If your marriage was strained before the novel Coronavirus made landfall in Durham, NC, then you’re likely feeling really trapped right now. When it comes to “working on your marriage,” very few people would recommend being isolated at home with a spouse you hardly want to spend 10 minutes with – let alone days or weeks at a time. When couples typically commit to rebuilding their relationship, they usually don’t do it in the midst of a pandemic with “stay at home” orders. As such, today we’ll discuss how you can survive the next few weeks of quarantine in Durham when your marriage is already under pressure.
1. Quarantine in Durham? Keep it simple.
Since Durham County is currently under “stay at home” orders, chances are that you and your spouse are spending more time than either of you’d like in the same house together. These orders are not legal requirements to have serious conversations about the state of your marriage or long-term plans for the future. As you’re already well aware, those types of conversations can often spark big fights that should be avoided for the time being. Rather, keep conversation light when you must be in close proximity of each other.
Even better, limit conversation entirely. Binge-watch a series you’ve been wanting to watch on Netflix. Read that book you’ve been wanting to read. Deep clean the house. Tackle that home project you’ve never had time for. If somewhere along the way, you repair your marriage, so be it – but don’t plan for it right now.
2. Keep it together (in front of your kids)
Even under the best of circumstances, we suggest that you avoid fighting in front of your children, so we realize that asking you not to fight while you’re all cooped up in a house together is a huge challenge. This includes (but is not limited to) screaming matches, silent treatment, and passive-aggressive behavior. While you may be stressed about how you’re going to pay the bills while you’re out of work, or how you’re going to separate now that the entire country is dealing with this pandemic; your kids need to see their parents as safe and sane during this process. While we don’t suggest that you should all of a sudden pretend to be a perfect family, we do think you can handle keeping your cool in front of the kids.
If you find that you’re really struggling to keep it together, consider separating into different parts of your home. You might even suggest that the kids come along to watch a movie or read some books with you. While you might remember that the COVID-19 forced you to be with your ex for weeks at a time, your kids will remember making beautiful memories with their entire family.
3. “Stay at Home?”
If your relationship has any history of abuse or violence, or you strongly suspect that things could go there, you are not literally required to stay at your residence. You can always spend the duration of quarantine at a friend or family’s home. However, we do not recommend that you discuss these plans with your abuser.
Find a friend or family member who is willing to host you and your kids (if applicable) for the next few weeks, then send clothes, and any other supplies you might need to their place. If you don’t have anyone you can ask, you can go to a Violence Against Women (VAW) shelter or call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and ask for assistance planning.
Of course, if you find yourself in the middle of a situation, leave immediately or call 911. Law enforcement is still available and willing to help!
Kevin Jones | Durham Divorce Attorney
If you or someone you know lives in the Durham, NC area and you are considering getting a divorce while under quarantine, contact Durham divorce attorney Kevin Jones for help.
Durham divorce attorney, Kevin E. Jones can help you navigate the divorce process and other legal matters in an ethical and proper manner. Don’t let your health, finances and overall well being suffer because you’re unaware of your legal rights. Contact Kevin E Jones before making any final decisions. Things happen and many people go without the proper representation when they need it most. Don’t be just another number.