Online Therapy for New Jersey
Since schools, colleges, and businesses have moved their operations remotely we are facing extreme changes in our lives. By now we all know that social distancing is key in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This pandemic has forced couples and families to stay home under one roof 24/7! You may love being with your family but being with them constantly may drive some of you "crazy"! Lying low may increase safety for all but it can pose challenges to our relationships.
It would be so much easier if you and your spouse have the same thoughts and feelings about the virus and the safety of your family. But, sometimes you may not always be on the same page. For e.g. you may be more anxious and fearful while your spouse may not take it very seriously. If the two of you have very different views of the pandemic, start by remembering that you are in this together. Remind yourself that you are in each other's care. Regardless of your feelings, it is important to support your partner in these unprecedented times.
Perhaps you can relate to some of the issues Samantha and Anthony are dealing with. Since the pandemic outbreak, Samantha is fearful of contracting the coronavirus. Samantha's anxiety progresses each day that she is stuck inside her home. She was laid off from her job and is afraid that she and her husband will lose their marital home in the near future without her income. Her husband, Anthony is working remotely from home and is adapting well to working in the comfort of his peaceful surroundings. Anthony thinks that Samantha is overreacting and things will get better in no time.
As a few days of quarantine go by, spending time crowded together in the house has been a challenge. Samantha's high anxiety about the virus has been stressing Anthony out. All this free time has lead Samantha to get absorbed in the news. Samantha constantly talks about her fears and worries. Anthony is always on edge and ignoring Samantha's concerns. The situation has increased its tension and making the atmosphere more explosive. Anthony does not think he can take one more day staying under one roof with Samantha.
Here are some ways to best manage and support your partner during the pandemic:
- Talk about your concerns: This is an opportunity for each couple to communicate clearly. It is important for each partner to express how he/she feels and to be open and honest with each other. Be empathetic so you can show your partner you truly understand. You may have health, financial, or family concerns as well as many others. You don't have to agree with everything your partner says but you can listen and share your feelings without being judgemental. Feelings are not facts and each one of you is entitled to feel the way you do. Neither one of you is wrong, and it's ok to have different opinions or feelings about things.
- Find The Positive: It is important to remember not to have all conversations be doom and gloom! Allow room to talk about the good things that can happen during your time together as well. Maybe this is a time for you to build a stronger connection. Try and distract each other from all the negativity the world is facing by making each other laugh, playing an old fashioned board game, or doing a puzzle. Take a walk together and smell the roses.
- Create and follow a daily routine: It's time to make a plan. Since the coronavirus has disrupted everyone's daily schedule, it can impact a relationship as well. One way to support each other is by making a schedule with your partner. For eg. you may want to discuss what you want to do together, what your working hours are, who's going to help the kids with homeschooling, household chores, cooking, etc. For now, this is the "new normal' so what worked before may not work now. Allow for change to happen and be flexible.
- Give your partner space: Get comfortable with asking for and giving each other space. Spending 24 hours a day together can get overwhelming at times and you may get on each other's nerves. Respect your partners wishes to spend time in a separate room and try not to take it personally. Spending time with each other is important but giving each other time alone for self-care is also. Make time each day to exercise, read, meditate, tend to a hobby or anything else that can nurture your soul. Taking care of yourself is beneficial for your relationship.
- Remind yourself that the quarantine is a temporary situation: Nobody likes to lose their job or be forced to leave work. Remind yourselves that other couples around the world are facing the same situation. Take advantage of the extra time you have to spend with each other. Focus on each other's strengths and the value that each of you brings to the relationship. Show each other an attitude of gratitude.
- Get Your Sexy Back: Use this time to bring romance and passion into your relationship. Before this pandemic many spouses were so busy going to work, running errands, and being the kids "uber" driver that they were more like two ships that passed in the night. Well, now you're on the same ship! Emotional and physical intimacy are essential for a healthy relationship so now is your chance to rebuild, bond, and connect with each other.
It is important to figure out and do your best to provide support to your partner during this pandemic. Try not to minimize your partner's concerns. Continue to remind each other that this is not permanent. Respect your partner's wishes and space. Be gentle with yourself and your partner in the upcoming weeks!
If you and your partner need help to support each other during this time we are always here for you. For your protection, we are only offering virtual and phone sessions at this time. We are very flexible with our schedule and want to accommodate your needs as best as we can.
Wishing you good health and lots of love!