No matter how much you love your partner, being cooped up at home for the foreseeable future can make this a challenging time.
In order to examine the effects of coronavirus on Charlotte relationships, we recently sent an anonymous survey to Agenda newsletter subscribers covering topics ranging from mental health to toilet paper supply to dating. Over 4,000 responded.
Survey results: We asked the question, “If you’re quarantining with your partner, has it been hard on your relationship or has it strengthened it?” 31 percent said it had strengthened the relationship, 13 percent said it was hard, and 53 percent said it had no change.
Here are actual comments (lightly edited for clarity) directly from Charlotte couples, grouped together by response types.
Job stress isn’t making it easy.
“Extra work, extra stress, and less pay strain any relationship.”
“We’re good! We work in separate rooms throughout the day and then come together for lunch and after work. However, if he doesn’t start refilling the soap dispenser, I might have a different answer.”
“She already worked from home, so she’s used to it. I worked from home at my last job, so I’m used to it. Our place is big enough that we do our own thing and then meet up at the end of the day.”
“Because she’s a nurse, we are keeping our distance from each other. It’s hard as hell not being able to hold her right now.”
“He has a stressful job. I feel like I have to ‘look busy’ in order to pull my weight.”
Couples are talking more.
“It’s been nice to have more time together and with less rush. We’ve been walking daily. He comes back in for lunch (working in the garage for quiet). We’re playing more games. We both feel like we’ve had a lot more time and energy to really talk.”
“We are good together, but we both share in our feelings of anxiety and frustration over the situation. We don’t know what to do, but we’re in it together.”
“I think it’s both hard and strengthening as we are navigating a complex and uncertain life hurdle together. We are talking about the more serious life situations more than we were before, because we are not usually confronted with those. But hard times are a test on relationships for sure.”
“We are getting to know each other better and this will really be a test if we are ready to take our relationship to the next step when this is all over.”
Many need some space.
“I’m too quiet and silent for her, she’s too loud and talkative for me for a 24/7 basis.”
“My partner’s routine has completely changed and it’s very hard on them. Their patience is wafer-thin right now.”
“Time apart is healthy! Watching someone else worry is unnerving.”
“More hours to be nagged and told what to do and how to do it.”
“I’m starting to associate my frustration, anger, and sadness at the stay-at-home situation with them because I’m in the situation with them. I’m starting to get angry, frustrated, and sad at them even though this isn’t their fault. They’ve also been handling this much better than I have so that’s been hard to deal with.”
“Too much togetherness with nowhere to escape.”
It’s hard, but they’ve been through a lot together.
“We’ve been through two bar exams together. That was harder.”
“We’ve gone through a lot in our 28 years of dating and marriage. We know that this too shall pass, we just need to be patient, pray, and learn from all of this so that we come out better on the other side of this thing.”
“We survived both being laid off in 2010 so we are fine spending a lot of time together.”
Kids are stressful.
“We need some time apart. We aren’t getting any time to ourselves, especially with the kids. We also can’t go anywhere together because we can’t have others watch the kids at night due to their own distancing.”
“We’re strong and a team, so no change overall, but there’s definitely a changing dynamic with me being the income provider and him having to care for the kids.”
“I always work from home, but it’s hard with him working from home too, and determining who has to manage the homeschool activities.”
“Just more bickering about house chores and constant cooking and cleaning.”
“We’re both teachers and trying to share space to video chat our students and teach. It’s tough.”
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Couples are remembering why they’re together in the first place.
“The days have slowed down for us and we don’t feel so rushed and stressed. We wake up together, drink coffee leisurely, and start our work together. We have settled into a routine. Now we set the table for dinner and even light a candle for fun. It has been really great for our marriage.”
“We’ve been forced to examine some stuff and work it out. I think we’ll come out of this better than when it started. It has helped me remember what attracted me to my partner in the first place. He’s considerate, hard-working, and not bad to look at.”
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