Living Apart with Love by Lucy Fry for The Gottman Institute

‘The space B and I need, to grieve and heal our twelve-year-long relationship, and to allow it to evolve, is being tightly squeezed by external pressures; widespread fear, a lack of work and all the usual things to do. Yet there is a sense running alongside this that we all need to be better, stronger, and more compassionate than ever! In essence, we are required to step up when we are feeling most like lying down, something that I suspect applies to each and every family, since being forced to remain in close proximity with loved-ones for weeks is arguably just as challenging as enforced separation or other complicated scenarios.

So we wait, and watch, and grow. Some families will become more unified, and others might break apart and reconfigure. One town under quarantine in China, Xi’an, reported unusually high divorce requests, and I suspect that isn’t a coincidence. Rather, these extraordinary circumstances will amplify all existing interpersonal dynamics – positive or negative – and it is our choice whether we wish to use this as an opportunity to notice and nurture such dynamics and do what’s necessary to help them shift.’

Lucy Fry discusses the pressures of COVID-19 lockdown on relationships for The Gottman Institute. Read in full here.