What we’ve all been through in the last two years during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a transformative time for couples. What’s unique about stressful times is they can either bring out the best in us or challenge us to the point that would change our lives and relationships forever.
3 Main Ways COVID Has Challenged and Transformed Our Intimate Relationships
1. Working together and adapting under pressure to complex and evolving circumstances
Even before COVID, life has been complex for couples, especially if there are kids involved. They have so many things they have to juggle – raising kids, work, bills, mortgage, etc. They are busy and exhausted by the end of the day. And when you throw COVID into the mix, it really gets more complicated.
2. Communicating and cooperating at a much higher level
Couples who have a fairly good sense of communicating with each other seem to get through this time fairly well. But for couples who are not good communicators, COVID was exasperating the marital or relationship problems they had, prior to the pandemic. Now, these things are magnifying, and they’re feeling trapped being together all the time.
3. Meeting each other’s relational needs at a deeper level
What couples are really needing from each other is to have a partner who’s a stress-reducing partner, not a stress-enhancing partner. We have needs and we want to communicate what those needs are, whether it’s bonding, mutual care, or just to feel supported.
3 Things Not Working Among Couples and How to Make It Work
1. Creating an equitable system
Ensure both partners are supported and get their expectations met. Otherwise, they’re getting into power dynamics, focusing on whose needs or expectations are more important and should be prioritized.
2. Communicating and collaborating at a level that achieves mutual support
Balance speaking and active listening. Focus on what is working and highlight that. Always start with the positive. Then make a bid for just one thing they could help you with, maybe today or that week.
3. Prioritizing time for connection or intimacy
Be very intentional and specific about when you’re going to connect and how you’re going to connect. Be intentional about investing at least one day or night, a week for a couple of times, and decide together how you want to spend that time.
If you want to learn more about how to correct the damage done to your intimate relationships,
check out https://donolund.com/trg002