Prolonged stress takes a toll on any marriage, but the counselor told KDKA most things are fixable.By Meghan Schiller

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — She’s best known for her songs about heartbreak, and now Adele’s speaking the truth about her divorce and the personal journey that followed.

Turns out, Adele is just one of many people filing for divorce and rediscovering themselves right now.

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The pandemic forced us all to take a good hard look at our priorities. Some looked at their spouses and didn’t like what they saw. But what happens after that realization?

KDKA’s Meghan Schiller sat down with a divorce attorney and a life coach to find out how many people in our area are embarking on a new life journey and why.

Adele wowed the audience on Sunday night, singing an apology through song.

“You can’t deny how hard I have tried, I changed who I was to put you both first,” Adele said.

She bared it all to Oprah about her devastating divorce, and she’s not the only one turning tables.

KDKA pulled the divorce numbers for Allegheny County and learned 2,329 people filed for divorce in 2020 and slightly less, 2,096 people, filed in 2021.

“During the pandemic, we did see that there was a spike in business. Some of the reasons, plain and simple, was people called us up and said, ‘My spouse is driving me crazy,’” said Joe Williams, a partner at the Pollock Begg law firm.

The divorce attorney doesn’t need to know your reasons but said he’s heard it all.

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“We’ve been here in the house together for three or four months or working alongside one another, we’re co-parenting together, and this has made me realize that I don’t necessarily want to be with this person anymore,” William said.

But here’s the good news — the numbers show we didn’t see a divorce spike, comparatively speaking.

Five hundred and forty more people called it quits in 2018 in Allegheny County.

Looking statewide, the roughest year for marriage was 1991. More than 41,000 Pennsylvanians got divorced that year, the highest number recorded in 70 years. Compare that with the pandemic, when nearly 29,000 people filed statewide in 2020, making that the lowest number of recorded divorces since 1972.

“Many relationships were strengthened during the pandemic,” said Dr. Marlene Boas, board-certified coach and nationally certified counselor.

Boas admits being together 24/7 amplified the little annoyances, but communication can fix that.

“I think if you’re teetering on the edge of leaving a relationship, you really need to take a step back and you can see and consider why you fell in the love with the person in the first place,” said Boas. “Those characteristics, see if they’re still there, identify what’s wrong, maybe it’s a communication, maybe you haven’t expressed what you need.”

Prolonged stress takes a toll on any marriage, but Dr. Boas told KDKA most things are fixable.

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“I think if relationships were good, and they had a good foundation and people knew how to navigate communication, then they could get very much stronger and they learned to appreciate once another and what they give to each other and then become grateful for their relationship,” said Dr. Boas. “When you focus on that sort of stuff, you can let some of the other annoyances go.”

Meghan Schiller