The current living situation for many families means that they have spent a lot of time quarantined together. Ideally, this shared adversity enables the family to grow closer. Still, living, working and sleeping in the same space can mean growing too close for comfort, perhaps offering new insights into a spouse.
Some will be surprised to hear a wife listen to an employee’s grievance then seamlessly make lunch for the kids. A wife may take pride as she overhears a husband providing useful advice to a coworker who is struggling with a project. Close quarters offer insights into other parts of a spouse’s life that we were not previously privy to in such detail.
Unfortunately, it can also provide a spouse the opportunity to watch their counterpart’s behavior, perhaps realizing that all is not right, and a husband or wife is having an affair.
Clues to watch for
Some may have suspected before quarantine that things were off, but they did not find proof. The clues, however, can become more evident when spouses are home together. The signs include:
- Guarding their device: The spouse may become overly protective about sharing their device, allowing kids to handle it, or panic when they misplace it.
- Off–hours communication: Off-hours communication with coworkers may have been an occasional emergency, but it is now standard behavior. Emails may be okay, but texts or quiet phone calls in an empty room can be red flags.
- Long workouts: Exercise is a great stress reducer, but there may be trouble if their runs or bike rides now take an extra-long time.
- The car: They may use the car as a place to conduct phone calls or do “essential” errands more often than necessary. These may be a coping method for getting some alone time or signs of something else.
What to do about it
Spouses with children know that it is hard for the parents to have an adult conversation during waking hours. Moreover, the timing of confronting them while locked up together may be too difficult to navigate.
Some planning does not hurt, however. It can be a time to gather information regarding infidelity, finances and other necessary information. It can also be a time to reach out to an experienced family law attorney. These legal professionals can help prepare their clients for the process of filing for divorce.