Your New Co-Worker During Quarantine
“What’s that noise? Now what’s that smell?!” These are the thoughts that run through my head as I head into my “office” on my fortieth day of quarantine. And no, I’m not hearing construction or traffic from the window of my private office at my law practice. And no, I’m not smelling the fragrant aromas of a colleague’s lunch heating up in the microwave. I’m listening to the sounds my husband makes while we “share” our small home office.
We are both working from home now, during the Coronavirus quarantine. I’m pretty sure he hasn’t showered, or even changed clothes, for three days, although my days do seem to be running together a bit. And I never noticed before all the noises his body makes. It’s never just silent in here.
On top of all that, he feels like he has more of a right to the office space than I do; after all, he earns more money. That’s why he appropriated the desk while I’m stuck on the couch day-after-day.
Did I Marry the Right Person
I’m pretty sure I liked him more before our mutual lockdown.
I know I’m not alone in feeling the way I do. Thoughts like these are running through many of our heads now, as we work, assuming that we can, in close quarters with our spouses during quarantine. The barely used home office has now suddenly become a necessity, and it’s hard to share the space, especially if one spouse’s job is a chatty one, like sales, and the other’s is a quiet one, like writing.
So how do we get through it?
And OMG! What if we realize that we’re no longer meant for each other?
Understand that these types of feelings are normal. We used to have time away from each other for about ten hours every weekday. We used to have more varied contact, that is with other colleagues and our friends, so we not only had other outlets, but we had a variety of subjects to discuss with our significant others when we returned from a long day at the office.
Now, life just seems monotonous. Like a remake of Groundhog’s Day (which I felt never needed to be made in the first place!), it feels like we’re just repeating the same day over and over. There’s not much to look forward to because all events and activities have been canceled, and we can’t even go out for a cup of coffee or share a bowl of guac with friends at Bartaco!
Wait to Decide Until Life Returns to Normal
A bit of depression is normal in these conditions. Many of us are sleeping more than usual, exercising less, drinking more, and eating our unhealthy quarantine stashes. Combine these circumstances with a lack of true social interaction, even the strongest of us are bound to feel a bit blue.
So you want my advice? Don’t make important life-altering decisions, like whether to divorce, in unusual circumstances like this quarantine. If you continue to feel the same way once the quarantine ends, then maybe it’s an option to explore. But while life is so precarious, don’t make critical decisions like that one.
It will change. Lockdown can’t last forever. Soon enough, we’ll be back to the everyday life grind.
Who knows? You may actually miss a bit of your quarantine time.
So focus on the positives. Sure, showering is taking less of a front seat, but I bet you also have less laundry! And, although you’re seeing less of your extended family and your friends, if at all, what types of virtual activities have you started or even learned to stay connected? Many of us find that our close relationships have actually grown stronger during lockdown because we have prioritized them.
Is it Time for a Change?
Once the quarantine is over, if it raised issues for you that you were too busy before to realize were so problematic, contact us at Open Palm Law. We can help you both before your marriage ends in divorce with some Collaborative Life Planning.
CLP will help to open the lines of communication so that you both get on the same page when common problems do arise. CLP can equip you to work as a team, rather than against each other. This groundbreaking approach furnishes you with a written agreement that resolves how you will deal with such events going forward.
The CLP agreement incorporates your most important goals and interests. Collaborative Life Planning is a transparent, confidential, solutions-oriented approach. Studies show that people who have a written, thought-out plan for dealing with issues and problems are more likely to follow it than those who have some vague verbal agreement.
Participants leave the Collaborative Life Planning process with a resolution that is customized to their issues. They also learn how to better communicate.
But if you do decide to divorce, once the quarantine is long enough behind us that you are making the big decision for substantial reasons, reasons that won’t likely change, I can help with that, too. As a peacemaking family attorney, I can help you with your collaborative or other courtless divorce.
If you find yourself exiting quarantine with thoughts of divorce, reach out to us at Open Palm Law. We’re committed to providing families with kinder, gentler divorce options.
About this week’s author, Lori Skipper.
Lori received her Juris Doctor with honors from the University of Florida Levin College of Law in December 2004, from which she graduated with honors. Proud to be a Florida Gator, Lori had also attended the UF as an undergraduate, graduating with honors with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology, as well as a Minor in Education. Choosing her law school focus early, as a student member of the Virgil B. Hawkins Civil Clinic, Lori assisted indigent clients with family law issues.