With couples being home together during the coronavirus outbreak, there may be a need to redefine the relationship. A humorous video I saw circulating on social media is of a man being presented with the following : “Because of coronavirus you are going to be quarantined, but you have a choice. Do you A, be quarantined with your wife and child or?” The man immediately interjected B because what could be worse than A?! This is amusing, but for some perhaps a bit too real.
How do we get through this with our relationship intact? With no chance to pre-plan as we are hit with this new reality, it’s probably a good idea to discuss things like boundaries, expectations, and roles with our significant other. My hunch is that negotiation will be involved and conversations will be ongoing. It’s natural that with stress and being in close quarters, things that bother us about the other person will be magnified. Communicating openly and trying to avoid doing things that drive your partner crazy will go a long way. The book The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman can come in handy right about now!
Try to also plan some activities together and make an effort to show affection. Maybe you can work on a jigsaw or crossword puzzle, take a stroll down memory lane, play a board game, or watch a show. Make sure to connect with each other and independently keep up with your wider social groups to maintain balance. Remember to allow for sharing fears and feelings about what’s happening around us.
A free on-line resource offered by The Gottman Institute is “Marriage Minute.” It’s an email newsletter to improve your marriage in a minute and proves that small gestures can produce big changes with time. When given option A or B you may even choose option A without hesitation!
We understand that tensions may be high right now, but we are happy to offer therapy via telehealth to help you get through these trying times. Contact us for a free phone consultation.