Couples face challenges when in quarantine

One outgrowth of living and working from home more or less 24/7 is that some families have been able to slow down and reconnect with each other. School activities and sports are on hold, while puzzles and board games have made a comeback.

Conversely, all this together time may be too much for some, particularly for those new to cohabitating, new to marriage or are home with young children for the first time. Whether the relationship is a long one or relatively new, there may need to be some additional steps to maintain a healthy home life.

Ways to lighten the burden

It’s a fact that nearly everyone needs time apart from loved ones. This can be “me time” to recharge, focus on individual professional goals or other achievements. If a person does not get their time, patience and tolerance may wear thin. Healthy ways to avoid conflict and reduce stress include:

  • Have sex: One therapist puts this at the top of her list because it is a great stress reliever, provides comfort and increases the intimacy of the partnership.
  • Pick and choose battles: Try to let the annoying things go and focus on the essential things.
  • It is probably not you: Do not take it personally if they are tense or moody — it likely has to do with the world we live in right now.
  • Exercise: Take an online class, practice yoga or go for a run.
  • Be engaged: Reach out to friends and family. Even make a point of picking up the phone rather than emailing a coworker.

Adversity can elicit positive or negative actions

Ideally, adversity brings out the best in people as they show a willingness to tackle problems, help others in the house and willingly adapt to this new reality. This can strengthen a relationship.

Unfortunately, the opposite can happen as well – bring previously overlooked problems to a head or be the final straw that broke the camel’s back. Transgressions can be as basic as sharing responsibilities in caring for the kids, doing housework or maintaining a positive attitude.

Help is available for those in quarantine

It may be necessary to seek out counseling using video or hotline. It may also be necessary to leave the home if it is not safe. If the home is safe, but it is clear that marriage or cohabitation is no longer viable, it may be time to speak with an experienced family law attorney. They can guide clients through the divorce process, and often can be a resource to help ensure that the arrangement is fair and equitable.

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