Talk It Over: Marriage Counseling Pointers in the Pandemic

Even people with the happiest and the most stable marriages are fighting to combat the isolation bought about by the pandemic. Some cope well with it, while others would rather be with their loved ones and not separated.

Some would rather be back in the office than at home. The confinement with your spouse can take its toll, and there’s no space here. If you throw in other people in the mix, like your young or teen children, it could be a brewing recipe for disaster. It could also often lead to something worse that not even counseling by reputable marriage counselors could fix, like bouts of separation or divorce.

With advice from several therapists and counselors for marriage and family, take a look at some tips to strengthen your bond. This applies to all times, even without a pandemic.

Chronic Overthinking

It’s hard being an overthinker. They tend to see things in black and white, which could lead to problems in your relationship. The thoughts you have in your head might become repetitive and extreme, that it could also cause problems with your health, among others.

Overthinking can cause you to see things not for what they are. For instance, if your spouse always jogs at a certain time of day, this may come across differently with you. It might appear to you that your spouse leaves home because they can’t stand the sight of you and wants you to go.

You can try to overcome overthinking, but it would be a great idea to try consulting a doctor about this. It’s possible, even when online.

Painting Things in Black and White

It might be an after-effect of overthinking but seeing things in “black and white” isn’t easy at all for these people to find a middle ground in certain situations, which is why, if your spouse tends to think like this, you should understand their needs and help them cope with their thinking.

Black and white can look like you’re either with me or against me; either we eat dinner together, or we’re going to get a divorce. There are limited options, and there are also reasons why things came to this. It would help if you worked together to get to a gray area where you can sort things out or see things from a different perspective.

Prejudging your partner

The problem here is when you think about your partner in an adjudged manner. It’s assumptions that can cause a lot of problems in an otherwise okay relationship. Think of it this way; if your partner leaves work at 5 PM and you set dinner at 5:30 PM, you shouldn’t assume anything if they arrive at 6 PM instead.

Thinking of other things as the reason behind their lateness is what makes trouble. Learn to ask for clarification instead of assuming something’s up. Relationship difficulties will happen if you always assume wrong things about your partner.

Give each other breathing room

Most spouses keep each other company for half the day, but during the pandemic, they keep each other company the whole time. This can be an especially stifling atmosphere to some couples whose sense of space is an important part of their relationship. There is a study that suggests alone time should still be existent even with married couples.

Some experts suggest that couples can have that alone time, even with their spouses present at home. From sitting alone, spending some time in the bedroom to sitting in a corner undisturbed, listening to music, or meditating, there are ways to create that personal alone time.

Make Light of Situations at Home

There will always be disagreements between couples. Writer and editor Molly Tolsky has some advice for couples while working at home—if you have some situation where your recourse is to blame your spouse, it’s better to create an imaginary person to blame instead. In this case, the editor suggested an imaginary co-worker.

In her instance, she created “Cheryl.” This imaginary person has been blamed for every little thing. From dirty water cups in the apartment to empty candy wrappers, couples have finally found a scapegoat instead of blaming each other.

With the new normal affecting even how we spend our time at home, couples need to adjust to this new normal. These tips will help in formulating a new routine. It might take some getting used to at first, but if variety is the spice of life, this new variety should provide some excitement to long-time couples and newlyweds alike.

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