Quarantining with My Soon to Be Ex-Spouse: What I’m learning
By Steve Mandel
Is it possible to make it through COVID-19 while quarantining with your ex, or soon-to-be ex-spouse? Maybe…here’s what I’m learning.
- Couples separate for a reason. The reason does not have to be a bad reason. It can be as simple as growing apart as far as what you want or need in a spouse, but remaining friends. Proof that it can be done is evidenced by the current quarantine situation of Demi Moore and Bruce Willis. However, sometimes the separation is not amicable or friendly and a shelter-in-place situation means divorcing/separating couples are in the same space a lot more than under normal circumstances. Inevitably you talk. In my case, most often we rehashed arguments about what caused the split, unsolved grievances about how each of us handles it and whether we still loved each other (yes, surprisingly). No one gained anything but resentment.
- You reconsider the relationship. After weeks of cabin fever, I was seeing my ex with new eyes. We’d had some fun conversations and game nights. Our old inside jokes were comforting and we were being kind to one another so much so that I questioned trying our relationship again.It went over like a lead balloon and there was no exit door for either of us. He told me unequivocally that it was over for good and that our separation had broken us as a couple.
- Old Intimacies: Thankfully, quarantining with an ex-spouse/partner means that you can be your most authentic self, unashamed, crazy quarantine hair and all. Even during the darkest time of the shutdown, I could still count on him.
- Reflections: Everything feels surreal but nothing more so than sharing take out while quarantining with my former spouse. This extra time with him reminded me of why I fell in love with him, why I fell out of love with him, and how lucky we both are, even though I know there are painful parts to come.