Managing your Relationship in Uncertain Times

Managing Your Relationship

Managing your Relationship in Uncertain Times

For some of us, the last few months, due to COVID-19, has meant that we are closer than before to our partners, this can be a strain and entirely new territory. Few of us ever intended to be in such constant and close contact with our families, and as a consequence, we have seen a rise in reported domestic abuse incidents and some countries a spike in divorce rates.

Everything we are currently going through is unpreceded, and for those of us who already had issues within our relationship or have problems with mental or physical health, COVID-19 has been a make or break situation; we were unprepared, and it has put a magnifying glass on our relationships. Few relationships thrive, if any, on worries mixed with the idea of no way out; cabin fever. Let’s see if we can better understand what is going on.


“In the beginning was really nice but now it is becoming difficult mainly because we have always worked very different hours, aren’t necessary in each other’s pockets and get on with things quite independently, but now I feel like I miss my personal space!”

Anon on how their relationship has changed due to COVID19


Firstly, we have seen a spike in people feeling more anxious, generally; not knowing when or if we will be back to “normal” and it’s the loss of “normal” that is causing this undercurrent of anxiety, of uncertainty. We all have lost, we need to acknowledge for a moment that Covid-19 has for all of us meant loss; not just the unlucky ones who have lost a loved one. We have suffered the loss of freedom, a social life, loss of dreams, ambitions, opportunity, routine, business or work.


“[x] is driving me NUTS…”
“I love [x], but being with them sometimes is a huge strain. ”
“… has been really snappy with me”

Anon on how their relationship has changed due to COVID19


Secondly, we need to start understanding how our partner feels, or we are possibly anxiety. Anxiety shows itself in many ways, and few of us realise what we are experiencing is just that… anxiety!

It could be you are feeling more snappy, impatient, quickly irritated. Or you are struggling with headaches, indigestion, sleep or feel suddenly panicked. You notice yourself wanting to avoid conversation; you’re stopping the things you’d typically enjoy, and are isolating yourself from your partner, friends and family. You might feel you’re getting through on autopilot and everything is a drain, strain, or a chore.

Anxiety is our “alert” system to let us know we feel under threat, we all have this, but for many, it’s becoming a regular part of our daily life, and it’s leaving its mark; negatively impacting on our relationships. In the current scenario, you might understand the logic. Many of us feel apprehensive about the future; employment, financial, our relationships – the pressure is on, and we might not feel there is a clear way out, we can, however, help ourselves, manage better.

 

Lastly, there are things you can do to look after yourself in your relationship; the best focus is you!
While you do not have control over the virus, your employment, your family, you can control what you put in place to help you manage the pressure better.

Not all arguments are worth having.

Arguments raise stress-levels for everyone if you can, walk away when you feel yourself getting heated, angry or frustrated. Have a breather. If it was an important topic, try and talk about it when you both calmer.

You-time.

We all need recharging away from our partners (and children/family), even if it is just 10 minutes a day, it’s essential. Instead of trying to carve out 10 minutes into your current schedule, plan to wake up 10 minutes earlier so you can have a cuppa all on your own with some “peace and quiet” to start your day.

While we love our partners; they are not enough to sustain us or our relationship, make sure you stay in touch with those that support you, make you feel good, who equally need you to be there for them. There should be a world outside your relationship, while many of us are experiencing cabin-fever, never has it been more important to top up on other people!

Stick to routines.

Create routines together, agree on a plan so you both know what you can expect daily. Kids, in particular, thrive on routines so this will help everyone. There is nothing worse than having to deal with endless surprises.

Accept no-one is perfect.

You are not perfect, neither is your partner, aim not for perfection but tolerance and managing to get through together by talking about how you both feel, without judgement.

Set boundaries.

As above you deserve “you-time” – not every demand placed on you requires you to say “Yes” to, try not to overstretch yourself. Equally, we all need some independence with our social life; friends or family with whom you can recharge, laugh or cry with regularly. You have a right to chose how to manage your time.

When relationships are under strain, we tend to take it out on our partner; there are boundaries of what is acceptable. If you partner is continuously yelling at you, giving you the silent treatment, calling you names or provoking fights, causing harm to you, not allowing you alone-time or damage in the home; this is not acceptable.

We are all under strain, but it does not give anyone the right to treat others badly, that is a boundary that shouldn’t be crossed. Again none of us is perfect, but no one should be living in fear of our partners, if you are, please do not hesitate to seek confidential support, it is not ok, you are not alone and support it there for you.

Rotherham Rise has a Confidential Advice Line: 0330 2020571 or use our regular WebChat.

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