Humans can’t deal all that well with uncertainty. In the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, where the outcomes are largely unknown, most relationships are likely to experience both conflict and tension. This is an understandable consideration – that uncertainty often breeds stress, which, in turn, breeds irritation and anxiety.
If you have found yourself lashing out at your partner – this can be your husband or wife – or else closing down completely, you should know you are not alone. When you have to spend too much time together – which is happening during lockdown – relationships tend to suffer. Those involved in the relationships can go from craving intimacy to wanting isolation. BetterHelp discusses the intimacy vs. isolation concept in detail.
However, the good news is that with proper planning, your relationship can remain healthy. If you would like to get out of the COVID-19 pandemic with your relationship still intact, you have to work on developing your relationship during the lockdown period.
What to Do to Develop Your Relationship During Lockdown
With the lockdown in place, chances are, your normal now looks different to how it looked before COVID-19 forced families to remain in their homes all day. Putting an effort to outline a lockdown routine can save you arguments later on.
Sit down with your husband or wife and talk about what one needs for this isolation together to function. For example, as a wife, you can tell your husband that you need 2 hours to yourself when you are not in charge of the kids each day. A husband can tell his wife that he needs to do some work in his work-shed every afternoon.
Ensure that everyone gets a say, and all needs are addressed equally. The trick is to go through the conversation without the partner feeling like they are being forced to do something.
One thing you should try to avoid during the lockdown period is criticism. While some relationship complaints are legitimate, criticism is largely used as a shield, where the overcritical individual tries to mask his/her fear, sadness, shame, or hurt by lashing out.
Criticism can be extremely damaging to the relationship. It corrodes intimacy and trust and can easily lead to the relationship’s demise.
Criticism may not always have positive effects, rather than forcing them to become defensive. Instead of criticism, people in relationships can use a more positive approach if they want their partner to make some changes to their behavior. Focus on ensuring that your partner does not feel attacked.
If you are used to spending the biggest part of the day apart, there is a good chance that you will end up getting on each other’s nerves during the lockdown. You are likely to have more conflicts during the lockdown period.
When arguments do happen, it is important to understand how to disengage rather than escalate. Consider a shower or a bath, try working out, or try engaging in religious activities. These quick ways should help you calm down.
Once you are calm enough, come back together and try to figure out how to resolve your conflict. During conflict resolution, make sure that everyone is getting a say.
Remember that going on and on talking “at” your partner or shutting down won’t be helpful. These options can easily damage your relationship.
Have Realistic Expectations
When you are stuck at home 24 hours 7 days a week and figure out that you do not communicate a lot, you do not have to jump into doing everything together. Instead, you should be realistic.
For example, you can set aside 1 hour in the evening to have a cup of coffee together. Alternatively, consider cooking a meal together. This should keep your relationship healthy and fulfilling.
While lockdown is understandably causing anxiety and stress for many, it is still possible for couples to develop their relationships to the point they feel they are doing better. The husband and the wife should strive to be steadier, kinder, and calmer. In addition to doing this for the kids, partners should do it for each other. It may keep the relationship healthier throughout the lockdown period and, after a solution to COVID-19, is found.