Surviving Your Spouse During COVID-19

Being cooped up with the same person day after day can cause stress and anxiety, even if that someone is your favorite person.  When it’s quarantine and you need some space from your spouse… Since the pandemic hit earlier this year, everyone has been facing the stress, anxiety, and uncertainty of our world going forward. … Continued

Being cooped up with the same person day after day can cause stress and anxiety, even if that someone is your favorite person. 

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When it’s quarantine and you need some space from your spouse…

Since the pandemic hit earlier this year, everyone has been facing the stress, anxiety, and uncertainty of our world going forward. Life as we knew it changed in an instant, and all of us had to learn how to cope with a new normal. From face masks, to working from home or facing financial uncertainty, to endless Clorox wipes, and supply shortages, people have begun to adapt. However, one of the most difficult aspects to navigate for many has been the fatigue from seeing their significant other or spouse practically round the clock.

If you’ve felt this way, you aren’t alone. Part of any healthy relationship is spending quality time together, but also for each party to take time apart, and focus on their individual needs, and the pastimes they enjoy. The pandemic has made this much harder, leaving couples spending too much time together, without an outlet. The good news is there are some simple steps couples can take to mitigate the stress and anxiety COVID-19 might be placing on their relationships.

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  • I’m Ready for Some “Me” Time – It may be easier said than done, but make sure each of you is taking some time apart each day. If that means hubby doesn’t bother you while you set up a spa day for yourself in the bathroom or do yoga in the living room, or you make yourself scarce while he plays video games or watches sports on a Zoom call with the guys, make it happen. Taking even an hour a day away from each other will give couples the breathing room they need when spending so much time together.
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  • Soothe Stress by Ditching Social Media – Social media is a huge part of our everyday lives, but during times of high-stress, it’s healthy to limit the amount of time spent scrolling through social media feeds and watching the news. It’s important to be informed, but if anxiety and stress are compounding relationship problems, make it a goal to watch the news only once a day, or to check your social media only on your lunch break. The constant content overload can lead to anxiety peaks that can bleed into your personal life, which is an unnecessary stressor in an already complicated time.
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  • Fresh Air, Fresh Outlook– Obviously there are limits to what people are able to do outdoors right now, but it is very important, not only for your relationship, but also for your physical and mental health, to get outdoors and get fresh air whenever possible. If you have a park or recreational area nearby, or even just a couple laps around the block, make sure you are getting outside and getting some exercise.
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  • Tell Me How You Really Feel – Disagreements and arguments occasionally happen in every relationship; it’s just a part of life. The likelihood of this has increased when being cooped up in close quarters, and what might have been a minor annoyance before, has turned into a major pet peeve. In an interview with NBC, Dr. Miriam Bensimhon, a psychiatrist, said, “When someone seems upset about something trivial it might not really be about that trivial thing.” Don’t wait to discuss your issues with your spouse, and don’t sweep major grievances under the rug. Leaving issues and resentment to fester will only cause a bigger problem down the road when someone finally flips their lid. 
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  • Keeping the Passion Alive in a Decidedly Unromantic Time – If the numerous memes and social media posts are to be believed, we’re all sitting around in our pajamas, binge-watching Netflix, and chowing down on junk food. While certainly fun on occasion, all of that is decidedly unsexy on a regular basis. Both physical and emotional intimacy are a huge part of a relationship or a marriage, and keeping that spark alive during the pandemic is very important. No one is saying you need to be dressed to the nines at all times to wander around your house, but maintaining good hygiene, wearing something that makes you feel confident about yourself, openly discussing your wants and needs with your partner, and planning a date night will help keep things fresh on the romantic side of things.

The truth of the matter is, we don’t know what life is going to look like a month from now or a year from now. Some relationships might be at their breaking point, but others are just reaching the phase where a spouse’s quirky habits have turned into full-blown pet peeves. By implementing some healthy habits and boundaries during quarantine, couples can repair and maintain a relationship that continues to thrive.