A sense of togetherness is important to a marriage — but too much togetherness can be a problem. Even well-matched couples can start to feel their relationship strain a bit when they’re together all the time.
Because there’s an increasing likelihood that you’re facing some long days at home under self-restriction or quarantine (if you aren’t already), here’s what relationship counselors say you and your spouse can do:
Speak gently to your spouse
If you’re stressed and feeling irritable, ask yourself the following questions about what you have to say before you actually speak:
- Is it kind?
- Is it helpful?
- Is it true?
If you can’t honestly answer “yes” to all three, keep the sentiment to yourself for the time being.
Empathize with your spouse’s feelings
Even though you’re both experiencing a lot of the same things right now, your reactions to the upheaval, financial insecurity and health worries may not be the same as your spouse’s reactions.
Try to see things from your partner’s point of view and offer your sympathies and support as much as you’re able.
Develop new coping methods
Most of your methods of dealing with stress may have gone out the window. Since you can’t escape to work, the stores or the gym, consider:
- Embrace meditation
- Experiment with yoga
- Practice deep breathing
- Rediscover your love of music
- Lose yourself in a book
- Laugh a little
Encourage your spouse to do the same by offering up suggestions that are working for you.
With luck, this experience will bring you and your spouse closer — not drive you further apart. There’s no doubt, however, that some couples will walk away from this experience with a better understanding of their relationship. If you find your marriage deeply lacking, our office can help you find a solution.