June Brogan is an experienced ‘Relate’ trained couple counsellor based at Relationship Counselling Kent Tunbridge Wells practice.
Below, June offers her expert advice on the best way to manage your relationship during the Covid-19 lockdown.
Most relationships are improved by the time we spend apart as well as the special things we do to invest into our relationship. At the moment during ‘lockdown’ we are forced to being in a limited space trying to work from home and sometimes organise childcare. Alongside the usual domestics which are increased by having to feed the family 3 times a day at home. The kitchen clear-up seems continuous, the cooking endless and the fridge becomes the focus of our survival.
The main thing to recognise is that people handle this sort of situation in different ways, most will feel a range of emotions, including anxiety and frustration. If your partner is anxious they may be doing more things to prevent the virus then you think is necessary, rather than criticise them listen to their concerns and agree to help them in what ever way is needed for them to feel safer. If they feel frustrated about the lack of certainty in their lives, try to reassure them and acknowledge how many things they have dealt with over the years that have included elements of uncertainty and yet they coped.
Communication is key here, if you want someone to help you to get through this difficult time then don’t blame them. You can’t blame somebody with one breath and expect them to sweep you up into their arms in the next breath. Try to start your sentence with “I feel…. overwhelmed with the amount of domestics/exhausted trying to look after the kids as well as do a full-time job” Use sentences like “Can we think about how best to manage over the next few weeks? How do you think we can improve things?”
Try to create clear spaces where each of you has some time to concentrate on your work as well take turns with childcare. Take the opportunity to meet for afternoon coffee and if possible, take your exercise together. Try and make time to do things that you normally don’t have time for. Perhaps, learn to play together again, whether via a quiz, a game or start something new. The time you would normally spend travelling to work, is a time to invest in each other.
If you are in a relationship that is already distressed, or has previously had cracks, these will be highlighted dramatically. Everything that normally irritates you about your partner in a 4-hour period each evening is now irritating you 24/7.
If there is inequality in your roles as far as domestics and childcare this will be illuminated tenfold. Don’t let things escalate into an argument, especially not in front of children. It’s a waste of your time as you have probably had that same argument many times before
Relationship counselling help
By coming to Relationship Counselling you will discover the reasons for that same argument. Remember, 80% of couples come to therapy report a vast improvement and decide to stay together.
Relationship Counselling Kent’s therapists are still working full time. Providing couple counselling via Skype or Zoom. There is no better gift you can give your children or each other, than to invest in the couple relationship. If your roots are strong you can survive any challenge, even Covid 19.
If you would like to make an appointment to see June Brogan at Relationship Counselling Tunbridge Wells. Or any of out other relationship therapists. Then please contact us today. Click – Booking Request