The COVID-19 pandemic has seriously impacted relationships in every family around the world.
In addition to health, finances and work, the most valuable intangible capital, our family relationship, is also threatened by the virus of destruction.
After the USA lifted tough quarantine restrictions, local divorce offices have been overwhelmed with divorce applications. The strict quarantine has become a test for many couples. Especially for those whose relationship was already tense.
Why did it happen? There are many reasons and they need to be considered together.
Let’s list the most common:
1. You spent too much time in a closed space with each other.
If before that couples spent most of their time separately – work, children, business trips, visiting parents and friends, hobbies, etc., now they are forced to be together 24/7. Such oversaturation with each other is fraught with growing irritation and conflicts.
2. Further financial difficulties have become a serious reason for conflicts between partners.
Many couples are faced with layoffs and family budget cuts. Such families experience double stress and even a long depression: due to the pandemic itself, isolation and financial instability. And then the worries take place: how to continue to live, how to pay loans, rent and other financial obligations that every family has. Not everyone is ready to go through financial disagreements in the family together and make the right decision.
3. Distribution of household responsibilities.
It sometimes happens that one partner is busy doing housework alone, which makes him exhausted, while another partner is plunged into his thoughts and troubles and is not really interested in household chores. Neglect of household chores, everyday problems, disputes, unwillingness to take on responsibilities at home cause conflicts. Such disagreement in everyday life is especially noticeable during long self-isolation.
4. Different types of stress response.
Someone always takes a proactive position: they study information, contact (using online communication tools) with other people, devote time to self-development and recuperate. And someone goes into depression, closes in their problems, begins to abuse alcohol, overeat or look for different ways of stress relief. One of the partners may not like another partner’s reaction to what is happening with him.
5. Work, study and school from home.
The massive shift to distance work or learning has created many problems for both children and their parents. Not everyone is comfortable with the remote format, which requires a high degree of self-organization and a convenient workspace. It should be mentioned here that being with children all day in the same space also adds some troubles to parents.
And during the quarantine, many partners are deprived of personal space and are forced to spend all the time with their children, which exhausts and drives parents crazy.
These are not all the reasons that could lead to a crisis in the relationship of the couple. Perhaps, the root of the disagreement with your partner lies somewhere else. But the factors listed above, most likely, made the situation worse. Does it sometimes seem to you that you can no longer do this, that your partner will drive you crazy? Do you withdraw into yourself, get into depression, feel loneliness, hopelessness and do not understand how to get out of the vicious circle of problems and disagreements? Don’t be in a hurry to despair. You just need to see an experienced Family Coach, Psychologist or Mental Health Counselor.
Even one session is sometimes enough to find a way out of the situation and improve your relationships in the family, defuse the atmosphere in the family and settle conflicts. If you have not decided yet whether you need professional therapeutic help or not, then follow my basic advice:
1. Take a break from each other. It is very important to spend time apart. If you have an opportunity, go to another room and start learning something new or watching useful videos. Practice it every day, at least 15 minutes a day!
2. Leave the house for fresh air – for a run, for a bike, for a walk with a dog or a child. Start doing yoga, meditation, exercise or just take a walk. It helps to align emotions, analyze thoughts and reflect on the situation.
3. Avoid conflicts, show patience and empathy. Try to hear your partner and what is important to him. He or she may experience fear, despair, frustration, depression, or fatigue due to the virus situation.
4. Re-create your relationship. It is the most important way to enhance your closeness. Bring something new into your relationship. Sometimes it is enough just to make a delicious dinner for your loved one, prepare a surprise or go out together. In addition to your everyday life at home, arrange a karaoke night, hiking, online auctions. When you are genuinely passionate about something, it energizes those around you. Even if it seems to you that now there is no time for romance – tiredness of children, problems with work, etc., – do not neglect to create small joys in life! If you are alive and well, then this is already a great success in the present time.
5. Allocate time to plan things, discuss weekly tasks in each area, preferably no more than an hour. Everyone has quarrels and disagreements, but try to convey your point of view, taking into account the interests of your partner, calmly and respectfully.
6. Communicate as much as possible with positive people. We all have the same global problem, and sometimes a good conversation with friends or colleagues helps to understand that everything is not so bad with you. Remember: a relationship in a couple is a two-way compromise of interests and goals.
Difficult times in your family life can lead to divorce or make your marriage stronger and healthier. Make the right choice! Laura Bella, Coach family therapist.
Call now to make an appointment: 786-222-4612