The impact on relationships during our partial 2020 lockdown has kept me remarkably busy. Forced contemplation is something that everyone has had to deal with in the past few months.
Because I re-opened my office back in May for those clients who prefer in-person (which is most, by the way), I thought for sure that marriages would be pressed to the limits because of too much togetherness, worsened by radically changing schedules of in-home schooling.
I could not have been more wrong.
Arguing has not been the primary driver for why new clients, and many previous ones, have sought help. Not even close.
This slowing down of our lives due to the COVID-19 virus has caused people to be quite reflective and have used this unexpected gift of time to contemplate. They figured out they’ve been too busy to notice how unhappy they are. And they want change. Now.
Men, more than women, are making individual appointments to assess how they would like to spend the remainder of their years. They’ve been thinking long and hard about the value of their lives, and whether their present level of quality is enough to keep them happy moving forward.
They want out, they want different, they want simpler.
I have asked many if the possible threat to their lives has made them more aware of their mortality and that their time here is limited. That’s not it. Without exception they attribute it to being too busy to notice. But now, with time to reflect, to make an honest assessment as to whether they’re where they want to be, the answer is a calm and genuine “No.”
They have no anger, no resentment, no hostility, no anxiety. It’s as though they have simply woken up. They present with quiet certitude and even gratefulness for their ultimate appraisal. During these weird times, forced contemplation is something we can do to take a step back and really look deeply into our lives.
I have no idea if family law attorneys are experiencing the same thing. I’ve not asked one. But for me, it’s been an unexpected outlier, a consequence or benefit, depending on your perception, of these unusual times.
This virus affects all of us differently and each one of us as individuals will handle things differently. Do what you need to do to get through these uncertain and odd times.