Has Covid 19 trapped you in an unhappy marriage?
I’ve been sending out a newsletter from my family law firm, every month for almost nine years. Each erev Rosh Hashana I like to compare what I was writing about the previous year to the thoughts on my mind for the new year. It’s always been helpful to observe where my head was at then and to determine whether or not I’ve made progress towards my goals. But not this year. Covid 19 has changed everything.
This year I’m distracted by the thoughts and actions of the whole country and really the whole world. Humanity is in the midst of a paradigm shift so big that it dwarfs anything I’ve personally been dealing with.
Covid 19. Coronavirus. Pandemic.
No matter what we call it, it has brought new words to our everyday vocabulary like: Isolation; Herd Immunity; Lock-Down; Flattening the Curve; Social Distancing; Quarantine; PPE (personal protective equipment).
And we all have the same questions constantly on our minds. Will I or my loved ones get sick? Will I be able to keep food on my table and a roof over my head? Will the economy collapse? Will the schools open?! Will it be safe for my children to attend? Will there be a vaccination?
We live with the daily scrutinizing of “zones” and whether or not we can leave our house, our neighborhood, our city or our country. And where are we allowed to go? Which countries are green or red?
New peace deals with Arab countries, Dubai and the Emirates, Bahrain. Who is next to step up and normalize relations with Israel? What will happen in our own conflict with the Palestinians? The American election is looming not to mention our own political malaise.
Will life ever go back to normal?
So, at the end of the day – on the one hand I just feel like asking, “Who really cares about family law related issues this year? What does it matter? How is it even relevant?” On the other hand, being “in the trenches” day by day and dealing with the avalanche of family law related cases that I started handling during our country’s last lockdown period, I know that the family challenges are really big – especially now.
Before Coronavirus, when families weren’t living on top of each other, it was possible to ignore, avoid or even be unaware of the rifts in relationships. One could physically step away, outside the home to blow off built up steam. But when the family is in lockdown, the pressure valves are closed and pent up feelings burst out into the open. Often couples are able to work together to resolve issues in spite of the pandemic challenges and will emerge stronger.
Unfortunately, that is not always the case and I’ve been very busy.
So this year, before the holidays start, try to find some time (before this next lockdown) to do your own “chesbon hanefesh,” (self-evaluation – accounting of the soul) on lots of things – but especially on your relationship.
Ask yourself, how you will prevent yourself from having a “blowout” when the pressure builds up? Are you happy in your relationship with your spouse? If you’re unhappy and having trouble envisioning spending the rest of your life together, have you considered counselling? And if you have decided that it’s time to end your relationship, you need to start asking yourself some questions.
How will you keep your cool and avoid exploding and possibly acting in a way that will harm your plans in case you decide to leave? Have you determined what steps you’ll take to move forward? Do you want to make changes in your relationship immediately? Have you thought about what a divorced life would look like? Where would you live? How will you collectively afford two households? When will the kids be with you and when with your spouse etc.? These are all things to consider.
But please remember, if you are considering any changes – none should be made (and maybe not even discussed with your spouse) without talking to a competent family law attorney first.
My blessing for you and all of your families and loved ones is for health, financial and physical security for this new year of 5781, and may the whole world – via G-ds grace through modern technology, be able to rid itself of Covid-19 by this time next year.
L’Shana Tova v’ Matuka, Tickatevu v’Titchatemu. לשנה טובה ומתוקה תכתיבו ותתחתמו
May you all be inscribed and sealed for a good and sweet year.
If you’re considering divorce, download Jay Hait’s free book called The Ten Commandments for People Considering Divorce. If you have questions about divorce in Israel you can email Jay Hait directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or call (077) 200-8161 in Israel and (201) 696 – 3947 in the USA. Jay Hait has offices in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Raanana and Haifa. http://israeldivorcelawyer.com/