Besides the front-line – the coronavirus-related health worries, there are a few more concerns, especially those regarding the mental part of this struggle. We all go through the quarantine period. Some of us remained closed in houses with their spouses for the first time. Even within the happiest and most stable marriages, COVID-19 will provide fireworks and challenges never seen before. How to protect your marriage? Will your union survive this experiment? Let’s look closer at this unprecedented case.
The unprecedented struggle
Social distancing to combat the spread of the virus is one thing, social gathering in houses, with families and spouses, during the quarantine, is another. When we are confined to small spaces, it’s not surprising that at some point, the atmosphere may become dense. Not only staying together in one, restricted space, causes a new kind of experience, but we also have to balance work and personal life. In that period, this objective is valid 24 hours a day. God knows for how much longer. The bright side of the situation is that the coronavirus-related quarantine can be a perfect opportunity for greater understanding and learning about one another.
With your kids on board, whether they are newborns or unsubordinated teenagers, even more things can happen. Have you ever imagined a recipe for the family disaster? Just think about “The Shining” (1980) by Stanley Kubrick, and you’ll have a perfect view of possible happenings. Communication is a secret ingredient of any healthy relationship. It’s not only, but especially, during the new coronavirus pandemic. Maybe it’s worth asking, from time to time, how is your second half doing both physically and mentally? This period is the best occasion to start. Daily check-ins, or even little, sweet notes left here and there, can change your relationship for the better! It doesn’t matter how much you communicate, specialists claim, but that you try to.
Talk and respect your space
If both spouses have a different perspective on the same event, this is when problems are born. Communication is highly needed. Spouses are almost never used to spending all the time together. This is a novel circumstance, and as such, it needs new approaches. Usually, at least one partner leaves the house and goes to work. Currently, as employees work from home, both partners are required to sit at home due to government-mandated lockdowns. Spending all the time under the same roof is a challenge, especially in smaller households.
How to deal with the need for personal space? Couples’ specialists suggest learning the importance of alone time and try to respect it. Try to identify whether you need a partner to regulate your emotions, or you find comfort in regulating on your own. If you’re the second case, you should let yourselves breathe in separate spaces, as much as possible to stay calm, and remain close to your real self. Also, if your partner is an auto-regulator, avoid pursuing him to engage, or you will wake up his worst demons. Maybe the best way to go through a tense situation with your partner will be to just put on headphones and meditate? What about sitting quietly in a corner? Such a quiet spot may be a good idea to regain peace for both of you.
Leave tough issues for later and share what you can’t stand
There was an anecdote, a comic advice circling the internet, saying that partners suddenly forced to work from home together, should create an imaginary co-worker to blame for the disagreements. For example “Cheryl”, who keeps leaving her dirty water cups all over the place. Make an invisible “Cheryl” a scapegoat for all the things one of you do, that annoy the other. It will help to keep the atmosphere lighter and funnier in the household, temporarily known as prison. Partners who stay at home due to the new coronavirus, also find solace in sharing online their private stories of what has gone wrong. They embrace #CovidConfessions, a novel social media phenomenon, through which people share truths about their lives.