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This is a difficult chapter in our country. We have the first serious pandemic since 1918, forced isolation, strained friendships, and no end in sight. People are frustrated, angry, afraid, anxious, depressed, and lonely. Nobody is immune to these emotions.
Most of all, marriage and domestic partnerships have felt the effects of COVID-related stress. According to several experts, those in relationships have experienced several different problems over the last few months. What are these problems, and how do we address them? Here are some words of advice.
1. The Problem: Spending Too Much Time Together
Many people have either lost their jobs, which forces them to stay at home while they look for a new one. Or, some have various health conditions that cause them to isolate at home more than they usually would.
Either way, couples are spending an inordinate amount of time together. Spending a lot of time together can be difficult for anyone, even for the strongest partnerships. Little fights break out, irritations bubble over, and you sometimes wonder why you thought marriage was a good idea in the first place.
Solution: Re-Build Marriage and Find a Personal Hobby
Spending a lot of time with your spouse can be difficult but there are ways to make it more tolerable. This can be a great time to go on walks, have long talks, binge on Netflix series, and find fun and safe things to do. Take this time to rebuild your relationship. If you feel like you do need a break, use this time to focus on a personal hobby that doesn’t involve your significant other.
2. The Problem: Too Much Depression & Anxiety in One Space
Everyone is feeling depressed and anxious right now, and that includes you and your spouse. Whatever you feel, your spouse/partner probably feels to some extent or another. If you project an anxious or depressed attitude, that can also affect the other person’s mood and attitude. It’s a circular situation-two stressed-out people who make the other person more stressed. So, what’s to be done?
The Solutions: Therapy, Empathy, & Mindfulness
You don’t have to be “ok” with what is happening in this country right now. Very few people are excited by the prospect of losing their job and being in forced isolation. That being said, there are ways to make it less stressful and depressing. Listen to meditation apps, participate in teletherapy with a counselor, exercise, or do yoga. Work on making yourself feel better before trying to make your partner better.
If one person can improve their mood, it usually rubs off on the other person. Remember that despite your frustration, it’s important to be empathetic towards a loved one suffering from anxiety or depression. Try to talk to them or encourage them to get therapy. Many times, they just want someone to listen and hear them out. Take the time to participate in this dialogue and it could improve your relationship.
Are you struggling with marital problems during COVID-19? If so, please contact Straight Talk Counseling at 714-828-2000 or visit our website at straighttalkcounseling.org. One of our professional counselors would be happy to speak with you.