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It’s a Family Thing: Relationships Challenged by the COVID-19 Lockdowns

ByDave Stopher

Oct 6, 2021 #health, #life

Have you ever wondered how the pandemic has affected family relations? Before the pandemic, families only get together at home after work or school hours. They value their quality time at home because they don’t spend as much time as they want.

But since the onset of the pandemic, families are now stuck at home 24/7. This forced isolation gives them the chance to get to know each other more. They also learn new things about each other, both good and bad. And when problems and tension arise within the family, they have no choice but to deal with each other at home.

Given these, you’d think that some families are having a hard time during the pandemic. But surprisingly, time spent together due to quarantine is doing good for most families.

The Majority of Families Develop Stronger Bonds

According to a Kinsey Institute survey, almost 74 percent of respondents believed that the pandemic strengthened their marriage. At least 82 percent believed that it boosted their commitment to each other. The survey revealed that many couples are now more appreciative of the life they had before. Most couples realize that the pandemic only brought their family closer.

While others see the bright side, some are also experiencing challenges at home. At least 63 percent said that the current situation is stressful to the family. So much so that it has already affected their marriage. A small percentage said that they are even considering separation or divorce.

The uncertainties during the pandemic have, indeed, affected familial relations in some couples. And in effect, lawyers handling family cases have seen a spike in their caseload, which means a considerable rise in divorce cases.

That said, here are possible reasons for problems arising within families during the pandemic:

Financial Difficulties

According to a study conducted by the Rand Corporation, 45 percent of respondents said they struggled to pay their bills since the onset of the pandemic. Unemployment challenged financial stability, which caused stress and anxiety among families. This also caused the strain in marriages.

Disrupted Work-Life Balance

Some parents are having a challenging time between work and attending to the needs of their children. Due to restrictions, most companies shifted to remote work. Meanwhile, schools shifted to online learning.

Some parents found it difficult to juggle their work and responsibilities at home. Not to mention they also had to do household chores. This took a toll on the mental and emotional well-being of most parents. Stress made them irritated and agitated, which led to marital issues to some.

Attitude Revelations

Healthy time apart can help relationships value each other’s presence. But too much togetherness might also cause problems. Because of the lockdown, families spend 24/7 with each other. This too much time together amid a stressful pandemic reveals the person’s good and the bad side. And because they can’t go out to de-stress, personalities tend to clash.

If tension is building up in your household, take time to gather your thoughts and see the whole picture. Here’s what you can do if the stress and anxiety are affecting your relations:

  • Take Time to Understand the Situation.These times are tough, and everyone is struggling to survive. Every household is experiencing its set of problems. Because of the difficult times, you might want to try lowering your expectations. Everyone’s trying their best. It’s just that things are not normal right now, and all have to adjust.
  • Talk to Your Family Members Respectfully and Sincerely.Find the right time to talk about the problem. Not when the other is tired. Or not when there is a lot of work to do. Talk to them when it’s all good, and everyone has already rested. This will give you a clearer mind as you address the problem.
  • Consult a Marriage or Family Counselor.It’s always best to have an expert see the whole picture. The counselor’s insights will help you understand your difficult family situation. This will allow you to understand where your other family members are coming from.
  • Talk as a Family.Set a time to meet with the whole family to discuss the problems in the household. Allow everyone to speak and hear out each side of the story. Lay down all issues and ask everyone to suggest possible solutions. This way, everyone will feel they are being valued and listened to.


It is normal for every family to have misunderstandings, given the difficult situation. The key is respect and open communication. Sort out the differences. This is also an opportunity for your family to grow. Soon, this pandemic will be over, and your family will come out stronger.

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