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Coronavirus Quarantine: Relationship Space Helps Hold Off 'Tidal Wave Of Divorces'

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - Most families are still cooped up and quarantined at home, and in some households, it's taking a major toll on relationships.

For many families lately, there's little to no time spent apart as stay at home orders remain in place, reports CBS2's Charlie Cooper.

"A lot of them are struggling with having alone time or time to think and process," said Melissa Thoen, clinical director at Ackerman Institute for the Family.

Thoen says in New York, a lack of space only adds to the problem.

"Not having time to talk and to really create a sense of community, because everybody is just trying to do what they need to do or the children are all over the parents," she said.

Attorneys say the amount of couples considering splitting has increased.

"There will be a title wave of divorces that is connected to most couples quarantined at home and being at home in very close quarters with their children out of school," said divorce and family law attorney Val Kleyman. "That causes a lot of commotion and a lot of arguments, but also I've heard other opinions that this difficult time brings people closer together."


Marriage and family therapist Dr. Racine Henry says talking can help preserve these relationships.

"I think it's OK to say I need you to not be in this room for the next two hours," she said. "I need to go in the car by myself, I need to go for a walk or just sit in another part of the house and not be next to you all day."

She also advises carving out time as a couple.

"Remember that you're still partners and you need to connect on a regular basis," said Henry. "So finding ways to not have this monotony become a source of tension."

If things get too bad, experts say seeking virtual therapy as a family can also help.

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