Evolving your Relationship During the COVID-19 Crisis
We have often heard that change is the only constant in life. However, no one imagined, a pandemic like COVID-19, would change the entire world, as we know it. This change was so sudden that it jerked us all out of our comfort zones. It is important in such times that we learn to accept the situation and also adapt by being flexible towards the change.
These are particularly tough times for relationships. Though we love our family, it is not an easy task to be in a lockdown situation, 24 hours a day, for an indefinite period, with restless toddlers, bored children and moody teenagers around. To add to it, there is also the pressure of work from home, managing kids’ online schooling, household chores, the worry of the pandemic affecting our family members and even the financial crisis that is set on the world, as a consequence of this. In such anxious times, pre-existing problems between couples may seem bigger than usual.
Communicate openly and frequently
It is vital to note that conflict in such situations is unavoidable. But being aware of the situation and responding instead of reacting to any trigger is of utmost importance. The key to this is good communication between the two partners. Talk to each other about how the COVID situation makes you feel. What are your insecurities and how do you think you can cope with the situation together?
If you have new or unresolved issues to deal between the two of you, then use a gentle approach to communicate about it. Look at each other’s vulnerabilities and approach them with kindness and empathy. Partners do well in their relationships when they agree to listen and respect one another’s points of view in such uncertain times.
Accept the Personality Differences
Two people cannot be exactly the same in their opinions, thoughts or personality. Some traits are core to a person and not necessarily flaws. Your partner’s traits may just be different from your traits. Know the difference between perpetual problems arising out of personality differences and those issues which can be resolved. Work on issues that can be resolved. This lockdown period may bring up the perpetual problems more often than you would like. Take this time together to have open and mature dialogues on what you expect from each other. Find ways to accommodate each other’s personality differences without making your partner feel neglected or disrespected.
Create New Routines and Rituals
Since life has suddenly changed its course, try to create new routines and day-to-day plans and stick to them. A good routine helps both of you, as well as children, to cope better with the situation. Partners should make schedules to accommodate each other’s work timings, place of work in the house, access to devices, making time for each other and sharing household responsibilities.
Also, it is important to make space for fun rituals into your life, in times like this. This could be in the form of game nights, movie nights, or even just a couple or family mealtimes, where you unwind from the stress of it all. You may want to check out our article on some fun things to beat the lockdown blues together as a couple.
Find Ways to Connect with Each Other
Through the stress, it remains important to find ways to connect daily, with each other. Ask yourself how you can connect with your partner today. It could be a coffee together before you start the day’s work, a love note on your partner’s work desk showing how much you care or a moment to make your partner smile. Simultaneously, you also need to reciprocate when your partner tries to connect with you. If you do not notice or reciprocate your partner’s efforts of bonding with you, they might stop trying. You can also do household activities like cooking, laundry or dishes together, talking and sharing a light moment.
Turn Inwards to Enhance your Relationship
Any conflict can be easily resolved if you practice looking at yourself before pointing fingers at your partner. This is a good time to reflect on your flawed behavioural traits, annoying habits and mental blocks. Take time every day to spend time with yourself and reflect objectively on what traits in you annoy your partner the most. Is there a way you could work on improving these issues? Talk to your partner about how they feel. Make sure you are listening to what they have to say without being defensive. When you work on yourself, you not only evolve into a better life partner but also encourage your partner to work on themselves. Do train your mind to look for qualities you appreciate in him/her instead of constantly brooding over their mistakes. Let your partner know more often how grateful you feel about having them in your life. Gratitude and self-reflection are great traits to train yourself, in times of a crisis.
COVID is the dark cloud in your life today and the time you are spending with your partner in this lockdown and social distancing time, is your silver lining. Don’t let this opportunity to come out, as a more evolved and happy couple, go waste. Use it to understand yourself and each other better and manage this crisis by turning it to a prospect of a new dawn in your relationship.