"The world is filled with uncertainty. Anxiety levels are sky high. And we are quarantining ourselves at home with our partners. Sound like a recipe for disaster on the home front? Here are some tips to help keep your relationship in tact ...
Speak their love language.
We could all use a little extra love these days. What makes your partner feel loved and valued?
Step 1: Take this quiz - https://www.5lovelanguages.com .
Step 2: Share your top love language with your partner.
Step 3: Challenge each other to do one thing each day to love your partner in the way he/she wants it.
Teach your partner something you’re good at.
For example, my husband is going to teach me how to lift weights without hurting myself (apparently I should not be barefoot?!), and I am going to guide him through some stop-working-and-stretch-your-body yoga poses.
Take a time out from arguing.
Arguments sometimes go round and round in circles, for hours or even days, with no end in sight. This generally happens when partners stop listening to each other, and are instead reacting and defending. One way to get off the reactive roller coaster is to table the conversation for a later date. Make a note of it in your phone, and bring it up at a better time (like when the world isn’t in crisis-mode).
I tell my clients to pick a code word that means stop. If either partner says the code word ... the conversation ends. Some of the words my clients have come up with include: banana, shoelace, and monopoly (whatever works!). Maybe saying CORONAVIRUS in the middle of an argument will stop the fighting? Just a suggestion.
Be gentle with each other.
We are all concerned for our health, our families, our finances, and our sense of normalcy. And each of us shows our anxiety in a different way. Some people cry, some pour themselves into work, some go inward and keep to themselves, some people vent, some of us eat an entire packet of Oreos (don’t judge). Just because your partner isn’t showing stress the same way you do - it doesn’t mean he/she isn’t anxious. For the time being, let’s just assume that every single one of us is working through some difficulty in our minds. Let’s try to be extra aware of that. Let’s try to let go of little annoyances, and to give each other the benefit of the doubt."
This blog was written by one of our couples specialists, Dr. Victoria Raymond, PhD, LMFT.
March 24, 2020