After years of marriage, being “stuck” with your husband in a small space for weeks, might not sound like a good thing. If you’re already on the rocks, you may find yourself wondering how can I keep my marriage strong during coronavirus?
If you have a great relationship, you might enjoy being quarantined. But if you’re already dealing with tough stuff, things could get worse.
In light of social distancing, you won’t have many of your go-to coping skills in managing marital distress, like taking a walk, going out with friends or going for a drive.
But you can keep your marriage strong or improve it.
You can keep your marriage strong
Here are 7 simple ways to improve your marriage when you’re in tight quarters or anytime:
1. Focus on the good
If you think your husband is lazy and irresponsible, you’ll interpret his actions as lazy and irresponsible and you’ll treat him accordingly. Focus on the things he does right and mention them. He’ll feel like he can make you happy, which will make him happy in return.
2. Use the Rule of 5
Before getting annoyed, use the Rule of Five. Before getting angry, ask yourself, “Is this going to matter in 5 hours, five days, or five years?” If the answer is “no,” maybe it’s better to keep the peace instead of getting upset.
3. Say ‘thank you’
Find reasons to thank him. Thank him for taking out the trash or unloading the dishwasher. A simple “thank you’ makes him feel like he’s made you happy. Make a list of reasons you’re thankful before you go to bed at night.
4. Assume the best
Assumptions create conflict and increase tension. Assumptions stifle intimacy and create misunderstanding. Don’t assign motives to his behavior. In other words, don’t jump to conclusions. Emotions may run high when you’re confined to your house. Before you get angry, take a breath and give him the benefit of the doubt.
5. Touch him
Touch is a powerful method of communication. It breaks down barriers. Hold hands or rub his back as he watches TV. You can initiate intimacy if you want to up your game.
6. Take care of yourself
When you take care of yourself, everyone’s better off. We tend to push ourselves during stressful times taking care of everyone else’s needs. When you’re rested and happy, you feel better and you’re better to the people around you. Do a Bible study, take a nap, a bubble bath or read a book.
7. Give him a pass
Just let it go. He’s going to mess up. He’s going to be rude or forget. He may just do things differently than you would. Instead of criticizing him, let it go. If he’s rude, assume it was unintentional and don’t make a big deal of it.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your marriage during quarantine, email me about a quickie version of Change Your Mind; Change Your Marriage.