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DENVER (KDVR) — At the beginning of the pandemic, there was plenty of talk about the potential for a surge in divorce rates among Colorado married couples.

But new data shows quarantining during COVID is actually having the opposite effect.

A national survey (American Family Survey) polled 3,000 Americans about the strength of their relationships during the pandemic.

It showed 56% of married couples believe the pandemic has made them appreciate their partners more (1 in 10 disagreed, according to the survey).

“Whenever we’re feeling threatened, we as humans seek to bond. We attach, we’re a collective species. And our partner is the most important person in the world to us. You know? They’re you’re partner in crime, but also your teammate — the person you go to when you’re feeling stressed or anxious,” said Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby, a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist with Growing Self Counseling & Coaching in Denver.

According to experts, the pandemic is providing plenty of opportunities for couples to experience emotional connection and support.

“It made them appreciate their partner in ways they never had — like, even gave the opportunity for their partner to be appreciated. They’ve been asked things that maybe the partner was never going to have to ask them and if they’ve been able to ‘show up’ it brings a whole other level of closeness,” said Erika Holmes with Colorado Couple & Family Therapy in Denver.

Divorce rates continue to trend downward across the nation, according to the survey.

Simply put, Denver area marriage counselors say the pandemic has the power to make or break a relationship.

“This is a make or break for a relationship and all couples have the power to make it a bonding moment,” Dr. Marie Bobby said.

Dr. Marie Bobby provided these resources for couples struggling during the pandemic: