We’ve been in lockdown for a few weeks now and lots of couples are starting to feel the pressure of being together 24/7. You may have already noticed an unusual amount of bickering, arguing over silly things and generally getting irritable with one another.
We’ve enlisted the help of David from Avalon Relationship Consultants to share expert tips on keeping our relationships strong during this time!
One of the most important things couples can do during lockdown, is to show as much respect to each other as possible. Respect is a fundamental core attribute of happy and healthy relationships. During this crisis, people are very stressed and may be suffering from anxiety. So rather than giving them a hard time for not always being in good form or because they were snappy with you, it’s best to let things slide that that aren’t that important. It’s very easy to bring up past arguments to illustrate how right you are in the current argument but this is never wise. It’s probably best to let petty arguments go, rather than holding onto them or keeping grudges.
Simple listening exercise
Secondly, try this listening exercise every few days. It’s a very simple exercise but it’s also very powerful. For the first part of the exercise one person speaks for five minutes without interruptions. As they speak, the other person just listens carefully and tries not to react to what is being said. Then when the five minutes have passed, it’s the other person’s turn to speak. Ideally, they don’t reply or comment on what they have heard but instead say whatever is on their minds. At the end of these five minutes, the couple now gets a chance to speak together for maybe 10 or 15 minutes. During this time, it’s really important that you give the other person the opportunity to finish their sentence so that you fully understand what they are saying, and you don’t stop them unnecessarily. Couples who try this exercise say that it opens up positive feelings and allows for much better communication.
Do something together
Finally, the best relationships in my experience are the ones where couples have things in common that they enjoy together. So, if you don’t share a huge amount of activities or hobbies in common, why not start a new one that you both might like. When lockdown is over, and you can leave the house, you will now have something new to look forward to. Remember, we all need excitement and things to look forward to because it releases dopamine, one of the very important chemicals that keeps us calm inside. Try to do something that’s a little bit mysterious, or dangerous, or is going to give you both a sense of adventure for maximum impact.
David has designed an online course for couples called Relationship Bootcamp, guaranteed to bring you closer. www.relationshipbootcamp.ie.
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Kelly is a former wedding planner and a lover of anything pink. She believes that any bride can plan her own wedding, with a few tips and helpful tools.