3 Tips For Keeping Your Marriage Strong During the COVID-19 Outbreak
As the world continues to cope with the dizzying effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, married couples are finding themselves spending infinitely more time together. While this may be enjoyable at times—cozying up on the couch, making dinner together, completing a puzzle—relationship experts are predicting that many couples will begin to argue more often. For marriages that are already strained, living in quarantine may be the final straw that pushes the couple to pursue a divorce. Coping with anxiety, financial concerns, and an uncertain future can also contribute to a sense of unease or even strife within a marriage. It’s worth it to explore some ways to minimize marital stress and conflict during these unprecedented times so that, when the global threat subsides, you and your spouse can still bear to be around one another.
Tip #1: Create Small Opportunities for Space
Introverts and extroverts alike need moments throughout the day all to themselves. Under normal circumstances, partners had several opportunities to carve out alone time, such as going to the gym, browsing the bookstore, working from a coffee shop, and more. Now that most people are homebound, there are way fewer choices for grabbing some time to yourself. It’s important to talk to your spouse about the value of creating space for one another, even in small ways. For instance, one partner could take the dog for a walk while the other enjoys some quiet time at home. Or, one spouse can retreat to the office or bedroom for an hour, while the other partner remains in the living room. These small gestures can go a long way in giving both spouses some much-needed time to themselves each day.
Tip #2: Establish a Gentle Sense of Structure
Since the pandemic took hold, there have been numerous articles about the importance of creating and adhering to a daily schedule. While you don’t have to go overboard and plan out every minute of the day, establishing a loose schedule can help you and your spouse feel more grounded and supported throughout the day. Taking some time to connect with each other and discuss expectations allows you to adjust your expectations and bring a sense of predictability back into your life. For instance, will you trade off cooking meals? What time are you agreeing to wake up and start your day? From which room will you each make your business phone calls? By discussing these logistics, you will reduce the number of potential conflicts throughout the day.
Tip #3: Connect With Your Social Network
While it’s essential to seek opportunities to connect with your spouse and to carve out solo time, it’s equally important for you and your partner to cultivate your respective social networks. This means that you should find a way to chat with your friends or your book group over Facetime or Zoom—while you can’t meet up in person just yet, these tools can help you gather together virtually and vent, empathize and feel social again. Likewise, encourage your spouse to communicate with friends and family, too. Every married couple is still part of a larger community, so try to connect with loved ones outside the marriage to feel more balanced. In a way, these socially distant gatherings can give you some space and independence from your spouse for a little bit, which may ultimately strengthen your bond in the long run.
Sometimes, a marriage is simply not working and a divorce is the best option. To learn more about the divorce or separation process in the Portland area, contact Lee Tyler Family Law, P.C. at (503) 336-9791 to get started with a dedicated and experienced attorney.