When it comes to communication, quality is always more important than quantity. The couple that bickers all day may be communicating a lot, but they’re certainly not doing it well. During a pandemic, where you’re trapped at home with your partner almost 24/7, good communication becomes even more critical. We should do everything we can to combat the coronavirus, which means social distancing and staying at home as much as possible. But while we’re working to keep others and ourselves virus-free, we can also work on keeping our relationships healthy.

After China lifted its strict lockdown rules, news reports spoke of a spike in divorce rates in the country [1]. Now, six months into the pandemic in the U.S., it seems the trend is continuing here. Legal Templates, a company that offers legal documents, reported a 34% increase in sales of divorce agreement forms [2]. 58% of their users pursuing a divorce in 2020 were married within the last five years, a 16% increase. These statistics prove that what couples need for a healthy relationship isn’t more time together, it’s quality time. According to Legal Templates, 20% of those seeking a divorce were married this year, while only 5% were married in 2015, suggesting that the longer people have been together, the more resilience they have built up as a couple to get through hard times.

What makes a couple resilient, and what’s the difference between quality and quantity of time and communication?

Resilience is “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change” (Merriam-Webster). In the classic Serenity Prayer, we find an excellent example of what resiliency sounds like in practice.