Experts share how to keep the peace when you and your spouse are both stuck at home during sheltering-in-place orders.
TUESDAY, April 28, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- With most Americans weeks into sheltering-in-place, couples are in a situation probably none ever planned for: Being in each other's faces all day, every day -- with no clear end in sight.
Experts say the new closeness is likely playing out in many ways: Some couples will find they enjoy the extra time with each other; others will be counting the days until they can be with a human other than their beloved.
On the far end of the spectrum, the worst consequences of home lockdown are already manifesting: The United Nations has reported a sharp rise in domestic violence globally.
Many couples, though, will face issues that do not escalate to that severity -- but are not minor, either.
The pandemic has ushered in a wave of new stresses, from the health threat itself to job and income losses. At the same time, many of the usual coping strategies have evaporated, too, said Katherine Hertlein, a professor of couple and family therapy at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
If you usually deal with a spat by going to the gym to cool your head, that's fine, Hertlein said -- as long as you talk about the issue later. But that option is no longer on the table. Neither is going to a movie, or yoga class, or meeting friends.
"People weren't given the chance to develop new coping strategies before this all went down," Hertlein said. So couples are left to figure it out -- or not -- as they go along.