Many people ask themselves this question for months, if not years or decades. The question is: “What should I do about my marriage?“
In the wake of being quarantined due to coronavirus protections, the question what you should do about ongoing (or escalating) marital problems is going to be in the forefront of your mind. It will add to the stress you’re already facing in the wake of the uncertainty of the coronavirus outcomes on the economy, jobs, the kid’s schooling, parents health, and more.
That’s what makes this coronavirus quarantine period a key time to do something about your marriage.
Such as trying online marriage counselling (you can arrange a confidential call with me by clicking the buttons below) — or taking an online relationship improvement course to help understand your marriage troubles and soothe, and repair, damaging relationship dynamics.
If you have a troubled relationship, you should consider getting this assistance before it gets unbearable, and before quarantine leads to a worsening dynamic and increased stress (we have enough stress already…your relationships should not be adding to that during these difficult times. But the good news is, there is help available for you and your partner, easily, affordably, online . Book your call with me.
Why is being quarantined so tough on a marriage?
Quarantine means no distractions
Quarantine relationship challenge #1
No distractions – no getting away from each other to ease the pain of the differences of opinion (or other conflicts) that you’ve been struggling with as a couple in strife. This type of 24/7 exposure can grate on even the best and healthiest of relationships, but it is typically amplified in relationships already undergoing struggles. It simply isn’t healthy for any relationship to be so close, for so long, with no breaks, no distractions — and minimal time alone or socialising with other networks.
- At least try to exercise separately, when you can, when it is safe (and legally okay) to do so.
- Be sure you keep up your other social contacts — chats with family, friends, and co-workers (ideally using video).
- Go for a run, a walk, meditate alone, or do yoga. Give each other time away from each other — and the kids — each day, ideally 2 hours but at least 90 minutes.
- Additionally – exercise will ease the stress (so long as it’s allowed and as long as you follow quarantine level restrictions, such as physical distancing).
- Agree to time sharing a sanctuary place in the house (or garden)…hole up in the office or bedroom by yourself for at least 90 minutes per day…or go for a solo walk each day….for at least 45 minutes.
- But again, ideally 90 minutes to 2 hours…and focus on nature, your breathing, anything but the worries…
- Remind yourself that worrying about things we cannot control is an ineffective and health-damaging way to spend your time.
- Take turns getting time to yourselves and focus on your physical and mental health, and social health using modern technology like Zoom, Facetime, more.
Job loss adds to the stressors in a marriage
Quarantine relationship challenge #2
Financial worries and job loss – job loss really tests a marriage and adds to stress. Most marriages are already plagued by differences of opinion in how a couple handles money (e.g., different financial management points of view, sexual intimacy issues and a lack of feeling respected and listened to, are the top 3 problems listed by my online marriage therapy clients)!
- Take positive financial control steps to minimise expenses and maximise incoming funds
- Delay payments where this option is being made available, and do so as early as possible to conserve your cash / cash flow.
- But make sure ALL financial decisions are a jointly negotiated family decision — not a financial dictatorship regiment. That will only worsen your marriage.
- Seek financial advice from a trusted professional and/OR
- Get support by reading books such as the one by Ann Kaiser Stearns, “Living through Job Loss: Coping with the Emotional Effects of Job Loss and Rebuilding your Future.”
- It’s not Corona-virus specific but it has some excellent advice on financial strategies through tough times.
Decision-making during times of crisis will amplify a lack of balance in autonomy and control (as well as controlling behaviours)
Quarantine relationship challenge #3
Control and decision-making inequity.
- Control differences (decision-making) are major issues in many marriages in trouble.
- Plus, we all need to face that we ARE facing some tough times during the next 6 to 18 months.
- Hence, making tough financial decisions is going to be necessary, but if dictated rather than peacefully and collaboratively negotiated, its going to harm your marriage.
- As I noted above, ALL decisions need to be jointly negotiated in a peaceful and collaborative way.
- Cost-cutting and job-loss survival needs to be a family decision including teenagers if possible — not a dictatorship type of financial decision making by the ‘head of family’.
- We are not in a ‘father knows best era’ and relationships deserve far more equality than I tend to notice in my clients.
- A dictator-decision making, controlling or dominant approach will only worsen the difficulties in any marriage.
- So, too, will criticism of a partner for a job loss or income changes well beyond anyone’s control.
- I can help you learn how to negotiate and collaborate in a healthier, respectful way to help reduce your arguments and repair the rifts in your marriage.
- This facilitation can occur in 2 ways: Online marriage counselling or an online relationship repair course. Links below.
So what SHOULD I do about my marriage?
Before your relationship conflicts worsen during quarantine periods, consider getting professional help using online marriage therapy services.
You can arrange a call with me confidentially to discuss what help I can be in facilitating the repair of a troubled marriage (which is more a troubled relationship dynamic than a troubled marriage itself).
Take an online relationship repair course on your own schedule.
Summary about the question you’re asking yourself “what should I do about my marriage?”
- You have a choice
- You can use informed processes to help repair your marriage, or go it alone (and stay stuck in the rut you’ve both fallen into, with no genuine resolutions and peacemaking)
- You can shortcut the repair of your marriage by using tools, such as this online course, or a few online sessions, rather than the slower process of going it alone…
- You can get frustrated and give up before applying evidence-based approaching to relationship repair
- You can try the very painful separation period and/or divorce…
- But instead, why not try THIS approach for now, and see what you can gain?
Read these articles:
The push-pull of relationship closeness vs distance
How troubled is your marriage? The Couples Crisis Scale
Page last updated on March 29, 2020.