I don’t know about you but it’s getting harder to remember life before the Covid pandemic turned our lives upside down.
It’s caused us to re-evaluate aspects of our lives that we usually take for granted, like how we work, stay healthy, and how we care for our loved ones. Whether you are working from home or unable to work; home-schooling your children or living alone, most of us are going through an incredibly challenging year.
Due to the lockdown, many of us have been spending an extra 40 hours per week at home with our partners, but more time does not always mean greater happiness. It’s easy to overlook our partner’s bad moods & bad habits when we’re not under stress, but now couples are becoming aware of issues which were easy to brush over when life was going smoothly. And without work or the gym or the pub to escape to, your partner’s annoying habits might become harder to put up with over time.
“We need separateness in order to be together in a confinement situation. Separateness means having space to work, exercise, have a routine, and to maintain relationships with others, so you maintain who you are as person,”
– Michele Scheinkman, couples therapist
Isolation can also lower our tolerance, causing us to lash out when we would usually keep our cool.
Is pandemic stress causing a strain on your relationship?
While the coronavirus may be with us for some time, it might be useful to reframe it as a golden opportunity to work on & strengthen your relationship.
Here are 4 ways to strengthen your relationship during the pandemic:
1. Acknowledge the stressors
Your partner may find themselves stressed about different aspects of the pandemic than you are. Your partner might be worried about whether their business can survive, or the anxiety may tempt some people to lose themselves in work, while others feel as though they are shouldering the children’s home-schooling education in addition to the mountain of domestic duties that are already piling up.
These different experiences of stress can drive a wedge between a couple, making it harder for them to empathize with each other’s struggles. When we’re under stress, understanding & communication become important tools, allowing us to push through the hard times & support each other.
1. Check your anger
Communication is important, but if you’re feeling angry, try taking some time out to calm down & take a few deep breaths first. Before speaking, think about your partner’s good qualities & remember that they are, after all, your team-mate.
“Most people understand that these are unprecedented circumstances, and are willing to work at being more patient and considerate than usual.”
-Chris Kraft, Ph.D
3. Remember the love
It’s easier to resolve conflicts when coming from a place of love.
“Couples who were in a good place before COVID-19 will have an easier time withstanding the stress of the pandemic, but even partners who were struggling before the stay-home mandates began can use the time to work through some of their problems.”
-Chris Kraft, Ph.D
4. Make time for fun
It’s more important than ever to find new ways to enjoy time together and try new things. Unfortunately, couples struggling the most to bond in quarantine are those with young children. Between keeping the children entertained, couples are finding it harder than ever to find quality time for each other. But even short periods of fun activities can enhance & nourish relationships. If you can find a time to be with your partner, use that time well.
Unsurprisingly, studies show that couples who can find novelty and fun even during difficult times tend to build a stronger relationship bond & emerge happiest.
Couples who are really struggling should seek out Imago relationship therapy. An Imago therapist can teach you the Imago way of communication that leads to the solution of problems and the magic of real connection – the basis of a successful intimate relationship.
If you need to restore your marriage, book an appointment with Eureka Centre. We have a very experienced and certified Imago Therapist, Jeanette Dreyer, who achieves excellent results, and we have many satisfied clients.
We specialise in an advanced form of relationship counselling called Imago Relationship Therapy as an alternative to traditional relationship counselling.
Please be advised
At Eureka Centre we have a very experienced and certified Imago Therapist, Jeanette Dreyer, who achieves excellent results, and we have many satisfied clients. However, we cannot guarantee the results in any case. Your results may vary and every situation is different.
Remember that, the pandemic won’t last forever, and by treating each other with kindness today, our relationships will be better off once the pandemic is under control and we return to normal life.