In the doghouse…or maybe the shed: lockdown life and love.

I did smile at the renowned Toby Young’s article in The Spectator today. Due to the increasing demands of his professional life in lockdown, he’s decided to move into the shed…and his kids are asking if divorce is on the cards.

Its no real surprise is it? The upside-downness of lockdown life, with home becoming work, school, play and pretty much complete life for so many of us, tensions are certainly running high. Today’s announcement as we ‘end’ lockdown but in reality just move into almost minimally adjusted tiers, for who knows how long, is bound to just up the pressure.

Whilst the post-lockdown surge in divorce enquiries that was seen in China and predicted here hasn’t actually occurred, the fact is lockdown hasn’t really felt ‘over’ in any real sense for most of us. Getting through the day of home-schooling, remote-working, indoor-workout, remote control wrestling is quite enough without trying to address the future of a fraught relationship. For many, a release back to some kind of normality, where marital life is healthily mixed with physical independence and third party socialising, will result in a reduction of current ‘operational failures’. 

Sadly for others, the damage may be more permanent, and when this is all over, so too will the marriage be.

With Good Divorce Week upon us next week and No Fault Divorce just around the corner, there are however so many reasons to be optimistic that with a rise in divorce numbers will come a real surge in amicable uncouplings, and constructive approaches to resolving matrimonial disputes with the minimum of cost, acrimony and most importantly, damage to the children involved.

My kids think my move into the garden shed means divorce.

I’ve moved out of my home. No, Caroline and I haven’t broken up. It’s just that we’re having the house rewired, which means we have to be out of our bedroom by 8 a.m. Ordinarily, that wouldn’t matter but about eight months ago I started a blog about lockdown and I’m usually up until 4 a.m. working on it. We have almost 7,000 subscribers to our daily newsletter and I want it to be waiting for them when they wake up. And superhuman though I am, I can’t survive on four hours’ sleep a night.

I haven’t gone very far. I’ve stuck a blow-up mattress in the garden shed that doubles as my office. But, weirdly, the children seem to think this is a prelude to divorce.