Couples, whether you’re part of one or know of someone who is, might be experiencing a variety of issues due to COVID. Quarantining without the benefit of normal activities at our disposal can cause problems we never saw coming–never.
By now, we’ve read or heard of the good, bad, and ugly of being in close quarters with a significant other. Well, here’s one more. I asked Cathy Chamblis, my go-to therapist, to weigh in about her experience with those facing COVID challenges.
EML: What is the main issue you see facing couples during COVID?
One main issue I’ve seen confronting couples during COVID: couples are spending too much time together. When couples spend too much time together, the annoyances that already exist tend to be more noticeable.
For example, if a partner interrupts a lot, it may be more problematic because both are working from home and are interacting more often, as opposed to when they used to go to the office and only saw each other at the end of the day, or on the weekend.
I believe that a healthy relationship is having interdependence, which means there is a balanced amount of time between being together and being apart. It’s important to have time for personal hobbies, friends, self, etc., and equally important to have quality time with your partner to connect and enjoy the relationship. When both are constantly at home, and there isn’t the option to see friends or go out, it’s causing more conflict between some couples. They don’t have the opportunity to have time to do the things that fulfilled them individually.
I’m a huge proponent of interdependence per Cathy’s example. When possible, find a way to work it into your relationship. Find the time to breathe and take pleasure in personal pursuits that spark joy and appreciation. It could be something as simple as carving out time to read a book, watch a movie solo, or have a phone chat with a friend. These activities help to clear the mind of stress and adds a refresh to the relationship.
Then, when needed, rinse and repeat
*See the Resource page for Cathy’s contact info