May 18, 2020 / by Katharine
Couples in Quarantine
Couples are under stress during the Covid -19 pandemic as they are forced to be together for longer periods due quarantine restrictions on movement away from the family home. Usually couples have a balance of couple time or alone time, and this fulfills their needs physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually. During quarantine, the usual activities have been closed or cancelled, forcing couples to be constantly together.
Here are some ideas to help with this change in the couple experience.
- Be Patient – Covid -19 will end some-time soon. This is a temporary problem and we will recover, with or without losses but we will overcome.
- Be Gentle on each other – remember to go gently on each other when you feel under pressure. There are many losses and anxieties at the moment due to health anxiety, financial stress, job loss or fear of losing a job and home schooling kids
- Communicate your feelings – talk about your feelings and own what is causing them otherwise you may predict the your partners feelings are cause by you. We often mindread what our partner is feeling and worry that is due to us. Sharing feelings reduces couple anxiety.
- Communicate your needs – tell each other your daily needs especially when in isolation This sets up the expectations of the day so you both know what you have on your plate and know what the expectations are.
- Notice the things they do right and be quick to forgive – being positive with your partner will go a long way to maintaining good will in the relationship. Criticism and negative comments will reduce empathy and warmth and the couple environment may be icy and difficult to navigate stressful times such as Covid 19.
- Focus on what you appreciate about your partner – be grateful for what you see in your partner rather than what you don’t see.
- Find ways of dating from home – try to set up a dating time that creates quality time with your partner. Make a special meal, dress up, enjoy a drink and toast something special, or “go to the Movies” at home with popcorn, choc top and a set viewing time and intermission.
- Start/end day with rituals of connection – gratitudes, prayer etc.
- Have time apart - make sure you respect each others boundaries and attend the social networks you would normally attend eg gym connection, men’s shed, church group, Toastmasters, online choir, online music lesson, coffee or walk with a friend so you are having your personal social needs met.
- Don’t let Covid 19 break you up
Create a ritual that set up a positive routine and one you both look forward to. Make it pleasant and honest and don’t include things you want to change about your partner, otherwise you may end up regretting or dreading this time together.
Ruptures prior to Covid 19 may have occurred in your relationship. For example, a financial issue, a relationship issue, a parenting issue, a sexual issue, an infidelity, a betrayal issue or an extended family issue or more than one of these. With more time together these ruptures may get worse. Makes sure you reach out for help. Don’t be fearful about coming to couple counselling, thinking it will break you up. This is a myth about couple counselling and very untrue. Couple counselling always improves relationships, when it is equal and fair and honouring, except when the counselling is about breaking up.
Please be in touch for assistance if you have any concerns. Go gently.
Spirited Life Counselling and Therapy