Help your relationship survive COVID-19

Was it really a surprise to learn that more than 80 couples filed for divorce immediately after coming out of lockdown in China? Being together 24/7 is something we rarely experience for any significant period of time, maybe only around Christmas or holidays, and then there are often outside distractions.

So in these extraordinary times, let’s consider ways to help your relationship survive COVID-19.

– Accept that there will be both high and low days. We have all been affected by this pandemic. From losing the people you know, your job, your business, your health, it’s also the uncertainty of how long this time will last and the long-term implications that can cause our minds to run “what if” scenarios and cause life changes. humor. Accept that if your partner has a ‘breakdown’ it’s not automatically about you, so don’t take it personally.

– Talk to each other. Communication is crucial at a time like this. Don’t silently think about your situation, but don’t suppress how you feel either. Keep talking. Everything is different from normal. Our eating habits, alcohol and coffee consumption, exercise, social life, and sleep patterns have probably changed. Each one has an impact on our mental and physical health and well-being.

– Let yourself be ‘pushed’ sometimes. If your partner is in a good place, doesn’t want to hear negativity, says, ‘leave it for now’, or, ‘leave the misery’, be prepared at times to take that into account. Try to let his good humor seep into you.

– Stay connected and talk with others, to your family and friends. It is helpful to discover that many people share your fears and concerns and are experiencing similar irritations in their relationships. Maybe join online sites and chat rooms where you can share coping tips or be receptive to the many activities and interests available. Maybe host group chats, virtual dinners, morning coffees, or book clubs where you can socialize and enjoy the company of a variety of people and activities.

– Agree to give each other space and not do everything together. There are times when one can shop for groceries, walk the dog, work, go read or relax in a quiet bath and enjoy some free time. Again, it’s not personal, but it allows each space to “stay” together for a while.

– Enjoy separate hobbies or interests. One may want to study or be interested in pursuing a hobby that one normally does not have time for. Give them the opportunity to spend time on this while they can.

– Find new activities you can do together, something in which both have expressed interest. Maybe planning a special post-COVID-19 vacation, or going through his music catalog, old photos of him, games he used to play; you can find hours of fun, laughter and nostalgia to help your relationship survive COVID-19.

– When we are confined to our homes and far from everything that is routine and familiar it is understandable that someone breaks in from time to time! Many of us feel like we have little or no control. Our family structure, work, exercise routine, social structure have disappeared, almost overnight. Forgive the occasional outburst. But if it happens more and more often, try to discuss what happened next, when things are calmer.

– be patient with each other. Accept that it’s often the little things that cause the biggest irritations. Chances are a big complaint will be discussed at the time, while smaller things like not emptying the bins, leaving a dirty cup on the table, not offering to make a drink could trigger underlying frustrations and annoyances. . If this happens, try to step back and agree to discuss it at a less tense time.

– Maybe agree with a word of ‘timeout’, phrase, or action that can be used to create a pause if things seem too hot. Then separate for a while. Perhaps one goes for a walk, cools off, spends time in the garden. Yes, sometimes, particularly in these unprecedented days, we have to ignore some things and not comment or criticize everything that offends or we don’t like. But if rudeness or temper outbursts occur more frequently, you should consider what your options are. It may be helpful to discuss issues with family, friends or use helpline support.

– Could alcohol be a factor? Alcohol sales have definitely increased, as has sugar and candy consumption and time spent on gambling and porn sites. Again, mental and physical health, daily exercise, perhaps a walk outside, getting up regularly at the same time, showering, and maintaining a healthy routine all support good health, sleep, and better focus on your life. relationship.

– If money is a problem perhaps negotiating a weekly or monthly allowance for each to spend on their own whims, with the understanding that no comments or questions are asked.

– Decide not to let children dominate every waking moment. Some families insist that their homeschooled children wear school uniforms to make it clear that this is not an extra unplanned vacation. Plan your lessons, but also schedule online exercise classes, crafts, reading, housework so that you have a quiet moment during the day and are not exhausted at night.

This period of confinement could be the time for you to bond, reinforce your love, closeness and connection, capable of creating many good memories along the way. A little thought, consideration, and sensitivity can help your relationship survive COVID-19.

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