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BLEVINS: Side effects of the virus

By Vivian Blevins
Contributing columnist

As news reports indicate month after month the numbers of coronavirus cases and deaths, we are ready to scream, “Enough. When is this all going to end?”

Most of our pre-virus lives were rather modest: we shopped at a leisurely pace; we went to favorite restaurants to reward ourselves for another week of hard work; we engaged in a host of leisure activities from attending our kids’ sporting events to settling back at the cinema with buttered popcorn and a giant drink to watch the latest movie on the big screen.

Even these modest pleasures have been ripped from us, and as the months rush by, we find that our tempers are flaring with our confinement. Home schooling is a challenge as is sending our children off to school and wondering if they will bring an uninvited guest home with them which will require that the family self-quarantine, limiting our lives even further.

When we’re out wearing our masks, practicing social distancing, and using the hand sanitizers in our vehicles or in stores and offices we visit, we want to slap those ignorant, irresponsible folks who believe this is all a hoax and parade around mask-less and touching everything, breathing their infections into the air.

We obviously can’t slap strangers and know that with so many states allowing the carrying of firearms in public that it is dangerous to even comment. So we keep our mouths shut and hurry on to complete our errands.

So whom de we badger, harass, treat in unkind ways. At times, it’s our partners.

Red alert! Joseph Wilkinson of the New York Daily News reported recently, “The coronavirus pandemic stressed a lot of relationships with lockdowns, job losses and salary cuts. Experts have been predicting a divorce rate increase since the pandemic hit the U.S. in March.”

Are you searching the internet for divorce lawyers in your area?  Psychologist John Gottman has researched why marriages fail and has identified the following behaviors as likely to be the beginning of the end of marriages:

  • Criticism,
  • Contempt,
  • Defensiveness,
  • Withdrawal.

Perhaps it’s time for those of us who are married and want to stay married to examine our verbal and non-verbal behaviors. To survive these toxic times requires assessments,  conversations, collaborations, forgiveness, and gratitude for what is positive in our lives. As always, I wish you well.

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