For some of us, being stuck in the house and not being able to leave is the most amazing thing we can ask for.
For others, it feels as if we have been tied with shackles in a cage, and it’s the last thing we want to do.
What do we do in a relationship where our partner is so different from us, and we are locked in a house without the ability to leave? How do we go about keeping a relationship strong?
Many people say that since this quarantine situation, they have been on the verge of “losing it” with their partners, while others are saying this has been the best thing that ever happened to the relationship in a long time.
What do you think are the ways for staying positive and keeping a relationship strong in this situation?
Read on for some useful advice for couples that can help you in keeping a relationship strong.
For two people who have different ways of communicating, understanding, and perceiving situations, it can be challenging for keeping a relationship strong, isn’t it?
I’m reasonably confident that if you’re reading this post, you have an idea about what I’m saying. How many times have you said something to your partner, and they heard something completely different?
For example, if I had my coffee spill all over me or a flat tire as I was about to leave for
work – do you think I maybe just a bit more irritated when I get to work?
What about if at work something spilled at me or my boss told me something, I wasn’t too happy about – do you think my threshold and patience toward my household members won’t be affected?
We are humans! We are entitled to have emotions and sometimes lose our composure.
What’s important is that we learn to communicate about what we are going through effectively for keeping a relationship strong.
Being able to say to your loved ones, “hey. I love you. I had a rough day at work, so I’m going to go take a shower to relax, and I’ll come out to chat after.”
Or “hey. I love you, but I had a rough day, so I’m going to meditate for a few minutes so I can be fully present.”
Keep your relationship strong
Everyone is different in terms of what people can do to ground themselves. It’s just essential we notice what we need and that we communicate about it.
Many times, instead of doing that, we become defensive or criticize our partners. Dr. Gottman’s talk about the “Four Horsemen” – criticizing, defensiveness, stonewalling, and contempt as the most common negative behaviors in communications.
I’m quite confident to say most people engage in these kinds of behaviors with one or more people in their lives. In romantic relationships, it can be detrimental.
We need to be aware of these behaviors and how to repair them.
When two people argue and their heart rate exceeds 100 beats per minute, they are no longer able to process information in an adaptive manner. That’s why arguing when you feel overwhelmed is NOT a good idea.
How to maintain relationship amidst the coronavirus scare
I would like to go back to discussing the situation we are in – The coronavirus!
Now, more than ever, it is highly essential to validate whatever it is that your partner is going through. See what they need from you to feel better.
Many times, we become too preoccupied with what our partner can do for us that we forget to pay attention and do what they need from us.
Think about this idea – if each partner will engage in a daily practice of doing things their partner will enjoy and appreciate and their partner will do the same for them – what would be the result?
Both will likely feel loved, appreciated, and happy. What else can we ask for?
If you are in a long-term relationship, you probably know your partner reasonably well. You know deep inside, if not right away, what are some of the things that if you engage in, your partner will be super happy.
Many times, those can be little things that you don’t even get why they are so important to your partner, but they do. Start doing those things and notice how things begin shifting positively.
After all, we all have different love languages, and we experience/perceive things entirely differently. Take this time to get to know your partner even better.
Watch the following video to learn more about finding happiness in your marriage:
A few more tips for keeping a relationship strong
These tips are pretty easy to follow. Even if you find them kiddush at the inception, try implementing them once. They can help in keeping a relationship strong.
Do a picnic after the kids go to sleep (if you have any). You can do it in bed/on the balcony, by the pool, in the garage if you need to.
Surprise your partner and write them a note about how you met and what made you fall in love with them. Ask your partner how they are feeling and make sure you validate them.
Have a long conversation into the night.
Write love notes, love songs, and fun texts to each other.
Engage in the few things you used to and no longer do for them. Find the spark and wake it up. All that it takes for keeping a relationship strong, you have it in you!
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Luna Medina-Wolf is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, and a Master Certified Addiction Professional. She completed her B.A. in Psychology at Florida Atlantic University and continued therein receiving Dual Masters of Education in Mental Health Counseling and Rehabilitation Counseling. Luna is fluent in English, Spanish and Hebrew. Luna continues her professional development with the American Counseling Association, American Mental Health Counselors Association, American Psychology Association, Florida Mental Health Association, and Florida Counseling Association in order to bring the best and most current practices to her clients.