Undoubtedly, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has impacted virtually every aspect of our lives. Although many businesses have now reopened in at least some capacity, countless Americans are still either out of work, working from home, or learning to adjust to a more health-conscious reality.
And while shelter-in-place orders may have theoretically allowed us to spend more quality time with our loved ones, it’s clear that this “new normal” can have adverse effects on our closest relationships. Even though we don’t yet know the ramifications that COVID-19 will have on the state of American marriages, some divorce lawyers either anticipated surges in separations or have reported upticks in inquiries from couples in crisis.
Whether you want to avoid this scenario at all costs or simply want to come out of quarantine with an even stronger partnership than before, there are ways to ensure small squabbles don’t erupt into relationship-ending quarrels. Below, you’ll find a few tips that can help you navigate these uncertain times while remaining unified with your partner.
Make Time (And Privacy) For Yourself
Regardless of whether you’re introverted or you love socializing with others, everyone needs time by themselves to recharge during a stressful period. With no definitive end of the pandemic in sight, it’s important to address your own needs if you want to avoid unnecessary conflict with your spouse. If you enjoyed a fair amount of time by yourself prior to this, you’ll want to come up with a plan that allows you to safely do so now — whether that’s designating a separate room for you to unwind or a time of day where you walk around the neighborhood on your own. You might also need to set boundaries when working from home, especially if your partner has recently found themselves unemployed. Even if you love nothing more than to spend quality time with your partner, it’s essential to discuss what you both need to be productive and happy. Otherwise, it’s easy for resentment and tension to build up and come out in unhealthy ways.
Figure Out Your Source of Stress
Identifying stressors can be incredibly helpful even for those who aren’t in relationships. But it’s especially important for partners to figure out the source of anxiety in order to keep other emotions in check. For example, an emotion like anger might come out when anxiety and stress aren’t identified and dealt with appropriately — and that can put a huge strain on relationships. Being able to zero in on the root cause of what you or your partner is feeling (like the anxiety associated with job loss, event cancelations, or new roles at home) can allow you both to communicate more openly and direct your emotions appropriately. Rather than blowing up at your spouse over something that’s out of your control, you’ll be able to receive the emotional support your need.
Be Mindful of Language
Conflict can actually be helpful. However, it’s the behaviors that often accompany conflict that can make a situation unhealthy. Name-calling or relationship ultimatums have no place in a conversation with your partner, so you’ll need to keep your emotions in check whenever conflict does arise. It’s important to set boundaries in regards to language use and to ensure you’re committed to walking away from an argument for a while when the situation becomes too heated. Marriage counseling professionals can help couples who are looking for more productive and healthy ways to communicate in high-pressure situations like these.
Seek Out Virtual Marriage Counseling
According to research, 98% of couples who undergo counseling report they receive good or excellent help. But just because we’re in the middle of a pandemic doesn’t mean you can’t receive the marriage counseling help you need. If you’re hitting a crucial point in conflict or you need extra communication support, you can make a telehealth therapy appointment on your own or with your spouse. Therapy via video has a number of benefits during this time and being able to undergo marriage counseling without leaving your home can be a huge plus.
With these tips in mind, you can navigate whatever the pandemic throws your way. To learn more about making a teleconference therapy session appointment, please get in touch.