Bill & Melinda Gates break-up: Why COVID-19 is hurting marriages?


When Bill Gates and Melinda Gates announced to the world over Twitter that ‘after a great deal of thought and a lot of work on their marriage’ they have decided to finally end it, social media went abuzz. How could a marriage of 27 years end for one of the world’s most famous couple. The business-minded even analysed how the shares of Microsoft would be divided between the two.

However, the distressing part of this whole affair is how a marriage of 27 years, where a couple did not just work together to build a home with three kids, but even professionally took Microsoft to such great heights, ends with just a tweet? The great understanding and partnership they displayed in their philanthropic work, showing so much kindness and generosity to the world– why is the same spirit of partnership absent in their marriage?

It is being globally observed that another silent victim of the Covid 19 pandemic are relationships, marriages in particular. Incidents of domestic abuse and violence have gone up and the individual mental distress is taking a huge toll on relationships.

What Are The Problems?

Sindhu Upadhyay Wadhwa, a Bangalore-based psychotherapist shares how Covid has caused a large scale mental health crisis leading to depression and anxiety, and the prolonged state of lockdown has created a pressure cooker-like situation in families across the globe. “Most individuals turning up for therapy express that their marriage is a huge victim of their distress,” she tells Goupstream.

“Our brains are designed by evolution to scan threat and activate a ‘fight or flight’ response. When Covid struck it was totally unprecedented and we didn’t know how to deal with it. We adapted, and did all we could to survive, but we couldn’t anticipate the duration of the pandemic. Long term stress has now turned into trauma,” she said.

Covid has disrupted everything, people started experiencing dialectic emotions. Someone who didn’t express much also started venting. Anxiety always renders urgency. People want to resolve every issue immediately. Earlier, if couples had an issue they would find time after work and talk out. Now they want to resolve things then and there. Sindhu says, “They want to fight it out immediately.”

Even past issues come alive. “Now when they are under stress and under one roof all the time, they start seeing more shortcomings in each other. ‘My wife chews her food so loudly… my husband sits around the whole day…’ They start unburdening their stress on each other, becoming each other’s punching bags,” says the psychotherapist.

There are many factors affecting the human mind and eventually their relationships during this pandemic. A male grown up in a patriarchal society is forced to cook and clean. Children with all their pent up energy are boxed inside small apartments. Women have their work, home chores and the added burden of monitoring online classes of their children. To top it all there’s financial uncertainty. The new normal is not normal!

Life is like a battle now and in a battlefield you don’t listen to Bach! It is natural for the individual distress to disrupt domestic harmony.

Globally changes have been witnessed – Affective

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