Here are some examples of married people who, in the face of the virus pandemic, have had to deal with difficult divorce decisions.
There are married people who feel bad in their relationships, but during self-isolation, partnerships have deteriorated significantly.
It was during this period that many concluded that they could no longer work together, but because of the circumstances, they actually remained ‘locked’ in with an already ex-partner, says Suzy Miller, a divorce counselor.
Feeling of false security
John Chambers, 41, divorces Hannah, who works in retail. He was married for 20 years. They have three children, ages 13, 11 and 8.
“In January, I told my wife, ‘I want a divorce.’ She said, ‘No, I want a divorce, and I’ve already started the process.’ I thought she was joking, but a divorce petition arrived on February 10. I felt that things were not good between us, but for a moment I didn’t think our marriage was in danger.
She also sent a lot more messages. We went on holiday to Malta last year and it was weird to me because she was not active about planning and booking the trip, but she wanted us to travel, “he recounts.
They lived together, but Hannah wanted them to sleep in separate rooms.
“I would complain about snoring, and she would wake up and move to another room and that became a habit,” John recounts, adding:
She often made phone calls in the cars we rented. My daughter once asked me:
“Why is Mom in the car?”
I knew she was talking to a colleague at work and I said:
“It’s because of work.”
And then the daughter said, ‘Then why is she sending him songs?’ I didn’t sleep at all that night. She had breakfast in the morning and her phone was charging near my phone.
A message appeared on the screen. She was from him. It said, ‘I love you and want you,’ “John says.
He says his world has collapsed. He told her that he saw the message she received, and she claimed that they were only friends, as he had once kissed her and that there was nothing more between them. John did not yet know the nature of their relationship.
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“She never acknowledged what happened. Our relationship deteriorated at that point. When we returned from vacation, I said, ‘If you keep seeing him, leave,’ that was my condition. Then she said I had to move out and leave her with the children because she is their mother.
Then I said:
‘Why should I leave the house? You’re the one who cheated, but in the end it didn’t help anyone.
When measures of self-isolation for the Crown came into effect, we were locked up at home, John says. He works from home and his wife is still going to work.
“I doubt she’s not alone at work, that is, seeing him. I feel like she’s cheating on me. What’s more, I worry about her infecting us with a virus because I don’t know where she was,” John says.
He and wife did not tell the children about divorce because nothing could change at this stage and the children would expect a change.
Although they already live separately, his wife wants a divorce.
“We don’t talk to each other. She gets up very early, I’m not a morning guy. When I’m done with work, I run, which is when she eats with the kids. We never ate as a family in the evenings because I was late from work “But I would usually come home to change and my wife would cook something for me. Now I get my food out of the fridge,” John says.
He says they have always had a deal that he pays the bills, and she feeds, which has become their habit. But now that he’s eating with the kids, she takes her plate and eats in the other room. He was still washing his laundry, but not ironing.
“I care about the kids. We want to protect them, of course. But things are becoming obvious, they hear everything behind closed doors. My kids don’t seem upset, but I’m sure it will affect them,” John says.
He says his self-isolation did not go down badly. He is confident in his job and income, but his wife says nothing about how her firm stands, so she believes they will have to think soon how they will move on.
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“The house is a big concern. Previously, we planned to sell it, split the proceeds, and everyone goes their own way, but now it’s not possible because of the state of the market. Besides, it would be a problem for the children, so when we finally talk to them about all in all, it will be a relief, “John says, adding that it may seem selfish, but it seems to him that the pandemic has made their divorce easier.
“I am going through a personal crisis, but the whole society is in crisis, so I do not feel alone. But I am afraid that I do not get into a false sense of security. I do not want to be too comfortable. I love the house we live in, I have to spend more time with the kids. But all that will change when things start to return to normal, “he concludes.
Family moments in the garden
Teacher Emily Hart, 33, is divorcing her husband David. She was married for years.They have two children, ages nine and five.
“The end of our marriage was a mutual decision. We loved each other, but concluded that we were not for each other. When couples come to hate each other, it is probably a relief when the marriage ends. We parted ways in January, and David moved out in December. He rented a room because that was all we could afford. And it turned out we were right, “Emily says, adding that they maintained a routine similar to when they were together.
“David still takes the kids to school in the morning, and after work, he used to go to the rented room when the kids were in bed.”
But then he told her that he had met another. In fact, he ‘stepped in’ into a new relationship.
They met in late December and are already considering buying a house together, Emily says.
Every night, she had to watch a man to whom she was married, leaving to be with the new person he was building his life with. It was painful for her, she felt that she needed to protect herself more, set some boundaries between them, reduce visits, or make him see his children outside the home in order to change their habits. And then a coronary pandemic and self-isolation measures happened.
As he did not have enough space in which the children could visit him, the only way to be with them was to return to their shared home. It is difficult for him, too, because he cannot see the person he has fallen in love with, and it is difficult for me to accept that we live together even though we are no longer family. We sleep in separate bedrooms, when the kids go to bed, I spend the evening in my bedroom while he’s in the living room, but we cook and eat together as a family, and easily forget we’re separated – Emily says.
He adds that David talks to his new girlfriend every night. Emily didn’t want these conversations going on at home, so he goes to the shed to make phone calls. However, she admits that whenever she sees a light in the shed, her heart is broken.
“He couldn’t go out to the garden one night because the kids were camping, so he talked to her in the living room. I heard him groping her in the same way he used to, so we had a fight. He apologized.
He suffers from asthma, and she has myalgic encephalitis and Emily doesn’t know how to handle the situation. This is another reason why she should not be outraged and do not end the relationship.
“We are very careful with the children and they seem to have adjusted well. I have reminded them several times that when all this is over, Dad will move out again. They do not know about his girlfriend yet, so they will have to deal with it. But , we are currently trapped – we cannot sell the house, and we cannot separate.
Part of me is trying to enjoy the family time we have. For example, when we are a family in the garden, I try to enjoy those moments because they are limited. But at the same time, I’m worried about how things will look when he leaves us again, “Emily says.