COVID-19 affecting marital and family stress

COVID-19 stressing families

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Three months ago the majority of us were suddenly thrust into our homes with a lot of “together time” in store. For some this may have been a blessing and for others it may have caused some problems.

Dr. Stacy Ikard from Cornerstone Counseling Center in Huntsville says she’s seen an increase in marital and family stress since the start of the pandemic. Unfortunately, even with the state reopening, those tensions aren’t letting up for everyone. 

Ikard says much of the tension among families the past few months stems from job loss and being around each other more than usual.

But much of the tension at this point is about roles and responsibilities. A common argument is about who is supposed to help the kids with their schooling from home while parents balance their new work routines.

Families are also having disagreements about COVID-19 rules such as if it’s safe to go out to certain places, and whether or not to wear a mask in public.

Overall, Ikard says family and marital stress has increased since the start of the pandemic but the disagreements have shifted to other areas.

“Currently a lot of the students are not in an educational program so the families are starting to shift with the discussion or disagreements really about whether or not they are going to keep their children at home next year for virtual school...Or whether they are going to send their child back to school. Some people have not been able to return to work so they are having financial stress as well as all of the other news events that are going on in our world at this time. It’s just creating a lot of stress at this time for families,” Ikard said.

Ikard says she’s also seen an increase in domestic violence. This pertains to children as well, who don’t have teachers and counselors regularly checking in on them like they may normally have.

Ikard encourages families who may be struggling to seek help.

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