Conflict in couples may rise due to social isolation and quarantine requirements because we are spending 24/7 with our partners. It is a big change for the relationship to get used to.
In my previous Vlog, I talked about the different perspective you and your partner might have and the importance of knowing the difference between you and your partner when it comes to coping with COVID19. To get more insight on this click HERE! If you haven’t heard the video or read the blog I recommend you to watch this HERE first.
We are all experiencing additional stressors, which may be part of the increased conflict in the relationship. Many couples are facing other stressors in addition to the COVD-19 pandemic, such as but not limited to:
Financial Distress. Many have had financial losses due to this crisis, or worry about future finances.
Job stability. Wondering if the job you have now will be needed going forward.
Worried for loved ones who are at higher risk, such as parents, grandparents who may be sickly members of the family.
Virtual School, if you have kids. This can take hours of your day without any assistance
Being confined to be at home, creating feelings of boredom, and/or spiking mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression.
Because of lack of social support, we may want our partner to be our everything generating a demanding energy in the relationship when the other partner is also struggling emotionally
There’s a lot of newness happening, and this recipe for stress for most people.
As changes continue to happen globally, here are some of the things you can do to keep the spark alive in your relationship:
1. Understand that we will see the current situation differently and that neither perspective is wrong, they are just different. Allow each other to express your thinking and why. Take each other's opinions with grace. See if you can work on a compromise, otherwise, consider going with the most conservative option to help decrease feelings of anxiety.
2. Create a “Team Attitude”. You can do this by using the pronoun “WE” when you have conversations with your partner. For example:
What can WE do about the virtual school with our children?
How can WE tackle this particular problem?
What are WE going to do about our finances?
What are WE going to take care about the kids?
How are WE going to sanitize so WE don’t get sick during this scary time?
What are WE going to do to entertain ourselves?
What can WE do to make sure our relationship stays strong through this situation?
When we approach topics of concern with that language, we are inviting our partner to be part of the conversation, we value their input and automatically start working towards a solution instead towards another argument.
3. Take care of your own anxiety and worries by being aware of it through wellness activities such as exercise, good sleep, eating healthy meals, meditation or breath work, and mindfulness. We are responsible for our own well being.
4. Work on having a reasonable understanding about your partner's experience of the situation by trying to move on from small arguments and giving the benefit of the doubt.
5. Make sure to create space for time alone. Make it be known that you need it and accept that your spouse needs it too.
6.hink of fun things you can do at home. Maybe it's time to pull out old board games, video games (We have been playing Wii Sports games), dance, or watch the movies or shows you have not had a chance to watch before.
7. Practice gratitude together. Talk about what you're grateful about, whether it is something that your spouse did or something that happened in your day.
8. Know that you may approach sex differently. Some people do not feel like engaging in sex when they are stressed, and other's look for it as a stress reliever. If you find that you are not on the same page, discuss it and see how you can work on this together. Prioritize touch and affection, as this can be a way to mitigate the diffenrences regarding sex.
9. Do a project together: You can pick things to do at home such as organizing closets or the garage, or paint a room you have been wanting to.
10. Learn something together. There are many things that can be learned online these days, even salsa dancing!
I hope these steps bring you value and your relationship stays strong during the current situation.
To your Relationship Success,
Your therapy friend,
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