These unprecented times are presenting new challenges in our relationships. Whether its your husband or wife, partner, boyfriend, girlfriend, sister, brother, friend, Mum or Dad - those closest to us are now with us everyday or else separated from us in some way by the current circumstances.
Our new normal is working from home, self-isolation, self-distancing and quarantining. We are either too close to our partners, friends and family or not close enough. We are worried about getting through this time without damaging relationships that may have worked well in the life that was, but testing at this time. Our outlets that helped us maintain a balance in our lives are, for the moment, on hold.
YOU MAY BE
- living in a small apartment with space becoming a problem
- living with a partner who spends too much time watching the news or fixated on the problems
- a partner who on the other hand doesn't take much interest in the issues we are facing
- discovering that you have different values and ways of doing things under this new way of living
- an already fragile relationship that is being further tested with no outlets that used to make things easier
- the parts of your life that you enjoyed such as going to work, the gym, restaurants, are for the moment, not something you can do.
- you may not be able to see your partner under the current restrictions which is creating a feeling of disconnection between you
- extended family issues are arising
- fear and concern about the future of work and commitments
- trapped in a situation you really dont want to be in
SOME USEFUL TIPS TO COPE WITH LIFE IN LOCK-DOWN
1. Firstly, house rules may have to be set. It is important to set the rules first before it becomes a problem. For example who has what space for what and when or who needs silence and at what times of the day?
2. Be honest with each other if you are needing 'time out'. Establish an understanding of how you can relate this to each other without the other feeling you are being inconsiderate.
3. We have phone, Skype, Zoom and House Party among others as ways of connecting with the outside world. Plan every day to contact one or two friends in some way.
4. Have a schedule for the day. Being organised lessens the anxiety of how you will manage another day at home. It may also help to establish rooms in the house that are used for certain tasks at established times.
5. Use your imagination. We may be physically restricted, but our imagination has no limits.
6. Plan a themed party. Even with two or three of you some creativity can work wonders.
7. Download some of the many apps available to help us continue our interests. The more you do this the easier and normal it becomes.
8. Most importantly, share your concerns with your partner, famimly or friend. Connection is the key. By becoming disengaged, the people around you feel that you dont care which leads to misunderstandings.
EVEN WITHOUT OUR CURRENT CIRCUMSTANCES WE STILL HAVE TIMES THAT ARE DIFFICULT
Some of the feelings that you may be experiencing:
A deep feeling of loss or grief
A feeling of loneliness
A feeling of inadequacy
Fear of the future
Worry about children/family
Concern about reinstating trust
Worry about finances
New baby or new house
Fear of ageing/being alone
Our couples counsellors are also experienced in life so are able to help you through many of life's challenges and transitions.