The current situation has put a strain on a lot of people’s relationships. The added stress of worrying about what’s going on doesn’t make many of us any more pleasant to live with. Being stuck together during the lockdown can turn small arguments into larger problems, making it hard to see disagreements in perspective.
If you’re feeling as though your relationship has suffered during this year, you can try some of these tips to put things into perspective.
Try to Work Out What’s Really Bothering You
It’s important to try not to over-react to problems. Lockdown has been a re-set period for a lot of people, and this has made some people realise that their relationship is not functioning as well as they thought. Now they have to be at home together, they can’t hide from this like before.
For other people, this re-set might be realising that because you’re so busy all the time, they and their partner have drifted apart, but they miss the closeness they used to have.
You need to communicate what you are feeling, and you can only do this by talking. Unravel what it is the relationship, and what is the outside situation.
It’s easy to have a bad day at the moment, and then to overreact to a small thing your partner does. In reality, your frustration is aimed at the situation, not your partner.
Be Specific About What You Need
If you’re talking about your issues, then it might help to bring in some outside help. Many relationships counsellors are offering webcam and phone sessions to do just that.
If counselling isn’t an option, but you also don’t want to call divorce solicitors, then this is a good opportunity to start talking about what you want to change.
The main benefit of therapy is being together and listening to each other, which is a luxury that many of us don’t have most of the time, thanks to distractions like phones, and the TV. Talk specifically about what you want to change.
People can often be vague about this, so be specific. Ask yourself where you want to be in a year or five years. Imagine if you woke up and everything was okay in your relationship, what would have needed to change?
Keep Your Expectations Realistic
If you’re going to be stuck at home all the time, and have realised that you don’t communicate much, there’s no point in jumping straight into doing everything together. Be realistic. Set aside an hour in the evening to have a drink together.
Start out with the fantasy question of ‘how would I know if things had become better’, and then think together about how you could reach this point. Often, the small things are what really matter. Taking the time to cook a meal together or bringing someone a hot drink are all good ways of bonding, and to show that you care.
Don’t expect results overnight. Relationships take work.