Jemima Petch, a clinical psychologist and the head of practice at Relationships Australia Queensland (RAQ), observed the negative effects of the Covid pandemic on romantic relationships in Australia. With external activities limited, the stress in relationships intensified and led to a surge in divorce rates and high demand for relationship counseling services. Some experts are concerned that the pandemic has had a long-lasting negative impact on love lives across the country.
According to RAQ, the phones are constantly busy, and the average call duration has increased. The organization is struggling to meet the demand for counseling, with couples waiting up to six weeks for assistance. Older couples, who may have been together for a long time, are also seeking divorce at a higher rate. The pandemic has not only affected marriages but also strained relationships among friends and family.
The pandemic has highlighted the importance of mental health in relationships. Loneliness and mental health challenges have placed significant pressure on couples. Data from Deakin University suggests that the number and severity of stressors on a relationship, as well as the couple’s ability to cope with them, predict the likelihood of a breakup. However, experts also suggest that the increased demand for relationship help may be a result of pandemic messaging urging people to seek support.
For couples struggling to reconnect post-pandemic, rebuilding communication channels is key. The experience of navigating the challenges of the pandemic can increase confidence in a relationship’s ability to withstand difficult periods. It is important to address the impact of the pandemic on relationships and seek professional help when needed.
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