Shelter in place orders are keeping us inside, all of our outside entertainment is gone for now, children are at home, many of us are working from home. What is this going to do for our relationships and is the divorce rate going to increase?
Bloomberg Businessweek just published an article that stated divorce rates surged in China in March as people came out of the quarantine. Citing instabilities, tasks not being equal, lack of good communication and increased conflict as much of the culprits.
My guess is that relationships with problems just started noticing them more. High anxiety and stressful situations seem to exacerbate existing issues. When we turn to our partner during these times and feel like we don’t have a real friend, a partner, someone to support us we can feel more alone than ever.
If we haven’t taken the time before a crisis to develop a healthy partnership, we are sure going to notice it when we spend all day, every day with our spouse. We should take this as a warning while we are in the early stages of this in America.
It truly is a myth to think that your relationship or marriage should not need any help or work put into it. That is about the same as saying we don’t have to eat well and exercise to keep a healthy body or that we shouldn’t have to brush our teeth daily to have good teeth.
We aren’t given a manual on relationships or taught about relationships in school. We are attracted to someone and get together and what we bring is our spoken or unspoken expectations of how things should be, our own triggers of what we might be sensitive to based on our upbringing and things that have happened in our lives and an unconscious programming of how we watched relationships
Communication, healthy conflict resolution, ways to stay connected as friends and lovers all are skills that can be learned from people who have studied healthy relationships. Just as a professional athlete comes with raw talent, skill and desire; they often need a coach to help them see their blind spots, teach them small ways to tweak things for better results, and make them great.
I encourage you to get help now if you find yourself having arguments and fights, feel like you are not a team together and are starting to notice your relationship breaking down. Therapists are essential parts of the economy and many are keeping social distancing, sanitizing facilities and/or seeing clients online through video conferencing
Tips to help preserve your relationship during stay-at-home and shelter-in-place
Create structure and routines to separate home and work
Spend time away from each other and have personal space in the house
Walk or exercise every day to move stress through the body
Use the Gottman Card Deck app to ask each other open-ended questions
Get dressed up an have a romantic dinner inside
Try to remember what you like or appreciate about your partner each day.
Get help from a trained couples therapist to learn new tools.
Want to More About How COVID-19 Could Affect the Divorce Rate?
Listen to Nancy Ryan, M.A., LMFT as she shares relationship tips here on The Afternoon News with Kitty O’Neal.
Therapy is a safe and neutral environment, free from distractions, where you can experience truly listening to one another. With couples counseling in Roseville, CA or Online., your can learn to communicate more effectively, grow in your love and connection, and learn to resole conflicts without fighting. If you feel that you and your family need help or support during this time, contact The Relationship Therapy Center to talk to a licensed therapist.