Ever since the coronavirus hit, couples have had to get used to living on top of each other in a way that they never had to before; doing all from working to celebrating anniversaries within the same four walls. Before the outbreak of the pandemic, couples had all sorts of outlets that allowed them to explore different aspects of their lives, minus their significant other. But over the last few months, it’s been intense. And the results are mixed.
For some families, the pandemic was somewhat of a relief. It meant an end to the usual pace of life and a chance to unwind, step back, and take stock. Many partners realised that they’d neglected one other and were surprised to find out just how much they enjoyed each other’s company. Others found new hobbies and interests to pass the time; or simply had long conversations where they got to know each other better.
Covid-19, though, has put a spanner firmly in the works of a large number of couples. Experts predict that family law solicitors will be busy over the next few months, and they’re probably right. Even partners whose relationships were fine before are now experiencing difficulties.
For couples whose relationship has broken down there is at least some good news. The recent introduction of no-fault divorce in the UK means that couples can agree to split without the need to blame one another so couples can divorce amicably and get on with their lives.
So what’s going on here?
Part of the cause of relationship breakdown has to do with temperament. Some people are okay with being stuck in their homes for weeks on end, while, for others, it is a kind of cruel punishment. The frustration of missing out on life can become misdirected towards a partner, leading to outbursts and arguments that make things difficult.
The stress of the current situation is also taking its toll. People are worried about getting sick and their finances. And they’re also concerned about family members who they’ve been unable to visit. All of this takes its toll. So if you find that the lockdown is changing your relationships, what can you do to soothe yourself and save your marriage?
Try focussing on the positives of the situation. If your partner is coping with the present crisis well, use that as an opportunity to admire them for their strength
Keep spending time apart, even if you live in a flat. Being separate for a while is one of the best antidotes to conflict. It helps you look forward to seeing your partner instead of dreading the next thing that comes out of their mouths.
Start your day with a wellbeing check-in, making sure that you’re looking after your basic mental health.
Get out of the house once per day to get your exercise or walk the dog. Don’t spend vast amounts of time indoors where tensions can simmer and fester.
Be creative in your relationship. Use the lockdown as a chance to explore new interests with your partner so that you don’t get stuck in a rut.
Try putting difficult conversations on hold temporarily. Give your partner some slack and allow the situation to pass. You can always address issues when normality returns.
For some people, therefore, the pandemic is an opportunity to build a better relationship. Start using these strategies today to improve yours.