As we all hunker down during this unprecedented time, our romantic relationships are being put to the ultimate test. We are all suffering from the stressful effects of COVID-19, which inevitably affect our emotional and mental states. As emotional beings, when we feel threatened, we tend to become irrational. Therefore, our ability to think clearly and objectively is impacted.
Being under quarantine and isolation will usually trigger two types of scenarios depending on how stable and strong your relationship truly is:
- The first one could be that the couple becomes closer, and the relationship becomes stronger as they find ways to manage and navigate the uncertainties together using healthy tools.
Note: Please do not have false expectations if you are already struggling with your relationship under “normal” circumstances.
- The other scenario could be that you drift apart as the fear caused by uncertainties will trigger the worse in you, and in your partner.
The questions are obvious, would this be the time to end a relationship or is it worth fighting for it?
Depending on your particular situation, you might want to take a step back and avoid making impulsive decisions unless your health is in danger or might want to hire a professional to help you understand what’s going on objectively.
While it may seem easier said than done, here are 7 tips to help you get started:
1. Check in with yourself: Make sure you check your own emotions first. We have a tendency to blame something or someone else for our shortcomings. So, we must take responsibility for our own emotional state before we begin the blaming game. Take time to ask yourself what it is that is triggering you and why.
2. Stop Pretending that things are “ok”: If you are having challenges now, it is very probable that you had known for a while that something is not working in the relationship. You chose to ignore it because you are afraid of the consequences. Either because you are still in love, you are scared of change, or you are just afraid to let go. However, pretending that everything is ok does not help. Instead, it makes things worse because you are expecting the other person to behave differently without having the proper tools to improve and change the situation.
3. Come to Terms with the Facts: To solve a problem, you must come to terms with the fact that there is a problem, to begin with. So, yes, you must accept that something is off, and it’s not working. However, it’s easy to go into denial, because it feels safe. In my book, The Becoming of a Light Warrior,
I openly write about a particular situation when my husband and I faced a tough time in our relationship. He admitted that he was starting to have feelings for another woman. I went into denial because it was so painful to face it. The truth was that the other woman was not the issue. The issue was that we had lost sight of each other’s needs, and that impacted our intimacy.
4. Stop avoiding difficult conversations: The basis of human psychology is to run from pain toward pleasure, which is sometimes referred to as the pleasure-pain principle. This is our motivating force behind our behavior to seek instant satisfaction and gratification. Then, it’s only natural that when we feel uncomfortable about anything, the first impulse is to avoid it at all costs. It is human nature to avoid difficult conversations and conflicts. However, when we are not able to have these conversations, then the chances to work with the problem and find solutions are minimal. Therefore, hire a professional to help you prepare for these challenging but needed conversations.
5. Understand your Emotional and Spiritual Needs: As humans, we have biological needs that are undeniable. We need to eat, sleep, nurture our bodies, and release waste. If we are not able to do that, our body will suffer from illnesses and physical pain. In the same way we have biological needs, we also have emotional and spiritual needs including the need for stability and safety, the need for fun and uncertainty, the need for feeling valuable and unique, the need for love and connection, the need for growth, and finally, the need for contribution.
When we don’t fulfill these needs in healthy ways, we’ll fulfill them in destructive ways. If you don’t understand and know these needs and how you are currently meeting them, then your emotional, mental, and spiritual states will be affected. Right now, you and your partner might have different needs, which can create chaos when you don’t understand them. Becoming aware of these subconscious needs is vital. During my couple coaching sessions, the first thing we will perform, is a human needs assessment, so that you become clear on what’s missing, what’s triggering you or your partner, communication style, fears, and expectations. Also, it is a great tool to understand your partner’s needs, and where he/she is coming from so that we can find solutions.
6. Take time for Intimacy: Social distancing is not applicable when you are at home sharing the same space 24/7, or even more when you are sharing a small apartment. As we already examined, when you are spending that amount of time with your partner, the dynamic changes every day. For instance, some people might be experiencing an aversion to having intimacy as a result of anxiety. If this is the case, it is imperative to have the conversation. This might fall into the category of “difficult conversations,” see advice above. Other people are finding that sex is just the right antidote to stress. As we know, sex can become a great stress reliever. Studies show that people who have an active sexual life develop a stronger immune system to fight against viruses, germs, and other intruders. The most important thing is to acknowledge your feelings since there is no right or wrong way to handle these interesting times.
7. Practice self-love and self-care: As we are presented with new challenges such as homeschooling, inability to go out and spend time with our loved ones, many individuals are feeling exhausted and stressed out. When we are stressed out, our immune system suffers, and we are not able to fight the virus. Also, our emotional and mental state will suffer because we become moody or rude as a result, which will have an impact on our relationships. I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that you carve out time for yourself. Taking time for yourself is not selfish. It is a requirement that helps you “show up” for your loved ones when they need you the most. So, exercise, rest, take a bath or a nap so that you have the proper energy and motivation to work on your relationship.
If you or someone you know is having relationship issues, please don’t hesitate to contact Yudy Veras Bueno for a complimentary consultation at:
- A complimentary 30 – 45 minute consultation
- A FREE copy of my book with amazing tools that you can apply right away with amazing results
- A Human Needs Assessment to understand your underlying fears, triggers and impulses with defining results
(3) one-on-one private sessions with me (1.5 hours for each session)
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