In these chaotic times, it might get frustrating to stay home for weeks, but that doesn't need to turn to an unhappy time at home.
We are used to spending hours apart from our partners while we go about our work, either at home or outside. For better or for worse, who can tell? For some of us, some of our nightmares are coming true as we continue being stuck with our "beloved" partner 24x7.
Even the other bunch of people, who genuinely hoped for more time with their partners amid their busy schedules, must have never thought it would be under these circumstances.
Let's face it. Who would've thought the reason we are stuck at home is the possibility of being fatally infected outside? How do you continue when you may feel like the end is not in sight? How do you believe that this too shall pass?
However, the more immediate concern is how to not let our relationships crumble over the next few weeks as everyone is stuck inside. How do we make sure that both you and your partner are on the same page? How do you ensure peace is maintained? How do you make sure that you, the happiest couple on the planet, are not at each other's throats out of anxiety or in some exceptional cases, sheer boredom?
To make sure that everyone has their sanity by the end of the self-isolation period, here are five things you can do:
It's important for everyone present in the house to articulate how they are feeling so they don't feel trapped in body and mind. And, while we keep the communication channels open, it is essential to avoid pitfalls like name-calling, not listening. We could be focussed on the problem too much and thus, complaining, instead of finding solutions. During this time, partners will have to put their heads together to come up with answers.
Instead, we can go forward with empathy for each other. “Empathy involves putting yourself in the shoes of another; it’s sliding into their viewpoint to see their perspective,” Dr. Stephanie Newman, a clinical psychologist, and author, told Verywellmind. “Broadening your experience to make room for your partner’s ideas and viewpoints leads to open discussion and brings couples closer.”
While we can't step outside for anything but the essentials and in some places, for not even that, it can get monotonous being stuck at home real fast. Seeing each other constantly in lounge clothes or old T-shirts and boxers can also get old quickly.
Instead, get creative and create date ideas at home, author and couples counselor Alicia Muñoz, told USAToday. A candle-lit dinner, check. A virtual visit to museums, check. The internet has many resources to try new things.
Again, seeing so much of each other can genuinely take out the spice from the marriage. So, when working, create different workspaces and just try to be quieter around each other. While this is a frustrating period, keeping peace at one's home is in our own hands.
“Show respect to the other person by understanding that they may not feel the need to be part of your activity at the moment. Try to do things in a quiet manner, like reading a book, working on a craft, or playing video games or music with a headset on," Dr. Zlatin Ivanov, a board-certified psychiatrist based in New York City, told Verywellmind.
In these chaotic times, rules will help bring some structure into your life. You can decide when who gets which space and for how long. This also means sharing chores and deciding who does which bit.
"She likes to have her coffee and check her messages alone. Let her have that time. He likes to schedule midday conference calls. Work around him. Everybody gives one and everybody gets one," said Dr. Newman.
Though couples spend so much time together, they shouldn't forget their friends and family who are also stuck in their homes in different parts of the city and country.
Not all conversations with family need to be a couple activity. If your partner is expecting you to be as involved as they are with some people, you need to communicate if don't agree. This is true the other way round too. Maybe they like to communicate in a different way or they would just like to have the time to be able to talk to their close ones separately.