Being stuck at home longer than usual has honestly tried many relationships during the pandemic. If you feel that you are already on edge and you need professional advice, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment for couple’s counseling.
Marriage counseling is private, educational and has vastly improved in the past few decades. It is never too late to seek couple’s counseling because everyone deserves better mental health during the pandemic.
One of the biggest challenges of the pandemic is people have to spend a tremendous amount of time in the same environment, day after day. We are obliged to be with the same people, especially if you and your spouse or partner are both working from home.
The great news here is you now have more opportunities to bond with your spouse and kids if you have them, and as you connect with your family, you also have more time to discuss issues that may be affecting your relationship.
There are many ways to open a line of effective communication with a partner or spouse, but not all work.
1. Substitute criticism for praise and appreciation
While some criticism may be necessary for long-term growth, now is not the time to be regularly criticizing your spouse. Instead of attacking, we recommend that you make an effort to appreciate all the positives that your spouse has done through the months.
Being more appreciative is easy, like saying thank you for mundane things like your partner giving you coffee in the morning. Experts also recommend talking about three awesome things that your spouse or partner did for the day before going to sleep.
2. Be more curious about your partner.
It’s a fairly common complaint that spouses don’t do enough during the pandemic. However, many people also forget that the pressure cooker conditions of the pandemic bring out the best and worst in people. Sometimes, a person’s behavior can change because he/she is engaged in largely invisible coping mechanisms.
A stressful environment can also trigger bad memories, and we tend to react to these memories as if we are stuck in the past.
Before you talk negatively about your partner, ask plenty of questions and try to arrive where they are at the moment. This may solve a huge chunk of your communication problems.
3. Allow your partner to feel good or bad about the crisis
It’s easy to make the mistake of wanting your partner to be on the same page 100% of the time. However, this isn’t always possible, even before the pandemic.
Experts recommend being more emphatic of opposing views with several psychological stresses weighing down on your partner/spouse.
People are processing the idea of the virus differently. You have to be more alert and mindful of the different emotions that your spouse is feeling at the moment. These various emotions change people’s behaviors, which isn’t always a bad thing.
4. Barter or buy some “me time.”
Having “me time” may sound selfish because we are in a crisis. However, my time is necessary if you want to remain balanced in touch with reality. It doesn’t have to be several hours a day.
Sometimes, just half an hour to yourself can vastly improve your mood and how you view the situation at home. If you cannot remember the last time that you had some time for yourself, today would be the best time for some quality me-time.
5. Don’t forget about intimacy
Intimacy may seem so ordinary because you see your partner daily. However, removing it from the equation just because you have ‘too much of your partner during the lockdown is a bad sign.
Figure out how you can reintroduce excitement and intimacy and make it consistent, too. If you and your partner are experiencing trouble with intimacy in these conditions, don’t forget to reach out to a local couple’s counselor in your area.
6. Make sensible plans that everyone can handle
Having medical conditions that prevent one-half of a couple from going out because of the coronavirus threat can put a strain on anyone. If you are somehow assigned with most of the outdoor tasks, then your partner has to pitch in if he is left at home most of the time.
Homeschooling has also made it more intense to manage a household without being fatigued by the unceasing demands. This is when planning becomes essential. However, make sure that you make primarily flexible plans so the entire household can catch up.