Connection Through Quarantine
Angelica Newton, LCPC
It is normal to find yourself, after three plus months of quarantine, bickering with your spouse more than average or having negative feelings towards each other.
Your relationship is like a vase that has been cracked then glued back together. Think of large amounts of external stress like pouring water in to that vase – certainly, that has the potential to expose the cracks.
The key to relationship success while navigating heavy external stress is intentionality and grace.
First of all, I challenge you to believe the best in your significant other. Believe that they have your interests in mind and that they are giving their best efforts. Give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to irritability and recognize that these times are hard. Communicate your needs and feelings with each other, vulnerability is potentially the most important factor in a healthy relationship.
When I meet with couples for the first time in session, I have them plan one night a week to spend an intentional one hour together. I have them take out their schedules and put it in as an appointment. We brainstorm a list of things that they can do during that time and also set a few ground rules:
- No talking about household topics
- Disagreements can be handled at a later time
- Phones away
If you want to take it a step further – once per month make your weekly meeting a special date night. Put it in pen and in your schedule. Take turns planning and executing this! Some ideas that can be done in your home while quarantining:
1. Indoor camping
2. Living room picnic
3. Iron chef cook off
4. Beer or wine tasting
5. Dream casting
6. Vision boards
8. Virtual game night with friends (jackbox or houseparty)
During tough times which require reserves of energy, patience, and strength you may find yourself lacking motivation and intentionality in your relationship. I encourage you to see your relationship for what it is – possibly the most important relationship in your life which deserves grace and intentionality. These tough times create a unique opportunity to come together and strengthen your bond with one another.