– By Joe Matogo –

Many couples have always had that desire to spend more time with their significant other and family. But I’m sure none of them ever thought it would happen the COVID 19 way where you are required to work and stay locked up together in your house. It first looks like that golden opportunity to rekindle your romance. The first weeks of isolation are like a mini-vacation. Suddenly you find yourself with lots of time in your hands and a family that you have been dying to spend time with. The energies are high and the vibe is right. But as the days go by, it slowly starts to wear in on you. You realize that you’re stuck in each other’s space pretty much all the time. Slowly irritation and resentment start to show and you lose patience at the slightest provocation. You start noticing things about your person that drive you crazy. You begin to crave for your structured normal routine where it affords you some time for self, aside from your significant other, the kids and house that has turned into a mini prison. The unity and resiliency once shown begins to give way to anger, panic, and, in some families, increased domestic violence.

Hopefully, this won’t be forever, but forced togetherness can really put a strain on your relationship. When you add all the uncertainties that come with this virus and fears that come with the economy and loss of jobs, things can be downright flammable.

Even under normal circumstances, there is often conflict, confusion, and misunderstandings in our marriages and relationships. But now we are facing unprecedented stresses and strains from a pandemic that is killing people every day, media that keeps our anxieties and fears stirred up with the latest horror stories and conflicting information and misinformation that increases our fear and confusion, to mention just a few.

Here are some things you can do to nurture your relationship – the one thing you love and most and the best protection you will ever have against the stresses of a world turned upside down.

  1. Turn down the noise

Media has a way of stirring up emotions and anxieties that can take a toll on you. You’ve probably heard us mentioning before in our blogs our decision not to have a television in our house. This one thing has helped us to tune out of the negativity that’s usually spread out there by media. Let’s be honest, 90% of what media puts out there is unnecessary. Try spending less time on T.V and see the difference it makes in your home.

  1. Deal with your anxiety.

In such times we find ourselves in, anxiety is quite rampant and people are potentially taking some of that anxiety out on each other. It could be that you’re anxious about your job security, finances, or fear of getting infected, now that the pandemic is closer than you thought possible. The first step is to recognize your anxiety and know that the irritation you might feel with your significant other is not really about them, but about your anxiety, fears, and worries.

  1. Talk to each other about your feelings.

At times of stress, many of us, particularly we men, try and be strong and keep our “negative” feelings to ourselves. Yet, the feelings will come out in some way. You can’t keep them bottled up like a pressure cooker or the lid will blow off. This is a time to be open and share our concerns and worries. Hearing and sharing feelings bring us closer together.

  1. Talk about your money worries.

Unless you’re very rich, you have concerns about finances. Again, most of us have concerns, even under the best of circumstances. But this shut-down Tsunami has overwhelmed everyone. Whatever your circumstances, talking about the state of your finances can relieve some of the pressure. Trying to keep it all inside because you don’t want to worry about your spouse or family just increases the worry and fear.

  1. Get out and walk.

If you get out in the morning or evening in your neighborhood, you will be surprised at how many couples and families are out there doing some form of exercise. Some form of exercise outdoors not only relieves stress, but it has shown to improve our immune systems and release some positive vibes. Even if you only go out and walk around your compound or apartment, it will help.

So, there you have it. Do these things and you have a good chance of maintaining a healthy relationship, a sane mind, and a happy home.



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Marriage Mediation is a conflict resolution process for couples who are experiencing destructive conflicts but are committed to remaining married.