Has Quarantine Life Changed Your Relationship?

I’m going say the most overused phrase but… a lot has changed in these last few weeks all around the world. Many of us are staying home and “quarantine life” is the new normal. We can all agree, (I hope) that there’s a lot more soap and hand sanitizer involved, more home cooked meals and more binge watching shows and movies. But there’s something else that has been affected by all of this that we’re reluctant to talk about—-our relationships. Quarantine is affecting marriages and relationships. If you’ve noticed a change in your relationship with your partner, you’re not alone. If things are a little strained right now, know that it doesn’t necessarily mean you two are not meant for each other or that there’s something wrong that’s irreversible. This may be the “new normal” but things feel far from normal. I’ve gathered some tips from some experts as well as things that work for me personally. Here are 10 ways to get through quarantine with your partner.

1. Give each other space.

I know this sounds ridiculous. Space?! You guys are pretty much stuck together, literally. But it’s important to remember that you both spent time apart before this happened between work, errands, friends, family etc. Whenever possible, try to do things separately like exercising, taking a long shower or bath, reading or whatever makes you feel better. I know with kids this might be more difficult, but being in close quarters 24/7 without any personal time or space can make anyone frustrated or irritable.

2. Make a schedule.

My husband and I were pretty much winging it the first few weeks because we didn’t expect this to last this long. But now we make a schedule every night for the next day. The list includes things I want to get done, things he wants to get done, family activities, chores, errands and it breaks down what we’re responsible for. Since we have a 4-year-old, this helps a lot. We take turns doing lessons, bath time and various activities with our daughter. We make sure we fit in time for us to accomplish the things we want to and also have some alone time and space to unwind. That way, no one feels overwhelmed or stressed and we’re all able to have a more enjoyable day.

3. Get some fresh air.

Even though we can’t dine at our favorite restaurants or go to the movies, fresh air isn’t canceled. It’s so important to get some fresh air and sunlight. As long as you’re following CDC recommendations and practicing social distancing, get out for a walk or sit in your back yard.

4. Limit exposure to news.

We all need to stay informed but watching the news all day or constantly checking for updates isn’t necessary or good for your mental health. Choose a time to watch the news and then turn it off. You can feel helpless or on edge which can lead to more stress and anxiety.

5. Be silly.

photo of man smiling while being kissed by a woman
Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

When was the last time you got to unwind? Or do something that made you laugh? Try watching a comedy together or play some games. Blast some music and dance. Do something out of your normal routine that’s fun and light.

6. Take a trip down memory lane.

close up of pictures
Photo by Leah Kelley on Pexels.com

Think about some of the things you two enjoyed in the beginning of your relationship and try your best to recreate those moments. My husband and I bonded over horror flicks when we first started dating so we’ve been watching a ton of movies lately. You could also use this time to organize photos or create projects together with photos that you already have around.

7. Learn something new.

battle board game castle challenge
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com
Can your partner teach you something new or perhaps you could share your hobby with them? Perhaps you two could learn something new together like cooking or playing chess.

8. Pause.

person holding black remote control
Photo by Oleg Magni on Pexels.com
Whenever you feel tension or that an argument is not too far out of sight, pause. Take a minute to consider if this fight is necessary or just a result of being in quarantine. Take a breath and remember that everyone deals with stress differently and your partner might be having a rough time. If it’s at all possible, try to comfort one another during this time.

9. Work on communication.

woman wearing teal dress sitting on chair talking to man
Photo by Jopwell on Pexels.com
It’s said that communication is the most important part of a relationship but if you ask me, it’s the hardest by far. Everyone communicates differently. Communicate with your partner and explain how you’re feeling and be open to hearing them vent as well. Make sure you’re listening, too. Listen with out judgement because there is no “right way” to deal with everything that’s going on right now. Avoid blaming each other or being competitive with who has it harder or worse. It’s also a good idea to let your partner know beforehand if you’re seeking advice or if you just want to vent.

10. Keep in touch with friends and family.

woman in white dress shirt holding a smartphone
Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva on Pexels.com
Have virtual happy hour with your friends. Call your parents. Try to keep in touch with the people you would normally visit or see regularly. Having any sense of “normalcy” during this time can alleviate some of the uneasiness and stress.

How are you dealing with “quarantine life”? Let us know! Below are some helpful articles if you want some further information.

Relationships in Quarantine: The Good, the bad, and the ugly. (Psychology Today)

Coronavirus quarantine–the ultimate test of marriage. (Motherly)

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