Lately, couples have have to spend approximately all their time together. And that has been straining relationships left and right. While it is true that the pandemic has increased divorce rates in America and many other countries, it does not have to be this way.
Many of the causes of divorce are the same regardless of the circumstances. Healthy, long-term relationships require some work to keep everyone having fun and being happy. Here are some tips to keep your relationship strong regardless of what is going on externally.
Make a plan for household work, but don’t make it a competition.
No one wants to feel like they are the only one doing any work around the house. It is important for everyone to not feel like all the household responsibilities are falling on their shoulders, on top of a busy workday. To avoid conflict, make a plan that you and your partner can agree on, while also being aware that times are tough and everyone is doing their best.
Winifred M. Reilly. a marriage and family therapist sums it up nicely:
“A good rule of thumb: Do as much as you can, express gratitude for your partner’s contribution and accept that there’s likely too much to do.”
Get some alone time.
Even if you thought you spent a lot of time with your partner before, stay-at-home orders and shutdowns have increased that together time by a lot. And no matter how much you love your love, it’s important that you also spend some time with yourself.
When you spend time alone, you nurture your relationship with yourself, which is essential in order to feel happy and satisfied in any other relationship too. And, after a little time apart, you may be more excited to see your spouse.
But schedule some serious quality time, too.
Of course, too much time alone can make you forget all about your partner, and we don’t want that either! It’s important to still maintain a sense of connection with your partner. Some helpful ways to do that are through self-care, which will help you destress and heal together, and by scheduling date night, to keep the romance alive.
So, whether you make homemade face masks, do yoga together, or put on a nice outfit for a fancy homemade meal, you are taking steps to maintain your connection with your partner. Especially these days, we all need a bit of romance and connection.
Every relationship has its problems, but now is not the time to tackle them.
These days, stress levels are pretty high, even without trying to address longstanding relationship issues. Because of the outside circumstances of the world, you can’t expect your partner to have the energy and emotional availability to handle some really serious discussions.
When things get a little bit more normal, you and your partner might both be more able to come into a serious discussion with level-headedness and an ability to generously listen to the other side. But right now, try to focus on keeping things light, more pleasant, and cut each other some slack.
Come up with a new routine, together.
With so much of regular life flipped upside-down, chances are, your schedule has drastically rearranged itself too. According to the Huffington Post, maintaining a semblance of a routine can help your mental health.
And it can be even better to share the creation of your routine with your partner, so that you are on the same page about what your days will look like. You and your partner are a team, and making this type of game plan can really help you feel closer and like you can manage anything together.
Remember, you and your partner are a team.
The most important things in any relationship are to listen and respect your partner. If you approach your relationship like a team, and as two team members who both want the whole team to succeed, you can really build a wonderful and happy, healthy relationship regardless of the outside circumstances.
Disclaimer: these pieces of advice are only suited for healthy relationships. If a relationship is detrimental to your health or causing you fear, please speak out and seek help at 1.800.799.7233
To learn more about relationship advice, read this article.
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