JAN FRAN: 'My partner started a business during COVID-19. It almost broke us.'

The other day my partner came home with good news. “Everyone is miserable!” he said. 

He’d just been at the pub, his first outing in over three months (he took the lockdown so seriously we started calling him Captain COVID) and had discovered that all of his mates were experiencing some “friction” with their partners during this pandemic. At the risk of sounding heartless, I must confess that I did indeed find this to be very good news.Not because everyone was miserable but because we were normal. 

Here's how you've been handling isolation, according to your start sign. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia

Some context! My husband and I have spent four months living, working, eating, sleeping and exercising in a 90 square metre apartment. 

There was a period of six weeks where we did not leave the house at all - not to shop, not to exercise (see Captain COVID reference above), which for the most part was fine except that in addition to this, he decided to start an entirely new business from scratch, with the help of precisely zero people, in a completely new area of expertise, across several international time zones, in the middle of a global pandemic. To use his words,  “I’m the most stressed and anxious I’ve ever been” and “why did I do this” and “f***, sh*t, f***.”


Starting a business is hard. Starting a business without any of the padding that makes the stresses of life bearable (i.e gyms, restaurants, travel, concerts, weddings, the outdoors, an office) is harder. Starting a business where your wife is the only other human being you see in 90 days is... well, just don’t do that.

While it might be a commendable way to get through a lockdown, it’s a terrible way to get through a marriage. There’s been... friction. We talk less yet bicker more, we spend all day together, but not enough quality time, work rolls into sleep rolls into work.


Now, I know there are people with children, people who’ve lost their jobs entirely and even people who’ve contracted COVID-19 - I know this - so I’m not technically complaining about my situation but my hunch is there are others who strongly desire their partner take an extended holiday to literally anywhere and for those folk, some good news. 

Everyone is miserable. That’s it. That’s the good news! It’s not you, it’s not even your partner (they’re probably quite a nice person) it’s this weird and crazy time that’s affecting us and our moods and our bodies and our relationships in ways we don’t fully realise and while I wouldn’t necessarily suggest you to find joy in the misery of others, I would encourage you to find solace and solidarity.  

The wisdom gleaned from the pub that day is that it doesn’t really matter if you’re starting a business or ending a business. It doesn’t matter if you’re employed or unemployed. It doesn’t matter if you have kids or not. Those feelings - that dull roar of anxiety, your low (ish) mood, your shortness of fuse and breath  - these are a universal experience right now so hold off on the divorce papers. 


Oh, and if you’re intrigued to see what Captain COVID was cooking up from our dining table for the past 90 days you can check it out here. It's called BIGSOFTI, a portable soft-light for better photos and videos. It’s only fair that I help him plug it given I get half in the divorce. 

My husband doing his thing. Image supplied. 

 Feature image: Instagram/@jan__fran