Lockdown and Marriage

lockdown and marriage_suitcase and chardonnay

By Renate Engelbrecht

Saturday, May 09

How lockdown can make or break your marriage

Whether you’re happily married or in a dreaded relationship, lockdown can make or break a marriage and it’s your responsibility to be vigilant.

The Coronavirus has had a huge impact globally and that has inevitably influenced our lives – work, finance, relationships, routines at home, time management, you name it. It’s therefore not impossible for lockdown, a side effect of the virus, to have an influence on your marriage.

One of the first signs that made me realise this, was the fact that Wikus and I were both now trying to work, look after the kids, do house chores and relax at home and had we not found a way and agreed on splitting our time, lockdown could have become really ugly. That said, there was also less time for each other now. We made turns to work and play, so the time we had to see each other (and talk to each other) was limited to the dinner table and when we got into bed after a long day.

Lockdown taught me quite a few things about marriage:

  1. On a day where you feel like nothing is going the way you planned (which is every day under lockdown), patience goes a long way. Also, your partner is there to make things better, not worse.
  2. Compromise is key.
  3. Being married is one thing. Being married with kids is a whole other ball game. Finding (or making) time for your partner is not important. It’s crucial.
  4. Communication, communication, communication. Before lockdown, I was so used to having the kids with me most of the time that I kind of got used to my parenting style. I had to learn to let Wikus do parenting his way again. Yes, we had to agree on some key aspects of parenting, but it was so beautiful to see how he bonded with the kids over this time and made me fall in love with him all over again. Other things we really had to communicate on was our fears about lockdown and our highs and lows each day.
  5. Not caring for yourself has a negative effect on yourself. It affects your attitude and your self-esteem. It is so important to take care of yourself mentally, physically and spiritually. 



When I am frustrated, I often go into auto mode. The same happens when I am really mad, but with lockdown, frustration is probably the main culprit. Then I just do and say what is needed to be said and done to get through the day. When you’re frustrated, be sure to take 5 minutes and regroup. Your partner (and your kids) need you to be your best self.


I found that I often needed a break from home, kids and work and instead of spending time with Wikus, I retreated to a television series called Sanditon (which I absolutely LOVE) and later other series. Yes, me-time is also necessary, but I started binge-watching and rarely used the little time we had available to us to spend with my husband. As much as he needed me to spend some time with him, I needed him to spend that time with me too.



I have been retrenched recently and that inevitably also had an impact on our family as a whole. Trusting one another during a difficult and uncertain time such as this, is of utmost importance. This counts for during lockdown, but also for the challenging financial times ahead.


Even though kids require much more attention during lockdown, it is almost more important to attend to your marriage. A messy marriage can only have a bad effect on the kids and having to deal with that under lockdown is really not what I wish for any family at this stage.

In the end, I suppose it all comes down to two things: Time management and communication.

Stay strong!


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