Modern life has more stresses than any time in human society. On top of that, 2020 has been one of the most difficult years in living history, first with bushfires and now with Covid-19.
We are living in unprecedented times. From lost jobs to closed schools to being forced into lockdown, couples and families have never been under more stress. If your relationship is feeling the strain, you’re not alone. Here are some simple tips to help get your relationship back on track.
It’s more important than ever to communicate effectively. If you’re constantly on top of each other, little resentments can fester. Here are a few communication techniques you should employ when things are a bit strained:
- Set ground rules: establish some rules around working from home or whatever new arrangements you may have. These could include not disturbing each other during work hours or rules about division of household labour.
- Check in with each other: take the time to ask how your partner is doing. How are they feeling? What do they need from you?
- Be honest: it’s important to admit when you’re not coping. Be truthful about your feelings so that your partner can properly support you.
Spend quality time together
You may be spending more time together than ever before but quality time is still important. Even if you’re together virtually 24 hours a day it’s vital to carve out a window for quality time. This could be something as simple as enjoying a fancy meal together, having a no-technology day or getting some fresh air and sunshine.
Cut each other some slack
You may find your partner – and yourself – more irritable and agitated than usual. This is a perfectly natural response to the uncertainties and pressures we are all facing. None of us have a roadmap for these times so we must remember to make allowances for ourselves and others.
Give each other space
Although being together is about enjoying time with each other, no one can ever be absolutely everyone another person needs. Take the opportunity to give each other some space and enjoy things by yourself.
You can’t pour from an empty cup, so remember to take care of yourself as well as your partner. Do something just for you; go for a long walk on your own, take a day off from household chores or have a long phone call with a friend. Do whatever you need to do to recharge your batteries.
If you’re able to, visit friends and relatives, take part in some of your usual hobbies or do something that makes you happy. Make the most of this opportunity to have some time for yourself and to give yourself time to miss each other.
This won’t last forever. Your relationship may be suffering but time surely marches on. Just as the bushfire season passed and the winter chill will soon be over, remind yourself during the difficult times that they too shall pass.
What to do if you can’t make it work
Sometimes things just don’t work out. If the added stress of lockdown has created irreconcilable rifts in your relationship, the important thing is to move forward in a calm and reasonable way. For help with handling the legalities of a break-up check out our free property settlement ebook.