Now that we’re all a few weeks into self-quarantine and social distancing in the wake of Covid-19, it’s safe to say that we might be going a little stir-crazy inside the house with our families, and especially, with our partner or spouse.
Even for those of us with happy, stable marriages, we’re facing some serious challenges in our respective partnerships. Being confined to small spaces with our spouses with little to no reprieve while also balancing work and home life, 24 hours a day is stressful for any couple. Add in young children (and even teenagers) and it can throw fuel on the fire, and lead to fights, separation, and even divorce.
With a focus on intimate relationships, a huge part of what I do is helping couples better communicate their needs and desires with each other. So this week, I wanted to share some tools and tactics to help you keep your partnership secure as you weather the coronavirus storm together.
Right now, having clear, honest, direct communication with your partner is essential. Under normal circumstances, communication is the backbone of a relationship, and during these times when you’re stuck at home, good communication can make or break the day. I suggest a daily check in, both with yourself and your partner. Ask each other some of the following:
- How was today for you?
- How are you feeling right now, in this moment?
- What’s one thing I can do tomorrow to be a better partner?
Create Alone Time
Even in the times of social distancing, creating your own alone time, in your own space, is so very important. This is especially true for introverts who need time alone to recharge and become the best version of themselves, but it’s also helpful for extroverts. Are you stressed about your kid’s next history lesson? Making sure to add dog food to your next grocery delivery order? “Tap out” and let your partner know that you need 5 or even 10 minutes alone. Go to a quiet corner of your home and try to relax.
Everybody works better with a standard routine, and these days, those have all been thrown out the window. To set expectations and understand what everyone’s day looks like (at least as best as you can), create new routines with your partner to give structure and purpose beyond the mundane. Assign roles for each day: who helps with school work (if you have kids), who cooks, who cleans, etc. Since this isn’t a typical situation, partners will have to shift into different roles they may not normally play, and it’s important to communicate (Yep, there’s that word again) what your expectations are and how to tackle them–together as a team.
Sex: Are You Having It?
While sex can help boost immune system, relieve stress and a host of other benefits, I urge you to have open conversations about sex during this time. Stress can affect libido even during regular day-to-day, but with added stress of self-quarantining, new responsibilities, worrying about family and loved ones, your partner may not be interested in sex right now. Many of the suggestions in my 7 Essentials Guide to Pain-Free Sex can still apply to having conversations during self-quarantine, and if you don’t have it already, I would encourage you to download it and start there. (See below.) In the U.S., this quarantine situation is going to continue for another 2 months or more in many places. Don’t put your sex life on hold if you’re both healthy, now is the perfect time to improve it!
If you’re finding that you still need help, please reach out to me. I’m dedicated to empowering women to have better, stronger relationships with their partner, and I’d be thrilled to work with you.