Posted on: Saturday, April 18th, 2020
Many couples may experience conflict during the COVID-19 pandemic/lockdown for a variety of reasons. Fights may be the result of spending more time together due to working from home or isolating, altered emotions due to work stresses, loss and grief due to changed lifestyle, stress of caring for elderly parents, inability to HUG those we love, differences in perspective as to what this pandemic is and how it is being managed, and many more. Experiencing conflict with your partner during a time of uncertainty is normal but not easy. There are solutions to help alleviate the conflicts you may be facing.
First, set aside specific time to talk about issues. 30 mins a day, or an hour every other day. With so much together time, talking about issues all the time can feel like they are invading our lives. When talking, take turns to communicate your needs and feelings to your partner. Additionally, it is very helpful to use “I feel” statements to address the problem (one at a time) and not blame your partner, as this can result in your partner feeling attacked and potentially worsening the conflict. Simply listening with intent to see the problem through your partner’s perspective can help to better understand what they are experiencing. It is normal that both of you may be having different experiences, stresses and challenges with or without Covid19. It is very important to understand that you don’t always have to agree with your partner; simply being supportive and actively listening makes each of you feel you have someone in your corner.
Set aside time to hang out and find joy in this new setup. Whether it is cooking or baking new recipes, going for long walks, doing a drive in movie night or camping in the back yard, make time for the relationship that does not involve problem solving or pandemic planning. This too shall pass. And you will get through this together, stronger.
Set aside time to dream and plan a new future. As the city re-opens and many services and practices become possible again, make decisions together about how you want your lives to look. It is never too late to re-invent the ways we want to live, love and be. Covid19 could turn out to be a blessing in disguise as the world goes through a metamorphosis and we get to choose what we want to be our new normal. Will our relationship have more quiet time, will our lives have more connection and purposeful activity, will our homes be more peaceful? The future is not written and that is something we can do together.
Seeking counselling can help you find other strategies to alleviate the conflicts within couples and families. You are not alone during this difficult time, so contact us today to help better manage the relationships in your life. In-person or online, 7 days a week.