As Italian couples were forced to stay at home during coronavirus lockdowns, many marriages fell apart, Italian media outlets report.
Since the coronavirus outbreak began, divorce filings have seen a 30% increase, Corriere della Sera reported last week.
Marriage counselors told the newspaper that couples reached out for help through virtual Skype and WhatsApp sessions as they struggled to co-exist during the lockdown.
Marriage counselors said couples complained about all sorts of topics from badly squeezed toothpaste tubes, socks left on the floor, suspicious phone calls and the stress of losing jobs.
One marriage counselor, Annamaria Bernardini de Pace, said she received over 60 emails after the lockdown began. She said when Italy entered phase 2 on May 4, 12 couples initiated divorce proceedings.
Italy's National Lawyers Council made the decision to allow couples in certain area to file for divorce by email. Divorce proceedings then include an online hearing to be conducted virtually by the lawyers, without the participation of the parties.
President of the Italian association of marriage counselors Gian Ettore Gassani said a number of marriages fell apart because affairs were discovered.
"One husband hoped to get away with the excuse of the mile-long line at the supermarket," Gassani said. "In reality, he was visiting his lover, who was also the next-door neighbor, and he sent another person to the supermarket in his place."
"The problem was that his wife became suspicious and followed him," Gassani added. "The result was that they called me at 1 a.m. in the morning, and I don't know who was screaming more, the wife or the husband."
In just two days he saw eight couples looking to end things, he said.
Valeria De Vellis, a well-known divorce lawyer, said her usual practice is to send troubled couples to therapy if they are still talking to each other, especially if they have children, but that is not working these days.
"Of the cases arriving on my desk these days, there is little to salvage," she said. "Since the situation, which exploded during isolation, has had too much time to fester."
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