Great relationships don’t just HAPPEN. They take work, compromise, and dedication. This list could go on and on. The day and time we are living in today because of COVID-19 for almost ALL couples is UNREAL and can be stressful! It doesn’t matter if you are working from home or an essential worker. The uncertainty of times right now has us all on the EDGE, at least I know I am some days. The uncertainties of when will things get back to normal, how will we survive if one of us lose our jobs, when are these kids going back to school, outrageous grocery bills, what if one of us get sick, and on and on and on your mind keeps going. I don’t know if I can answer any of those questions for you but what I do know is that WE WILL get through this TOGETHER. In the meantime, I want to provide couples with some essential tips to keep their marriage strong so when this is over they will stay together, be stronger and not struggling.
The more time you spend with your spouse in the house you realize 1 of two things; I like being around them or spending all this time together is driving me crazy. Your relationship may have been struggling before this all happened and now being stuck in the house together is the WORST thing that could have happened. Staying busy was a distraction from your marriage issues. Not only are you struggling but you are looking crazy because beauty and barber shops are closed. Now you are faced with what I like to call SURVIVAL MODE! When life was busy and hectic you both had routines, the kids schedules, church schedules, appointments, and whatever else filled your time. I want to provide you with some essential tips that will help you remain sane, avoid relationship burnout, and come out of this quarantine still together as a team!
If your marriage was struggling before the quarantine try to set those things aside now and focus on the right now. I know that isn’t what a therapist would normally recommend you to do but right now try and call a “TRUCE.” Imagine stuffing the issue in a box and sitting it on the shelf. You can pull it off the shelf later when all of this over if you need to. You just might realize it wasn’t that big of a deal anyway.
Seven Essential Tips:
Clear Consistent Communication – Let me say it again CLEAR CONSISTENT COMMUNICATION. Establish parameters around being in the same environment for extended amounts of time. If that is 24 hours 7 days a week. 24 hours 3 days a week. Whatever the situation in your house is, establish parameters. For example, I want to be in the bedroom UNINTERRUPTED for 1 hour to read, listen to music, talk on the phone, stare at the wall, etc. whatever your choice is. Let your spouse know your expectations and needs to avoid conflict and someone getting their feelings hurt.
Process the Change– it is okay to grieve the loss of your routine. Working from home may not be your thing, homeschooling was not in your plans, social distancing, and not being able to frequent your normal spots are all reasons to grieve. Grieving means to distress mentally per dictionary.com. This change is mentally hard on everyone. Don’t forget you aren’t the only one grieving your spouse has feelings too. They need to process the change as well. Be patient with each other.
Daily Check-Ins- You may think you know how your spouse is feeling but you may be WRONG! It only takes a few minutes to check in and ask how they are feeling. Pray together or do a devotional to begin your check in. What’s on your mind today? Discover anything new today? Did you read a good article? Ask about their worries, fears, and hopes. Listen to them and let them know you care. You probably can’t do anything to fix their worries or fears but at least be attentive to what they are and let them know you are there to lean on!
ME Time- I know I used this as an example in #1 but seriously you need to have your ME time. Fortunate for me I mean us, Tony works outside the house everyday BUT there are times even in the evening where we go to our corners of the house. We need that ME time. Be realistic with your ME time.
NO HOT TOPICS- This is not the time to deal with long term issues in your marriage or any HOT TOPICS! I am not saying that you ignore the issues but it’s not the time to try and handle those issues. CORONAVIRUS is enough to deal with. You need boundaries around what those HOT TOPICS are. There will come time to deal with them but give each other some mercy right now and let’s just make it THROUGH this until things get back to normal. If you JUST can’t seem to sit them aside seek virtual therapy! If you are in an UNSAFE situation, seek help the best way you can.
Establish a New Normal –I thrive in routine and part of the reason I am on EDGE some days is because I haven’t established a ROUTINE or adjusted to my NEW NORMAL. Routines give purpose, meaning and structure to your life. It’s ok if structure and routine is not your thing but establish some type of NORMALCY to this new way of life. We can keep wishing it away all we want to but that doesn’t change a THING! We have to adjust to change and that is what establishing a new normal is all about.
Make Time for FUN- When life gives you lemons you make lemonade. Make sure you are doing something you enjoy TOGETHER. Date nights in the house, get creative. Host an online party with friends, it has been our new thing to look forward to on Saturday nights. Have a game night tournament. Take your movie night to the next level with some creativity. Plan your next trip for when it’s safe to travel again. Go club hopping with all the DJ’s going live. Join some of the challenges online. Get you a TikTok account, learn some new moves. You don’t have to post the videos. LOL!!!! Get creative! A google or Pinterest search will give you some ideas.
I can’t tell you when this will be over but I do know that again WE WILL GET THROUGH IT! I am a believer of the WORD and I know THIS too shall pass! In the meantime you must work together as a TEAM to make your home a SAFE place for your family. Try not to look at this as ALL bad. Use the time to rekindle and rediscover each other. If I haven’t said it enough, We WILL GET THROUGH this TOGETHER! Push tha LIMITS! Why Not? You are on the same team! You can do anything TOGETHER!
Thank you for reading and as always continue to LOVE MINUS LIMITS!
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