Now, we live in a time when we need to stay at home due to the COVID-19 lockdown. We’ve lost the sense of social togetherness, and the distance hurts us. At the same time, we’ve lost the distance we need in people’s love relationships, and the nearness they share with their partners hurts many couples as well.
The problems might appear in couples during the COVID-19 lockdown
The thing is that while we can find some comfort in talking over the phone or even better, in a video call, with the ones we miss, and we can find comfort in letting them know the distance hurts us, it’s not the same being honest with our partner.
Saying someone you miss drinking coffee with them, talking, and having fun together feels right. You feel good talking about your feelings, and your friend feels good being lost even if there is sadness involved.
But telling your husband or wife that you have too much of him/her, that’s not nice. It’s hurtful. And there is blame and guilt to deal with. If you don’t talk, the feeling of claustrophobia will devour you. When you speak, you might end up hurting your partner and yourself.
Most of us will choose to believe we can deal with it. We don’t realize that the truth about our feelings will surface anyway. We’ll end up criticizing our partner for the smallest things. Or feeling too bored to engage in a conversation with him/her. And there is always room for worse. The end of this road is resentment and hate.
So, talk! You don’t need to be specific on the things that annoy you about your partner. Remember, it might not even be true. It might be just the wanderer in you that’s talking. But you should talk about your need to get some distance and spend time on your own. Don’t just talk, do something about it. Find the distance you need. Make a plan and act on it. You can be sure that your partner needs it too. Build it together.
The 5 steps plan to cope and redefine relationships
Find yourself a hobby
Either it is a new one, one that you dreamed about years ago, or an old one. It can be one from your childhood – Reading, planting flowers, knitting doll dresses, cooking, building toys, painting, writing, doing puzzles. Make time and room for that hobby. Enjoy it in the corner of your house where you can be just you and your hobby. Let your partner know that those 2 hours a day, you need not be disturbed. Ask him/her to take care of the children, if you have them, and make sure you do the same for him and his interest.
Make lifestyle changes
Unless it is just like a hobby for you and you enjoy doing the dishes, cleaning, doing homework and playing with the children, and/or cooking, you need to renegotiate the roles and duties in your household. Either by dividing them or by taking turns doing them, don’t let the entire world become a burden for you. Because now your house is your whole world.
Be free and structured
You need both. After finding your freedoms and duties through the first two steps, put them in a schedule and try to keep up with it. Freedom means nothing without structure. It will resemble chaos, and it will end up feeling like it. There is a time for freedom and time for duty. And the structure is what makes them both rewarding.
Let your partner be
Maybe this is the time when you could finally learn to respect the other one’s choices and stop pretending him to like what doesn’t give him/her joy. You might enjoy reading while your partner loves watching soap. Let him/her be! There are other reasons for which you’ve chosen him/her.
Your partner can’t be everything
We’d love that. It’s the fairy tale we’ve been fed with since we were children. And it is simply not true, just like Santa isn’t real. No single person can satisfy all your needs for life – Lover, protector, best friend, companion, the one you have the most fun with, the one that meets your intellectual needs. He is the one you love, not the one who should meet all your needs.
Doris’s passion for writing started to take shape in college where she was editor-in-chief of the college newspaper. Even though she ended up working in IT for more than 7 years, she’s now back to what he always enjoyed doing. With a true passion for technology, Doris mostly covers tech-related topics.