Red vs Blue: How Political Differences May be Increasing Divorce Rates
The pandemic has been hard on everyone, especially couples and families who now find themselves forced into close proximity thanks to remote work and learning. However, 2020 has also bombarded many Americans with another major stressor: politics. This election year has seen incredible contention between fiercely divided factions of democrats and republicans. While a small number of voters still wonder why we can’t all get along, many have closed themselves off to the possibility that the other side has anything valid to say.
So, what happens in households where partners fly opposing political flags? Could political divides be responsible for increasing divorce rates? Is the strain of political divisiveness to blame, or is it simply a sign of underlying problems that might have led to divorce anyway?
Last year, WXYZ Detroit reported on a study comparing divorce rates across the U.S., noting that Michigan was among the top states when it came to marriage longevity. According to the study, MI marriages lasted an average of 21.6 years (putting MI in eighth place). Since about 1950, the divorce rates in Michigan have been lower than the national average (with the exception of 2006, when national rates dropped to come in line with MI numbers).
However, no one would likely be surprised if divorce rates spiked in 2020, due to a range of factors. A recent article published by Michigan Lawyer’s Weekly speculated that the pandemic restrictions could produce one of two potential results: a spike in the birth rate or a spike in the divorce rate.
With couples spending significantly more time together in lockdown, they may turn to intimacy as a means of coping. However, unplanned and seemingly endless confinement could also cause partners to take added stresses out on one another. Marriages already under strain could easily collapse under the extra tension of sharing workspace at home, not to mention the pressure of home-schooling children.
Adults out of work could find themselves facing a growing mountain of bills, with no relief in sight. Some may even fear eviction; although, restrictions were extended through the end of 2020. Adding more fuel to the fire is the elevated political landscape of an election year, which has been nothing if not combative. In a year marked by protests and political upheaval, it’s no wonder couples with opposing viewpoints are at the breaking point.
Add in the 24/7 news cycle, and even couples committed to steering clear of political debates at home could fall victim to fighting over substantial differences in belief. Rather than identifying as a single group – Americans – we’re succumbing to a growing chasm between political factions, and for couples already facing overwhelming stress, it could be the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back.
By this time next year, there’s a good chance we’ll see a return to normal life, thanks to a more traditional White House administration and widespread vaccinations that mitigate the COVID-19 threat, but by then the damage may already be done for countless couples. Only time will tell.
If you need legal guidance and support during the divorce process, contact the qualified and compassionate team of lawyers at The Gucciardo Law Firm today at 248-723-5190 or online to schedule a free consultation.
Too much information?
We focus exclusively on family law matters so we are always available to answer your questions and help.