By now, you’ve probably gotten over any excitement you had about being home so much. You knew that there would come a time when being home so much would probably get boring or even feel like drudgery and you’re starting to feel it now. Things are just boring and you’re feeling in a malaise. And you’re starting to feel it in our relationship, too. You’re around each other a lot but that’s not always a good thing. You’re feeling on top of each other. You wake up together, eat breakfast together, negotiate who’s getting the kids ready for home school that day, eat lunch together, and when work is done you try to find something to talk about that you didn’t already talk about earlier that day. And the sex. Yeah, that’s not as fun lately either. You’re feeling the same malaise in your relationship that you’re feeling personally.
While there is some data that Covid-19 may be increasing divorce rates, you don’t have to go down the same road. There are lots of things you can do to keep your relationship healthy during Corona.
Tips for Your Relationship During Coronavirus
Don’t Just Wait it Out
The biggest problem that I’m seeing in my clinic is that people (including couples) are twiddling their thumbs waiting for coronavirus to pass so that they can get back to real life. They’re taking a wait-it-out approach. There are a couple problems with this. First of all, things just aren’t going to magically go back to normal all the sudden. The whole world has taken a big hit in uncountable ways and it’s going to take more than a quick fix to repair it. It’s more likely going to be a gradual transition into post-corona world. So if you’re just waiting for things to go back to normal thinking that your relationship will go back to normal then as well, you’re going to be waiting a while.
The other problem with this wait-it-out idea is that by not addressing the challenges you’re experiencing in your relationship as a result of corona, you’re creating a lot of challenges that will need to be fixed later. You’re not addressing the problems that are coming up in your relationship in the meantime. Sure, corona will pass but that’s not a guarantee that the problems that came up during this time will go away after. Waiting it out is wasting a lot of time that you could be using to create connection with your spouse. And the skills you find to help your relationship now are going to be helpful after corona, too.
Create time to just talk
The world is going through a big change right now. So are you. So is your spouse. When’s the last time you talked to each other about it? Don’t be satisfied with just talking about the day-to-day details. Carve time to ask your partner how they’re doing with everything and really listen. Followup with questions about what challenges they’re personally feeling and what opportunities excite them from all of this. This is going to change as everything else changes so this is a conversation you can have regularly – at least every couple of weeks. Carve time to have serious conversations and check-in with each other
Create a structure
The most concrete advice I can give to couples right now is to create a structure for yourself as a couple. Create time and space in your house for the two of you as a couple. Then protect that time and space. For example, you’ve heard me say on our Youtube channel that your bedroom should just be for sleeping and sex. Keep it that way during corona. Take all your work stuff out of there and don’t let your kids do their school work in there, either. Other ways to create time and space for you two as a couple is to find something you two enjoy doing together and make it happen in your house. So if you both like movies make time together as a couple and watch one just the two of you after the kids go to bed. Or if you both like trying new food, order take out and make it a date. Take your dinner to the backyard and tell your kids to stay inside and watch a movie. If you both have a hobby you both enjoy doing, carve time and do it just the two of you.
Once you’ve decided what thing(s) you guys want to do together as a couple, the most important thing is to carve time for each other and be consistent about it. Make it the same time every week. What else do you have to do?