Social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic might be beneficial to physical health, but it seems to be putting a major damper on couples who are quarantining together. Divorce rates in China have seen a significant spike coming out of that country’s quarantine and many people are wondering if partners throughout the U.S. face the same fate.
Lu Shijun, manager of a marriage registry in Dazhou, Sichuan Province of south-western China, has witnessed the alarming array of divorce requests first hand.
“Over 300 couples have scheduled appointments to get a divorce since February 24,” Shijun told the Daily Mail.
Officials believe that much of the trouble in paradise couples seem to be experiencing has a lot to do with being in close quarters under quarantine on a daily basis. With no work or school, families are having to spend a lot more time with one another than they normally would.
Another factor is the mandatory government shut-down of council offices for nearly a month during the coronavirus epidemic. According to Global Times, one district office received 14 requests in one day, hitting the upper limit set by the local council.
“Young people tend to get into heated arguments because of something petty and rush into a divorce,” said Shijun.
Jade Franklin, a first year psychology major at FAMU, said that quarantine can make a lot of couples irrational.
“I feel like it’s a reflection of how occupations can be a sure distraction from everyday home life. They force your time to be split and they’re a definite means of not having to handle your outside problems. Being that they had no choice but to stay inside, it most likely forced them to confront their issues and deal with the ugly truth,” Franklin said.
With relatively no idea when self-isolation will be a choice and no longer a command, partners are struggling to stay vigilant.
“Even the strongest couples will argue. No one wants to be up under the same person all day, everyday. Everyone needs their space and being stuck in the house with someone 24/7 for 7 days a week can really take its toll. I even find myself getting agitated with my significant other at times,” said Dasha Gordon, a second year, business administration student.
Local districts in China are working to slow down the increase in divorce rates by limiting divorce appointments to 10 couples a day after receiving an overwhelming amount of requests.
Additionally, many people think that while a marital divorce spike could be a possibility in the U.S., only time will truly tell. Despite the parting of ways for some, there are a lot of couples who have been able to rediscover why they married in the first place.