For Better or for Worst: How the Pandemic Impacted Relationships

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Humans are naturally social creatures. We need other people to feel loved and enjoy a sense of belongingness. This is the reason why we crave the company of our friends, families, and colleagues. It is also one reason why we get into relationships and why most people tie the knot.

But after the pandemic caused a major disturbance in how we live and socialize with others, it has influenced our relationship in many ways.

How the Pandemic Influenced Relationships for the Better

The pandemic made us do social distancing, forcing us to live further away from others. Now, most of our interactions are with the people we live with. Since some people had to transition to remote work while their kids stay at home 24/7, they are forced to live closer with their families.

Some couples claim the pandemic caused them to learn new things about their partner and made their relationships stronger. Since they have more time to be with each other, they used this to nurture their relationship. It was a bit difficult, but they were able to make it work.

The lockdown helped some couples grow closer, work on their differences, and prioritize family time more. Since they basically have no choice but to spend more hours indoors, they chose to improve their communication and work harder to make it easier for everyone while on lockdown. With more family time and their willingness to work on their relationship and provide kids with a better home environment, some managed to win over the stress.

How Relationships are Made Worse by the Pandemic

But for some couples, the shelter in place put their marriage on the rocks. Some realized that the habits their partners have that they used to find are now annoying them. Others found that parenting is not one of their significant other’s strengths, thus adding fuel to their feud.

Some are struggling with money. Others are having a hard time managing their stress related to housework, their jobs, and childcare. This caused arguments, misunderstandings, and even pointing of fingers on who should make way and who should take more responsibility around the house.

Did you know that in the U.S., divorce rates increased by up to 34% in April? What is even more surprising is that 20% of these divorces are from couples who recently married. They haven’t even been six months into their marriage, but they already sought a divorce.

In other words, the pandemic gave couples new challenges that are testing their relationships on a whole new level.

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How Struggling Couples Can Survive the Ongoing Crisis

Thankfully, it is never too late to work on your relationship. If both parties are willing to set aside their differences and maintain more open communication, then it is possible to save their relationship even with the pandemic.

  • Appreciate More and Criticize Less

It is so much easier to point fingers and play the blaming game instead of appreciating even the little things your significant others made. If for every decision they make, you are there to nag and criticize them, they will soon lose interest in doing things for the family. Now is not the time to point mistakes but a crucial time to be more appreciative of your partner.

You can start by praising them at least three times each day for the things they did. This is especially true with the things you didn’t ask them to do, but they did anyway. This can be as simple as taking out the trash, fixing a squeaky cabinet door, or for them buying your kids their much-needed furniture for the classroom and creating a makeshift home office/study room in your garage.

  • Call a Timeout as Needed

It is easy to get annoyed over the littlest things, especially if one of you is already in a bad mood. When things are starting to go out of hand, don’t be afraid to ask for a time out. Postpone the fight but make sure not to let the argument last longer than 24 hours and never fight in front of the kids.

Don’t simply walk away from your partner in the middle of an argument and tell them you just need a few minutes to calm down. When it is time to continue the conversation, take time to listen to each other’s rants, find a common ground, and try to work things out. If there is something you want or need to say, say it directly and be specific.

  • Ask and Really Listen

Have you ever felt like your partner doesn’t understand how you feel, or that they just don’t get you? Chances are, they are times when they feel the same way. So, make sure you take the time to put your curiosity at work instead of getting mad easily.

The pandemic is a stressful time that is challenging our patience in just about everything. So, instead of assuming, ask. Instead of getting furious, listen first. You will be surprised how better you and your partner will feel after each meaningful conversation minus the shouting and fighting.

Some couples are doing better now than before. Others are starting to consider divorce due to the additional stress brought about by the pandemic. Indeed, it is how we choose to face the crisis that can dictate how our relationships will end up even before the crisis ends.

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