Contributed by: Rachana Arya
Even in the best of times, marriage and relationships take a great deal of work and investment. But with the pandemic, many couples have found the ripple effect of coronavirus or COVID-19
straining their marriage — some to the breaking point. The impact of being together 24/7 as a result of stay-at-home measures has left many navigating a domestic crisis behind closed doors. The lockdown has fast-tracked the expiry date of many marriages. Where there was a crack in family relationships, there is now a rupture.
So, if you and your spouse experience those moments of anger and disagreement, just remember that you’re not alone and this is not permanent. We have some tips on how you can weather the present ‘make or break’ environment and prevent your relationship from just ‘fizzling out’.
Lockdown Relationship Tips
Here are some things that you should consider talking about with your partner to help you get through the present conundrum:
- Offer comfort in crisis by frequent, affectionate touch—holding hands, hugging, kissing. Even the most subtle expressions of emotions can speak volumes.
- Talk about your physical, mental, emotional, and sexual well-being state in a non-judgmental setting.
- If you’re not on the same page in terms of your partner’s habits, it is recommended to try and move away from criticizing or blaming your partner by using affirmative statements in your communication.
- When negotiating new responsibilities about domestic chores, engaging in constructive problem-solving. It is best to discuss with one another what can be accomplished as a team in this unprecedented situation.
- Give your spouse the benefit of the doubt when edges fray and try to communicate in positive ways to enhance your relationship.
- Instead of treating your household tasks as a chore, try to view some of them as an opportunity to have fun and spend time together. Put on your favorite music while doing the chores and create a fun ambiance.
- Look for shared interests like singing, dancing, cooking, and drinking alcohol together as these have all been found to release endorphins and play a role in the upkeep of our bonds.
- If your partner is in a depressed mood, just remember that the high-pressure environment of confinement, combined with the financial stress is hard-hitting. It doesn’t mean that your partner is no longer attracted to you.
- If your partner approaches you with feelings of loss or anxiety over external stressors, be responsive to your partner’s concerns and look at their perspective in an affirmative manner.
- While consciously making time to be together as a couple, also make sure that you spend some time apart as individuals, even in the same house. Studies claim that forced face-to-face time for an extended period takes a toll on relationships. Overfamiliarity and lack of personal space in the same household exacerbate relationship problems.
- Abstain from futile and unimportant criticisms, controlling behavior, retaliation, and withdrawal as it is a precursor for marital distress and dissolution.
- Look at your partner in the same positive way you did when you first met. Believe it or not, seeing your spouse as accepting, concerned with your welfare, understanding, and supportive is a crucial component in keeping the fire burning.
- Engage in couple activities that are relatively low in stress—such as doing yoga together or watching a net series together at night, playing a game together—or sharing positive experiences and memories, that enhance intimacy and closeness.
- Don’t wait for your partner to initiate their desire for physical affection; initiate intimacy by making romantic overtures.
These are just pointers to get you started. At the end of the day, keeping those lines of communication open is the most important thing that you can do to save your relationship. Remember, even if you can muster up five ‘quality’ minutes of affection at the end of a long day, you can go a long way.
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