Emma's Blog - Your relationship in lockdown

Category: Blogs & Written by Simon On April-01-2020 10:32:24

Your relationship in lockdown

It's a tricky time, one that is filled with uncertainty, anxieties are high and on top of this, you're in lockdown 24/7 and for many, that's with a partner with no break. It's safe to assume there will be some challenges. Below I discuss some tips to help your relationship in lockdown.

Communicate your feelings but also be prepared not to overshare negative news. Moods can be infectious, so tell your partner how you feel but avoid reeling off the death tolls, stats, headlines. If your partner lets you know they are feeling anxious or low, reassure them it's normal, we are in a stressful situation and those feelings won't last and should pass. Then try and get them to engage or focus their mind on something else or perhaps allow them some time to refresh. Don't dismiss their feelings or tell them not to worry, it's important to allow each other to react and feel however you need, just reassure them it will pass and they will be ok.

Plan in alone time for each of you.

It could be a bubble bath or a little time in a separate room with a book or console, better yet encourage their hobby or whatever allows for relaxation. If you have children, agree for the other to take charge and gift you this precious little time just for you. Make sure you use it for you, not to do chores or work. It's very important to give yourself time and space to unwind. Don't take offense if your partner wants a little time alone, it's important for our wellbeing, to reflect, reset and unwind.

Still date! Agree to a day and time, get dressed up, prepare a nice meal (get the kids involved laying the table for a special occasion- ask them to be your waiters). Choose your favourite movie, play a board game and make sure you put your phones out of reach. 

Keep active, go for a daily walk together. Burning off a little energy can reduce tension and improve your moods. 

If one of you still has to physically go into work, there is a chance resentment can build. Thoughts like 'you get to stay at home all day' or 'you get to go out and speak to people everyday' may crop up. Acknowledge each other's feelings, build the other person up, be their cheerleader 'I am so thankful you are keeping it so together while you're home alone', 'You are doing so well still working and supporting us during this time.' This boost of morale will make the other feel good and strengthen your relationship.

If you argue, allow space but ensure you talk about it calmly, evaluate your point of view, is it important you argue this now? In lockdown it can feel like every small thing is magnified, you'll notice little things your partner does and they'll notice the little things you do. This is a time to test self-restraint, conflict leads to stress, evaluate, not everything needs to be addressed in the moment.

If you find yourself in a disagreement, here are some tips for effective communication:

  • Avoid phrases like 'you always' or 'you never'. Instead focus on the now, what's the issue at hand. Being told you always or never do things is unhelpful and can feel like a character attack. A recent example is far better to begin a conversation.

  • Don't be afraid or embarrassed to drop your point and apologise. This can be one of the harder things to do if we get caught up in the moment and go off on a rant about something minor. Recognise it may have been annoying but not worth getting angry or emotional. Perhaps leave the room and give yourself a minute to calm and say to your partner 'x did annoy me but I didn't need to react the way I did', your partner will be much more likely to listen to your point this way.

  • Instead of being accusatory 'you aren't listening', 'you're not helping out enough with the kids'. When we feel accused we get defensive and so behave like we are being attacked. Instead of accusing, express how it is making you feel eg. 'when you are on your phone/game/etc, it makes me feel like you don't want to listen to me', or 'I feel like I am taking on a lot of responsibility for the kids, I need some help'. This way your partner is more likely to be empathetic to your point and react in a more productive manner.

Remember arguing can be a good thing, it brings to light any issues that need discussing, it can help you grow, it allows for honest communication.

Finally, I want to highlight, for some this won't mean a few arguments, for some, they are in lockdown with an abusive partner. If this is you, help is out there. Here's some advice from womens aid on how to cope during lockdown https://www.womensaid.org.uk/covid-19-coronavirus-safety-advice-for-survivors/ 

And it's important to recognise it's not just women who are abused, here is the link for mens advice https://mensadviceline.org.uk/


Lynda Share

April-01-2020 11:02:19

A very well put and some great advice,I never stress normally,but since lockdown I find I do , think it’s being on my own for so many hours while my partner is still at work,so thank you for some great tips

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