Living with your partner under quarantine can go one of two directions, it can bring you closer to one another or place a strain on the relationship. One of the most challenging things during this time is the unknown, which can trigger your fears and anxiety.
How Can Fear and Anxiety Impact A Relationship?
The feeling of fear puts your nervous system into an elaborate and coordinated set of responses to help you stay safe which activates the flight, fight, or flee response. This complex reaction is designed to protect you under danger. During a state of fear, it makes it harder to speak with your partner in an accessible, responsive, or engaging manner. You may feel overflooded with emotions which puts you in a reactive mode rather than being conscious in your responses. With all of the sudden changes in your life it may feel like it’s too much to deal with especially if you have children, working from home and or you have been impacted by the economy.
What To Do
Recognize the stress you are in and acknowledge the fear. Then you can also acknowledge the pressure your partner is feeling. Let this be a time of transformation in the relationship.
Here are some ways that can help you to not only make the best out of this current situation of lockdown, but come out of this experience with a deeper and stronger relationship.
- Manage your stress. Both of you must make an agreement that each person will manage their stress without taking it out on the other person. If you need to say something in a time of stress, try your best to do so in a conscious and mindful manner. This can sometimes mean you need to recenter and recalibrate before saying anything to your spouse.
- Clarify your boundaries,with some marriages the boundaries are clear, but with others you need to clearly verbalize them and set the limits to prevent any level or feelings of manipulation or exploitation. Boundaries will help to draw the line between you and your spouse.
- Alone time with a clear time frame is important to set in place where you spend time apart from each other. This time can be used to read, exercise or concentrate on something without any disruption. The allocated time needs to be respected by everyone in the household.
- Working from home can be challenging if you are not used to it. Ask your spouse to respect that time as if you’re working in the office.
- Communication can be deepened during quarantine time. You may find yourself sometimes coping with stress by becoming withdrawn, silent or passive aggressive. This behavior will lead you to disengagement from your spouse. Both of you must make an agreement to commit to each other to nurture each other positively. How can you do this? By trying to be tuned to each other’s emotions and asking questions in a productive manner. One of the ways to do this is by showing curiosity through asking questions and being engaged with the things they’re sharing with you, whether it’s trivial workday drama or a serious dilemma. Get to know your spouse in ways you have not done before by attentively listening and giving them attention. These simple acts of communication can remind you of the time you first met and knew each other and in turn will revive the relationship.
RECOGNIZE THE STRESS YOU ARE IN AND ACKNOWLEDGE THE FEAR. THEN YOU CAN ALSO ACKNOWLEDGE THE PRESSURE YOUR PARTNER IS FEELING. LET THIS BE A TIME OF TRANSFORMATION IN THE RELATIONSHIP.
Being in quarantine can sometimes be challenging and strenuous in a relationship, however it does not need to be so. Both individuals can grow closer as you develop a greater respect for each other in your uniqueness and acceptance of each other.