Living and loving during COVID-19

Ways to save your relationship living during COVID-19

Living in close proximity to loved ones can be wonderful. It can also be a space of transition for marriage and family relationships. We need to learn to live in a new way. Social distancing sounds like we will have increased space. The reality is that sometimes we will have less space, and less privacy. Here are some ways to save your relationship in lockdown.

1. Routine can save your marriage

Establish routines that work for your family and marriage relationships. When we live with uncertainty, it can be helpful to create some certainty in our lives. Hold a meeting and talk about routines that work for your relationship and family. Create new routines that work for you.

2. Gratitude can save your relationship

We have all heard the old cliché phrase “have an attitude of gratitude”. Now is a good time to walk that talk. Look for what your partner or family member is doing right, and thank them for it. Take an imaginary highlighter and highlight all the good things that are happening in your home. Successful couples do this – couples who stay happily together forever. Catch people being good.

3. Communicate, communicate, communicate to save your marriage

Communicate intentionally, keeping your hoped-for communication-outcomes in mind. Criticism, contempt, stonewalling, or responding defensively NEVER have positive outcomes. Eye rolling or name calling don’t help relationships. Use an “I feel” statement to communicate how you are feeling in a particular situation. Respond non-defensively to others by reflecting back to check for accuracy, or by apologizing to heal any relationship wounds that may have been communicated. Ask questions that show you are listening “Why is this important to you?” If you would like help to identify ways to communicate that will be helpful for your relationship, please contact Jenny .


4. Stress Reducing Conversations can save your relationship

Have regular evening stress-reducing-conversations. Listen to each other download the highlights and lowlights of the day. Share worries that originate outside the marriage. Don’t try to fix the problems. Ask for more detail, especially about your partners emotions. Couples who do this remain happier in the long term.

5. Take Time Out to save your marriage

Taking a time out can be the new equivalent to going to the gym for a blow-out exercise session. Find a new way to take time out. Work in the garden. Take a shower. Read a book. Nurture yourself, so that you can nurture the relationship.
Humans are social animals. We need each other. Especially in times of stress. Let’s do what our Prime Minister has suggested, and cultivate kindness in our relationships.

Create routines, express gratitude, communicate intentionally, have stress reducing conversations take a time-out. For support to save your relationship, contact Jenny.

Some ideas adapted from article written by Julie Gottman March 26, 2020 in the Washington Post