Imagine spending 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with the one you love the most. And no… I’m not talking about your children. I’m talking about your spouse. Well, that is exactly what most of us are doing due to COVID-19, a deadly virus that has forced millions of Canadians inside to be on lockdown with one another.
Recent studies from the Canadian law association and B.C. Court has reported divorce rates are on the rise and courts could be backlogged due to a spike in applications because of COVID.
So how can you help your marriage to make sure you don’t become a household statistic?
Here are 7 Tips For How to Survive Your Marriage During A Pandemic
Whether you are gay, straight, bi, or whatever, the bottom line is we all have one thing in common. WE ARE HUMAN! And being human means having emotions that can push us to say or do things we wouldn’t normally say or do, especially under high times of stress.
→ Tip #1.) Watch What You Say
Choosing your words carefully and taking a deep breath and not responding in anger will go a long way in keeping the lines of communication in your relationship open.
Remind yourself that hurtful words are just that – HURTFUL! And they serve no other purpose other than to let you lash out and make your partner feel inferior. And that’s just not cool…
Does it really matter if you are right? I used to think so in my own marriage, until I came to understand that being right is only a means in making my partner feel wrong, which in turn makes them feel bad about themselves. Why on earth would I want to do that?
→ Tip 2.) You Don’t Always Have To Be Right
Did you know that most communication barriers in couples is because each person always feels like they have to be right? It’s like they have something to prove and being wrong is just — UNACCEPTABLE. But that isn’t true.
You can agree to disagree on matters you don’t see eye to eye on. Your partner, just like yourself has a right to their own opinion. So ask yourself — Is it really worth going out of your way just so you can be king of the hill?
It’s important most of the time in our relationships to make time for one another whenever we can. During COVID-19 this is also important. Take this time to be with each other and make the most of the time you have spent together.
→ Tip 3.) Make Time For One Another
Most of the time we go to work, kids go to daycare and we don’t see our significant other for a good 8 hours. But during a pandemic we are on a lock down and many families are working from home. Meaning spouses are spending more time together than they normally would. So take advantage of this time.
Get the kids to make you a romantic supper. Snuggle on the couch and watch a movie together. Have a picnic in your backyard for date night. And remember to cherish this time because we are only here once and if you are lucky enough to have someone by your side, APPRECIATE THEM as much as you can.
It’s easy to lose sight of what’s important especially during high times of stress when financial issues come into play. Many couples are working from home. Money is an issue for millions of Canadians right now due to COVID-19 and as the province slowly re-opens. We have no idea what our future holds.
→ Tip 4.) Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
There are always communication issues in relationships when stress is high. Add that to spending the majority of your day locked in the house with your partner, and pretty soon the small things that you used to overlook have now become big things which cause you to fight.
That’s why it’s important not to sweat the small stuff. I’m not saying ignore your marital issues, but look at why you are arguing or fighting. Ask yourself some simple questions: Is this something worth fighting over? Am I just being sensitive because I’m stressed out? Can we agree to disagree and let it go?
It might not be easy in the beginning. The way he chewed always annoyed you but now that you are listening to it every day. And her leaving her clothes on the floor has always driven you insane, but now that you are stepping over them. Remind yourself WHY YOU LOVE EACH OTHER other and focus on the good things. Not all the little things you’ve come to accept over the years.
It’s been said from the very first day we went on lockdown in Canada. WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER. And we really are. That means in life and in marriage as well. Remind yourself why you married your partner. For better or worse. For richer or poorer. In sickness and health. Those vows you took should remain just as strong – if not stronger today more than they ever have.
→ Tip 5.) Your partner is your best friend so talk to them
Communication is one of the most fundamental reasons why people get divorced and why the divorce rates during COVID-19 are on the rise. People are frustrated and sometimes don’t even know how to express all the things they are feeling inside.
Talk to your partner/spouse and tell them how you feel. Use words such as “I feel this or I feel that…” and keep away from “You make me feel this or you make me feel that…” The word you automatically puts someone on the defense and your goal is to communicate to your partner how you feel. Not to put them down because in all honesty, only you are responsible for your feelings. Nobody can make you feel inferior unless you let them.
So talk to each other.
Just because we have been forced to live in a bubble for the past few months doesn’t mean we can’t listen to one another. Listening is one of the most amazing gifts you can give to your partner. And I mean TRULY LISTEN, without judgement, without surmising or assuming anything. If you don’t understand something your partner is saying – ask them to clarify.
→ Tip 6.) Sometimes your partner just wants to be heard
Misunderstandings in marriage happen because two people don’t know how to communicate effectively. “I feel upset because of everything going on. I’m stressed out.” — RESPONSE: “So I’m stressing you out. This virus is my fault is that what you’re telling me?”
Sometimes what a person says and what we hear are two totally different things. So make sure when you are listening to your partner that you are keeping their feelings in mind and not just how what they are saying affects you. It’s not about you. Not personally anyhow. It’s about allowing your partner to vent. Even if that means venting over something you have done to make them upset. Care enough to awknowledge.
Acceptance is key when it comes to both communicating and listening to each other. You have to accept your spouse may feel a certain way because of something you are doing. But by listening you can improve not only certain things about yourself but improve on how you interact in your marriage which will only make you stronger together in the long run.
They say laughter is the best medicine, and they would be right. These past few months have been more than difficult for many of us to bear. Anxiety and fear, financial loss, job loss, along with the uncertainty of our future can put our relationships with the people we love to the test. That’s why it is important to STOP and HAVE SOME FUN!
→ Tip 7.) Laughter is key in any successful marriage.
If you can’t laugh, poke fun, tease and be silly with your one and only PERSON in life then what is the point? Laughter is a way of releasing anxiety and tension and pushing those good endorphins we need to help keep us going. So don’t be afraid to laugh during COVID, and don’t feel bad about it either.
So no matter how hard things get. Remember that we aren’t in this alone. Your partner is there beside you. Don’t freak out over the little things. Keep your communication going. Make sure you take time for yourselves to enjoy one another’s company, and try to listen if you can. And above all remember to laugh and have some fun.
We may not know what our future will bring, but I know that I don’t want to be in this world alone. I want my husband next to me, holding my hand, making me smile.
Photos courtesy (Pixbay & Pexels) with permission