On one of the most memorable days of your life, when pledging eternal love, the isolation of a pandemic was not something that crossed your minds. When couples embark on the marriage journey, they most likely don’t assume that means seeing each all day, every day.
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to spend more time together as we attempt to isolate and stay healthy. This unexpected turn of events makes for monotonous surroundings forcing everyone to find new ways of living together. Though the isolation provides us with more time to spend together, the bad news is that these are explosive circumstances.
Children and financial strains are only an added stressor to the worry of falling ill due to the rampant virus. Issues such as domestic violence, physical or verbal, has risen since the start of the pandemic, along with the rates of divorce, even in areas that are opening.
More than ever before, couples are looking to work on their marriages in hopes of staving off a divorce and improving their daily lives. The one benefit of isolation is the number of opportunities for engagement with one another.
Here, you can find the top tips on how to improve your marriage during a pandemic:
Remember, there is always a better time and place for criticism, whether constructive or not. A pandemic is not the time to continue criticizing your spouse; instead, focus on showing appreciation.
Even if it’s the hundredth time you’ve told them you appreciate the tea they made, the breakfast or lunch they cooked, or the clothes they put away, spend time showing each other how grateful you are for one another.
Listen with curiosity because there’s usually more to the story than what we see on the outside. Stress can potentially bring out the best or the worst people skills in others.
With the pandemic adding on more responsibilities than ever before, any slacking by a spouse can be seen as a betrayal, which most of the time is not the case.
Without jumping to conclusions and unraveling a possible fight, listen to your spouse to learn what is really going on. The problem could be something as simple as being distracted by work or even hungry.
Allowing them to feel listened to is the key to success since they will be likely to respond more positively, and the two of you could move forward on a sound footing.
Spouses may have different ways of seeing the coronavirus pandemic, which is not bad but shouldn’t be dismissed. If you find yourself disagreeing on the best approach, talk about your opposing views to find common ground.
Empathy is the key to a successful marriage and discussion about a harmful virus, which means validating each other’s feelings. Voicing the feelings your partner may feel is one way to show them you’ve been listening and would like to work together.
Buy or Trade Time
Time alone from each other or the kids, even if it’s for a couple of minutes every day, is important to maintaining your mental health.
Whether you have to buy that time from your spouse or barter for it, build a schedule the two of you are comfortable with—trade time with the kids or chores around the house to create the necessary time.
Allow you and your spouse to form boundaries that you feel comfortable with. This could take many forms, such as scheduling a good time to talk or letting each other know when you’re busy.
Remember, even if your partner may appear free, that does not mean they are. They are not a blank board waiting for more information, but rather living their own life. Always ask if the time you want to talk is a good time, and be open to discussing things later.
The same goes for arguing; suggest a good time to do it later, though no later than 24 hours. Scheduling a brewing fight for a later time will have a couple of different effects on the situation.
First, you will have time to cool off and think things through. Second, if kids are in the picture, it will protect them from seeing their parents fight since you’ll have the time to plan a different place for your fight as well.
A small tip is to try and discuss things while going for a walk. People are more open to discussing their feelings when they are side by side rather than face to face.
Don’t Beat Around the Bush
Exactly as it sounds, don’t make your partner guess your feelings or your wants. Though you are spending more time together than ever before, it does not mean you’ll see into each other’s minds.
Mind-reading is not something humans have ever evolved to do, which means ideas require a clear discussion. Tell your partner what you need and want, and be specific, as a way to increase the communication in your marriage during a pandemic.
Though being together too much may sound more stressful than sexy, don’t forget to show each other intimacy. Intimacy was found to be a great stress-reliever and one way to show you care.
Working on your marriage during a pandemic is difficult; however, time spent together will present you with the best opportunities. Keep an open mind as you discuss your wants and needs while listening to those of your spouse.
Acknowledge what each of you is going through the best you can. If a fight is starting to build, allow yourself to discuss things at a scheduled time. Maintaining a marriage during a pandemic may be no easy feat. But it can be done with the two both of you coming out stronger.