How Pandemic Impacted Relationships?
Written By: Counselling Psychologist
M.Sc. Psychology - Swansea University, UK.
Reviewed By: Counselling Psychologist
MA Psychology Pennsylvania State University, USA
Last Updated: 23-03-2023

How Pandemic Impacted Relationships?


Impact of the Pandemic on Relationships

At first glance, it may appear highly likely that the consequences of the pandemic on relationships would be negative. Karney and Bradbury (1995) established a theory that suggested that relationship satisfaction and stability are associated with major external stressors negatively, because they are a challenge to the couple’s ability to cope and adapt efficiently. Major external stressors include work, natural disasters, terminal illness of a child or loved one has been associated to increase in relationship issues.

Applying Karney and Bradbury’s theory to the COVID-19 pandemic, Pietromonaco and Overall (2020) reported that the pandemic was highly likely to disturb relationships, especially those who were gravely affected by it. This was supported by empirical evidence. Luetke et al. (2020) reported self-reports of increased couples’ conflicts during the pandemic. Balzarini et al. (2020) showed that COVID-related stressors such as increased financial strain, increased social isolation, and amplified stress were all associated with lesser relationship satisfaction and more relationship conflicts. The pandemic made couples stay together a lot more than usual creating more clashes between couples.

Not all effects of the pandemic on relationships were negative. Theorists suggest some couples might have satisfactory coping resources to diminish the negative impact of the pandemic. Resilience and traumatic growth propose that undergoing stressful times together might even have benefits. In this time of increased mortality salience, people may turn to their closest for comfort and security. For example, some major external stressors, such as the 9/11 attacks were associated with a significant decrease, not increase, in the divorce rate, and some couples facing the illness or death of a child report growing closer during the suffering.

Healthy relationships reduce stress and that happiness and improved good health is a by-product of healthy relationships.

There are few fundamentals to keep your relationships on the bright side.

  1. Do not keep unrealistic expectations.
  2. Refresh your relationship from time-to-time
  3. Maintain effective communication.

More details about this can be found at  Relationship Counselling

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