spare room all day to do his job. I felt like he didn’t appreciate how hard and isolating it all was. It really negatively affected us because that resentment led to frustration and we had nowhere to vent it to except at one another.

On the complete flip side, spending a year almost entirely together with our kids made me appreciate what a great dad he is and other things I’d taken for granted. It made me feel like our family was a proper little safe haven against the world! Coming out of it, I still have those mixed feelings – I’m still resentful at times that I had to do all the juggling with little appreciation but I’m also aware that that enforced time together has made our relationship stronger… highs and lows I think!

Hayley at Devon Mama

Change of Routine

Lockdown hasn’t been the best thing for my marriage. My husband now works from home, something he didn’t do before and even now a year later, I’m still not used to him being around so much. Before, I had a routine for most things and a certain way of doing things and him being at home messes that up.
We’ve argued a lot more, we’ve had times where we haven’t spoken to each other for days and sometimes we just don’t want to be near each other. I don’t think we were made to spend so much time with the same few people, and lockdown has meant a lack of social interactions that we would otherwise have.
Although lockdown has ended, he is still working from home and we still have the same issues as before. At least now I can escape and go for a walk with a friend and have a good moan… and maybe a McDonald’s!

Protectiveness and Understanding

My husband and I were fortunate that we were used to spending a lot of time together as we ran a business together for the first 10 years of marriage. Lockdown was a entirely different experience though. We saw each other in an entirely different light.

I can suffer from anxiety, and the constant bombardment of stressful news would trigger me from the start. I noticed that he took on the role of making sure he knew the up to date news on the pandemic and restrictions etc, as well as doing all the shopping and anything that I may have found difficult. He took on a real protector role and I absolutely loved that. Plus, he was so understanding about how things affected me, and his calmness really helped me through.

On the flip side he saw much more of what I do and I think it surprised him. We are a home schooling family, so that part of our lives didn’t change, but he got to see just how much goes into schooling two children, as well as working ( from home, I am a VA) and running the home. He definitely appreciates what I do much more now.

Vikki at Best Lodges With Hot Tubs 

Less Stress

Lockdown hasn’t really affected us much because my son was mostly at home while my husband is an essential worker and so he was never furloughed or had to work from home. We also never really managed to go anywhere during the weekends because we were surviving on one income. So, we were used to just being sort of “stuck” together.
If anything, the pandemic actually brought a few good surprises because I was able to get a full-time job that went remote in the first place because of the lockdown.
With two salaries, we were able to breathe easier and sort out our money issues. So, our relationship is actually better now. The tension that comes from worrying about money has gone and we no longer live paycheck to paycheck. So, in a very indirect way, it’s been amazing for our relationship.

Not Missing Out

Lockdown has meant we have spent more time than ever with one another. Whilst there are times that we have both been in need of a bit of time alone, it has been good to have a little family bubble for a while. My husband would have missed lots of our baby boy’s ‘first times” had he been in the office and I’ve really appreciated the help when I’ve needed ten minutes to have a shower or make a phone call for example.

More Quality Time

It was really really lovely for us. We’ve never actually had huge amounts of time together. He was a chef, and when we met I already had a child. He was furloughed for four months, and just all being together at home was really nice. We made the effort to have home date nights and go for long walks.
Donna at Donna Dundas

Less Quality Time

For us, even though we have been together so much more, it feels like we’ve not had time for our relationship at all. We have been at home a lot more with the children or trying to juggle work and kids. Things have seemed so much more exhausting with routines like bed times out the window, meaning we don’t get quality relationship time together. No dates, no early nights for the kids, no actual quality time together that hasn’t been tainted by the stress of what has been going on or conversations consumed by current events. Hopefully things will be brighter soon as we come out of social restrictions and we have more things to talk about other than work and coronavirus, as well as some actual date time together and fun plans!

Victoria at Healthy Vix

Fast-tracking a New Relationship

I began a new relationship just before the pandemic got underway. It wasn’t easy but support bubbles made it possible for us to spend time together – much more often than we would have done before as we couldn’t see other family/friends. It fast tracked things for us in many positive ways. My new partner also took an active role in looking after my young son and their relationship has benefitted because of that too! If anything, it helped our relationship to become as tight as it is now.
Jude at Gluing Cheese

A Total Change

I came over to UK for a job interview and to visit family. Was living with abusive husband in France. Met a new man and will be moving in with him into our own house bought outright. Kids love him too. So quite a year of dating and support bubbling and much time apart physically but very much together emotionally. Bring it on!

Kate at Kate on Thin Ice

My Experience

As for me, it has been wonderful seeing my husband so much more. He has been working from home throughout the pandemic. Losing the 45 minute commute from his day has lead to him being much more involved in family life. It has also been extra useful having him around to give me a hand when I felt unwell during pregnancy and now with a newborn! I think it has helped us to appreciate each other more in different ways. I thought we would end up getting under each other’s feet and arguing a lot more, but actually we’ve barely argued at all. Perhaps less than before the pandemic, even, as a lot of the usual stresses of daily life just haven’t been there!

The last year has shaped our relationships with the people we know and changed them forever. Who would ever thought we’d need a mask, hand sanitiser and other now familiar paraphernalia to go out and engage with people? My relationship with my husband and our family unit feels stronger than ever. On the other hand, I know there are people that I’m not keen on acquainting with again due to their disrespectful and blasé approach to everything, when people I knew have died. One thing is for sure – I’ll certainly never take hugs and spending time with my family for granted ever again.

How has the pandemic shaped your relationships over the last year? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.

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