If one stops to think a bit about it, relationships of all sorts are going through new stresses given the Coronavirus outbreak. Even the relationships that are doing well and thriving in such a time have experienced changes that aren’t necessarily helpful.
It’s not what life throws our way, but rather how we respond that matters most. In this particular case, it’s Coronavirus and the resulting confinement we’re experiencing that has become increasingly difficult.
While anyone can continue to kick the can down the road in their relationship, COVID is creating a very defined line in the sand for many. Couples are either becoming stronger or weaker as we continue to adjust to a new (temporary) normal. Let’s take a closer look at some of the keys for both.
Communication is the number one reason why couples become stronger during uncertain times, and surely during recent shelter in place orders. Communication brings comfort and support in unmeasurable ways when fear sets in, especially for those long-termers. It’s also the only way problems get solved. If you’re not willing to hold an adult conversation during a time of need, then priorities might need to be reevaluated. Even if you’re poor at communicating, you have to try. Like almost anything, practice makes perfect. If both people are committed to communicating, you’ll find your relationship becoming stronger during these stay-at-home times.
Supportive couples are continually thinking and doing for each other regardless of where they’re at or what they’re doing. They don’t live in silos. Whether it’s getting an extra candy bar in the line at the store, rubbing shoulders when ones sick, being spontaneous with a date night, or helping remove wallpaper in a guest room; they’re always connected and practicing teamwork. Couples that have fallen out of love forget what this connection is like and generally have separate hobbies and enjoy more and more time alone, sometimes without even realizing it. With stay-at-home orders in place, you might be realizing this aspect more as you avoid each other rather than trying to be around each other.
Independence can come in two forms. It’s great when someone is independent and self-sufficient. Generally, it’s one of the reasons we are attracted to another person. That type of independence is wonderful and always encouraged. However, the other type of independence happens within a relationship. As mentioned above, those that have grown apart or have given up start to find their own hobbies and activities. When a person is spending more time and energy with others or on other things than with their spouse, this type of independence can be an indication of a weakening relationship. During COVID’s stay-at-home efforts this will become very apparent. If you’re experiencing this, a solid conversation or more without arguing can go a long way.
Passive-aggressiveness that becomes continuous can be another sign of a weakening relationship. While some couples are very direct, many others aren’t. We’ve all had our passive-aggressive moments in life, but when this approach to communication and engagement becomes the norm rather than the exception, it’s time to reevaluate your situation. If this isn’t addressed early, it can make circumstances that much worse when the issues come to a head. There is only so long someone can be passive-aggressive.
Here’s the deal. If you’re honest with yourself, you know when your relationship took a wrong turn. There may have been many moments, but there is generally one last event that tips the scales towards separation.
Realizing that things will likely never be the same once that happens, the real question becomes can things be repaired going forward? Does Coronavirus bring you together because you both still care? Does this stay-at-home order force you to finally communicate with each?
If you’re feeling stuck with your spouse, take this time to do some soul searching about why. Do they feel stuck with you? While we’re always here for the legal part of a relationship, we want you to be successful with whatever decision you go with. Our goal is to see you happy, with or without someone.
Read more Coronavirus articles here.
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