With the sudden onset of COVID-19 restrictions and quarantines, countless spouses found themselves facing the prospect of spending quite a bit more time together. As the days turned to weeks, and the weeks turned to months, the strain of ongoing changes to schedules, routines, and personal space have impacted couples far more than they may have anticipated.
If you are facing increasing irritation, frustration, or despair from the unexpected changes to your daily life together, take hope – you aren’t alone. Many marriages are facing conflict and disagreements that are just as unprecedented as the pandemic. Thankfully, there are ways that you can protect and strengthen your relationships as the stress increases. Just because you are stuck at home together doesn’t spell disaster for your marriage. In fact, by following a few simple steps, you can begin to thrive in the midst of difficult moments.
Looking for quick tips to help strengthen your marriage during COVID-19? Here are four ways that you can keep your partnership strong throughout unprecedented moments.
1. Stay Aware Of One Another
If you are facing increased tension and stress due to COVID-19 realities, know that you are not alone in your struggles. Couples around the globe are reporting increased levels of stress and frustration brought on by sudden increased time together. If you are experiencing high levels of irritation, conflict, and despair, take time to stop and take note of one another’s feelings. Take a time-out and simply ask one another how you are feeling. This can help bring awareness of stress points, specific needs, and how you can help take steps forward effectively.
2. Don’t Blame Yourself Or Your Partner
Every relationship requires hard work and sacrifice, and the journey is never free of problems. The sooner you recognize that you and your partner aren’t perfect, the faster you will begin to see healing. When times of stress and difficulty come, avoid placing the blame at the feet of the other person – especially in times of global upheaval! Recognize that you are both navigating an unprecedented moment in history, and move toward healing together.
3. Discuss Your Stress Using LESS
Need a quick strategy to allow for discussion of stressful situations? Try the LESS method:
- L = listen
- E = empathic
- S = supportive
- S = stands with
As a popular method of helping individuals verbally work through their stresses and engage with one another, the LESS method encourages empathy and positive feedback. Built on the idea of healthy listening, LESS allows for each spouse to openly share their difficulties on a given subject. No problems are solved in the LESS process – only strong conversation is allowed. You will be amazed at how simply opening up to chat brings about moments for healing and hope.
4. Proactively Address Hardship
The realities of COVID-19 are great opportunities to address common hardships in marriage. The increased levels of stress and ongoing frustration can exacerbate many difficulties that may usually reside just under the surface. Rather than wait for these problems to erupt unexpectedly, take the initiative to address problems when you first notice them.
Avoid blaming or pointing out hardships in a negative light. Instead, with a tone of care and encouragement, simply take note of difficult moments for yourself or your spouse, and ask them to help you understand their frustration. This will increase both their willingness to share and their ability to show empathy for you.
Don’t Journey Through Difficulty Alone
COVID-19 and the global pandemic have created difficult situations for almost everyone in the world. Marriages are not immune to the stress and conflict that the pandemic has brought in economic, health, and political impacts.
If you are needing to find hope and help for your marriage in the middle of this difficult time, contact a licensed and experienced marriage counselor. Together, you can learn techniques and discuss options to help bring hope back to your marriage. Contact Heart Connection Center today to learn more, and to set up an appointment.