The pandemic has had a real effect on the relationship for a lot of couples. The added stress of the current situation makes problems seem heightened, and all that extra time together during lockdown can make small irritations and disagreements escalate into full-blown arguments and problems. If you’re feeling as though your relationship has suffered during this year, you can try some of these tips to put things into perspective.
Try To Work Out What’s Really Bothering You
It’s important to try not to blow problems up into something bigger than they really are. Lockdown has acted like a re-set period for many people, and the time to think and reflect has made some people realize that their relationship isn’t working as well as they thought now they can’t go out to avoid the issues. Now they have to be at home together a lot more, there’s no ignoring the problems.
For other people, this re-set might have made them realize that due to the busy lives pre-pandemic, they’ve drifted apart from the partner, but they miss being as close as they once were.
You both must communicate what you are feeling, and you can only do this successfully by talking. Work which problem it is the relationship, and what is the outside situation.
It’s easy to have a difficult day in the current situation, and then overreact to a small annoyance from your partner. In reality, your frustration might be about the situation, not your partner.
Be Specific About What You Need
If you’re communicating about your issues, then it could be a good idea to bring in some professional help. Many relationships counsellors are offering sessions via webcam and phone.
If counselling isn’t an option right now, but you also don’t want to bring in the divorce solicitors, then you can start talking together about what needs to change.
The advantage of therapy is the time spent together and listening to one another. Thanks to distractions like phones and TV, we don’t all do this very often.
Talk specifically about what you need to change. People can be vague about there needs, so be specific. Ask yourself where you both want to be in a year or five years. Imagine if you woke up tomorrow and your relationship was fixed, what would have had to change?
Keep Your Expectations Realistic
If you’re going to be trapped at home all the time, and have realized that you don’t communicate as much as you did, don’t leap straight into doing everything together. Be realistic. Set aside chunks of time to do things together and work up.
Start by asking yourselves the question of ‘how would we know if things had got better’, and then work together to determine how you could reach this point. Often, the small things are what make the most difference. Taking the time to prepare a meal together or bringing someone a drink in bed are all good ways of bonding, and to show that you care.
Don’t expect results overnight. Relationships take work.
How have you been able to cope with your relationship difficulties during the pandemic? I’d love to know more about it in the comments below!