Let’s just say things have been interesting the past few weeks with couples coming out of quarantine. In China, couples have been emerging from the confinement of their homes only to file divorce shortly after. Divorce rates are spiking across the country as married couples say they “spent too much time” with one another; how ironic. To help you keep your relationship intact and your sanity during the lockdown, here are few things to keep in mind!
Stick to Your Regular Schedule
It may sound great to spend every minute of every day single day together, but trust me, it’s not. Things will get old very fast, and guess what, your workload and responsibilities did not stop just because it seems the world has. Your partner’s schedule may look a lot more available now that COVID-19 has affected many industries, but you can’t let that interfere with your productivity.
If your partner doesn’t realize that your schedule hasn’t slowed up like theirs may have, make them aware of your “office hours”, but also make time for them. Scheduling out time for both your career and your partner is vital to keep you on top of your responsibilities and your partner feeling loved. Even if you can’t go out on dates, make dinner together, do partner exercises to stay healthy, or binge-watch an entire season of Breaking Bad with your partner after a hard day of work.
Okay, so it’s time for you to “go to work”. The catch is you’re cooped up in a one-bedroom flat with your partner, and you don’t have an office to escape to. If your partner is watching TV while you’re trying to work, for example, it’s best to ask them to turn the volume down or find a better way to compromise that suits the situation. The key words here are ask them, not tell them, and compromise.
You want to make sure that you’re communicating your needs in a way that your partner will understand them and be willing to work with you to solve the problems. Telling someone to do something will, more often than not, lead to that person not wanting to do whatever it is that you’re telling them. People do not like to be told what to do because we value our autonomy. Asking someone must be approached in a more positive manner.
Also, compromising is essential to your relationship. As a couple, personal agendas will naturally emerge. When this happens, you should talk about what concerns you and look at each of your partner’s concerns as one of your own. By listening carefully, you show that you care what the other thinks is important. The best outcome for the discussion would be you and your partner coming up with a win-win plan that solves the problems that were discussed.
Be on the Same Page About the Pandemic
Your partner has officially eaten all of the quarantine food and doesn’t seem to be taking the situation as seriously as he or she should. If your partner isn’t taking COVID-19 seriously, it’s not a far stretch to say that he or she may also be neglecting basic precautionary measures like washing his or her hands after going out in public. What do you do? Again, communication is key. Not only do your partner’s actions affect their own health, they risk your health and the others that he or she may come into contact with.
You need to make it very clear to your partner that the two of you are a team in this situation. You both are relying on each other to make good decisions that will impact your lives and the lives of those in the community around you. In the current situation, you’ll be relying on each other in new ways, which can be very tense but also can result in strengthening your bond if you can keep reminding yourselves that you’re in this together.
Be Understanding (and Sometimes Forgiving)
This might sound like a no brainer, but once again, trust me, it’s not. You might slowly realize that your partner has habits that are unappealing, and you may find yourself feeling un-attracted to them because of it.
Just remember that your partner is a little out of his or her element too. What may seem like habitual actions, may just be because of the living and work situation. If your partner’s actions are harmless, like their “work call” voice just sounding absolutely horrendous, that’s something that can be forgiven. Look at it from their perspective, maybe your back to back conference calls bother your partner and hinders their productivity.
If your partner’s actions are pushing you past the breaking point, it may be significantly harder to forgive and ignore their habits and actions. Once again, talk to them about it. Communication is key in conflicts like this. It’s better for both of you to know what’s working and what’s not than for one of you to be completely oblivious.
Relationships are tough enough under the typical circumstances; now, couples have to deal with a lot more added stress due to the changes in lifestyle, economy, and the environment. Instead of projecting your stress and worries on one another, use each other for support during these hard times.