Relationship counsellors inundated with calls from Auckland couples on the brink of separation

Emily van Velthooven
Source: 1News

Relationship counsellors have been inundated with calls from worried Auckland couples following the news of a longer Alert Level 3 lockdown.

Sexoligist and relationship coach Morgan Penn said she fielded calls, texts and emails from older couples already on the brink.

“There’s this sort of feeling of what the hell is happening, are we going through this again? What do we do? And how do we make it better than last time?” she told 1 NEWS.

After the last lockdown, when the entire country hunkered down under Level 4 restrictions, one law firm saw a 40 per cent rise in divorce inquiries.

Candice Murphy said the biggest increase they usually see is after the Christmas holidays.

“We did expect to see something of that sort... but not to the extent we’ve seen,” she said.

While things were quiet during Alert Level 4, once people could space themselves from their partners, she said the calls flooded through.

Candice Murphy said while divorces can be messy – the types coming out of lockdown have been straightforward.

“I think it’s been a bit of a catalyst for those parties who perhaps were not sure about separating and sort it was sort of the perfect storm that was created for many people, and it cemented their decision-making.”

Morgan Penn said while it was the older couples who tended to feel the impact of lockdown, younger couples thrived under the restrictions.

“The younger couples were really enjoying their time together because their lives are a lot busier in terms of climbing the career ladder, hobbies and socialising.

"So, they kind of savoured that time together.”

If Aucklanders are finding themselves in a prickly situation over the next wee while, the advice is to make communication and space a priority.

Last year, the Ministry of Justice recorded more than 8000 divorces nationwide.