When the lockdowns first started, many of us expected everything to be over in a couple of weeks. But as we watched and read the news each day, the reality began to dawn on us - we would be home for a while.
Now, we’re beginning to see the things we hoped for over a year ago. Some of the restrictions are easing. We may have our former routines back soon.
It’s reasonable to say that every intimate relationship has experienced some strain during this lockdown. If you’ve had to stay home with your spouse or kids for several months, chances are you’ve had some stressful interactions with them at times.
If you have struggled at certain moments during the lockdown, you may feel some uncertainty concerning the future of such relationships. If this is the space you’re in right now, then this article is for you.
This article gives you helpful and practical tips to strengthen your most important relationships as you transition into post-lockdown.
Have “we” conversations
Having “we” conversations means changing your vocabulary when having discussions with your partner. Replace “I” and “You” with “We” as much as you can. For example, instead of saying, “You keep ignoring me”, you could try saying, “I’m feeling ignored when you don’t put your phone down when we talk; I would prefer it if you put your phone down when we are talking.”
This form of communication makes your concerns sound less like accusations or criticisms. Hence, it reduces the tendency that your partner will be defensive or resort to stonewalling.
Communicating this way helps you to internalise the fact that your relationship success is a shared responsibility.
Cultivate the Connection
What are the things you love the most about your partner? Be deliberate about appreciating those things. This is about cultivating those things about your partner that you would love to see grow.
Many times, during stressful situations, we quickly forget these things. It takes deliberate effort to remember such and keep appreciating them. Again, this is another action that gives the best results when it goes both ways.
Reach out for support
If you think you need professional support to navigate your relationship in this challenging period, you’re right. Thankfully, you don’t have to leave your comfort zone before getting the help you need. With Theraply, you will be connected to a licensed and experienced counsellor as soon as you sign up.
If you are at risk in an abusive relationship, click here to access the Australian government support services.