Here's what I have observed in the majority of couples who have reached out for consultation recently, as the reality of covid-19 has become more apparent:
- There are similarities and differences between how each partner understands Covid-19.
- Individuals are feeling differently these days.
- Individuals are behaving differently these days.
- In some cases, individuals are concerned about the integrity of their relationship in light of these differences.
- Individuals have different physical and psychological needs that arise from this pandemic.
- Mosts individuals expect their partner to understand their needs and agree with their thoughts about Covid-19.
- These differences may require couples to develop communication skills that are new to the relationship.
- Emotional and behavioral reactions to Covid-19 seem to depend on where individuals get their information and with whom they are discussing the situation.
- Differences in perception cause some individuals to question their own sensibility.
Word of advice: In the midst of public announcements, news, gossip and rumors, anxiety has become a communicable disease and is likely interfering with your own thoughts and feelings about covid-19.
Address the anxiety and find your individuality within the relationship. If you are not sure how, here is one idea. This will help you stay grounded and honest with your partner. When you both feel ready:
- Sit together in a comfy spot.
- Share your Covid-19 related experience so far. Take turns. Don't interrupt.
- Identify similarities and differences in your covid-19 stories.
- Acknowledge that there are similarities and differences between most peoples’ response to Covid-19, even within couples. Even within long-term couples.
- Take turns talking about your physical and emotional needs.
- Acknowledge that there are similarities and differences between most peoples’ physical and emotional needs at this time, even within couples. Even within long-term couples.
- If you make a request of your partner, think it through carefully and choose your words well. Be prepared to compromise.