The Impact of Covid-19 on Relationships

1 September 2020   |   by Paula Crowhurst   |   Conflict, Division
The Coronavirus outbreak has had a dramatic effect on all our lives including relationships with people in our community, family, home life, and in the work place.

We have had to change the way we see each other in our friends and family ‘bubble’ safely over the past 6 months. For most, we have found ourselves spending far more time with those who share our homes, whether it is family, housemates or both.

For some, this set up is continuing because of furlough, employers encouraging staff to work from home or there are those who have been made redundant, so they have no choice in the matter.Having much closer contact than usual can feel stressful, and even unbearable. We all need our own personal space and being together 24/7 without downtime for personal hobbies and interests, puts a huge strain on any relationship.

Uncertainty

At a time when we face uncertainty we need extra patience and understanding because we are finding it harder to cope. Life becomes like a pressure cooker, ready to explode depending on ones temperament. Bottled up anger and frustration will turn into resentment which you may express by criticising your partner as you will be noticing more of their flaws.We have been told that we need to stay at home, but for some of us, staying at home can be dangerous or unbearable/insufferable if were are living with domestic violence or abuse. Of course, in these situations, your immediate safety comes first and you may have to leave home.

Slowly, lockdown has eased. Gyms, beauty salons, bowling alleys and cinemas have begun to resume business as ‘a sort of’ normal. The question is, what does our own personal safety mean to us as individuals because of the impact of the virus? If your partner has underlying health issues and you decide that you want to play football with your mates in the local park, is that fair or reasonable on your partner who has health concerns? Or, if you haven’t seen your boyfriend/girlfriend for months, is it now okay for him/her to stay over?

How do I avoid constant arguments?

  • 1. Don’t stop communicating. Don’t stonewall your partner by avoiding interaction. Not being present by choosing to do something else whilst your partner is talking to you, will in turn make your partner feel that they are not being heard. Making the effort to demonstrate that you are giving your partner, your full attention will avoid further argument.
  • 2. Stop accusing your partner of being the problem. If you throw out accusations, it puts your partner on the defensive and people on the defensive say and do things they don’t mean and that are not productive. Make the conversation about your own feelings rather than your partner’s actions. This is a more compassionate way to communicate. Use “I” statements, not “you”. “I feel unappreciated”, or “I feel that I do everything around the house”, etc… This avoids conflict so that you reach an understanding.
  • 3. Tone is so important too. Don’t yell or use sarcasm as this shows contempt. Rolling of the eyes is another form of communication which is not helpful! Learn to listen and think about your body language.
  • 4. Re-living the past by bringing up old mistakes & not having a general specific complaint. Let go of the past, it prevents you moving forward.
Consideration

These are questions that need to be addressed. Communication and consideration is paramount in any relationship. Listen to each other and know how each of you are feeling. Be respectful of one another. Be present, in other words, pay attention to the other people in your life. Don’t be distracted by phones, laptops, iPads, work etc… Concentrate on the here and now. Share tasks around the home, give yourself as much space as possible, but understand that you may need to share the same space at certain times. Set up a daily routine/rota as to how you work around each other.

Above all, we need to remind ourselves that social distancing is paramount in these difficult times and if we are to see a way out of this awful situation, any time soon, we all need to be considerate and respectful as a population for the greater good!

Paula Crowhurst

The author of divorceseparationcoach.co.uk and a wide variety of inspirational & helpful blogs, to aid you in getting your life back on track after divorce. In addition to your personal coach, her own experiences will provide a unique and considered insight, into the things you can do to keep positive and motivated.