In the midst of crisis, we worry about health, shelter, livelihood, among other things. But couples do better when they marshal their strengths, recognize their weaknesses and pull together. Here are some tips to stay married during the Covid-19 pandemic:
- Now is not the time to be uber critical if you want to stay married. It’s easy to point fingers but now is the time for appreciation. Say thank you – even for the little things.
- Be curious not furious. With all the new responsibilities brought on by coronavirus, it may feel like your spouse is not doing enough but it’s more likely that they’re just distracted, hungry, tired or unaware. In any case, ask your partner a question and really listen to the answer before pulling the ripcord on an argument.
- Buy some time or trade for it. Build some alone time into the schedule, even if it’s only half an hour. This may require negotiating with your spouse for time away from the kids or chores for each of you.
- Take your arguments elsewhere. Your kids don’t want to see you fight. Go for a walk if possible or give your kids an activity to keep them busy while you and your partner talk. They are feeling the stress of this too. Don’t make your issues their issues.
- Respect the invisible boundaries. Even though your partner might not look busy, he or she is not just waiting for your every thought and need. Establish workable boundaries and communicate them clearly to your partner.
- If all else fails, try comedy. Being able to laugh at yourself (not your spouse) or the situation, is a big stress reliever. Remember, you can’t spell divorce without c-o-v-i-d.