Staying married through COVID-19

Once working life finishes, retiree couples have to get used to spending more time together.

This may leave some better prepared for the coronavirus lockdown situation, but many will not be used to spending every waking moment together.

There is no doubt that the current situation will provide many stresses and strains on even the best relationships, but there are things you can do to help guide you and your partner through this tricky time.

Dr Cynthia Bulik told Psychology Today that compromise was key and suggested a number of tips to keep your relationship running smoothly.

Make comfort lists
“For basic relationship health, list three to four points that are very important to your personal comfort that you ask the other person to respect,” Dr Bulik explained.

“These could be behavioural peccadilloes that low-level irritate you under normal circumstances, but really grate on your nerves when together 24/7. But only include three or four points.

“This is not an opportunity to nag, just a chance for each of you to ask your partner to respect a few high-priority ground rules while co-isolating. We all need to decrease our stress, not contribute to our partners’ stress.”

Plan time apart
You might be stuck under the same roof, but it is still important to schedule some alone time. If you make time to work in the garden or in the shed while your partner is chatting on the phone or computer to friends or family, this can still give you a mental break from each other.

Importantly, it could also give you something fresh to discuss.

Part of the frustration of being stuck together is that all your experiences are shared and there is little news to discuss with your partner.

Continue date nights
Just because you can’t go out to restaurants, doesn’t mean that you have to kill off the romance entirely.

Ordering in some takeaway food will break the monotony of one of you having to cook, and you can even set up candles to make the experience different.

“Create a special time when you turn off your devices and spend positive time together,” Dr Bulik explains.

“Shut out COVID-19 for a while and focus on the aspects of your relationship that brought you together in the first place.”

How is your relationship holding up during lockdown?

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Ben Hocking
Ben Hocking
Ben Hocking is a skilled writer and editor with interests and expertise in politics, government, Centrelink, finance, health, retirement income, superannuation, Wordle and sports.
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