Love in the time of Coronavirus
Updated: Apr 6, 2020
By Sharan Kaur
In China, the number of divorce rates spiked after couples had to self-isolate together. Divorce lawyers have predicted that this is be a global trend as governments try to control the spread of COVID-19. A friend of mine Whatsapped me after the Restricted Movement Order was announced: ‘I know I will survive this storm, but I’m not sure I can survive having my husband home.’
The majority of couples who experience relationship issues often attribute the root of their problem as not having enough time together. However, the extended amount of time that we spend with our partner, without the distraction of work, friends and errands, can cause us to confront the wonderful and messy parts of our relationship – for better or for worse. It’s important to know how to manage any tension that arises so we can make the most out of the time we have together.
Here are our tips for surviving the Restricted Movement Order. Together.
Be nice to each other.
This may seem intuitive but it can be hard to remember when you’ve spent 24/7 together and he has eaten through your snacks. Make a conscientious effort to do
do one nice thing for each other every day (such as: wake your partner up with a cup of coffee – extra points if it’s #dalgonacoffee). Give your partner one compliment as well.
Make a list of traits that you love about your partner.
You don’t have to tell them, just identify the things that they do that make you smile or make you feel loved. When they are getting on your last nerve (or into your Day 6 Chocolate Rations), remember these traits.
Focus on the good things.
Have you heard of the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon or the frequency illusion? It is when the thing you’ve just noticed, experienced or been told about crops up everywhere. It’s like when you’re buying a car and you keep noticing the make and model of the car you want everywhere.
Our brain is programmed to search for patterns. What you choose to focus on, you will see. If you notice that your partner is being thoughtful, you will start to notice the other thoughtful things that they do that you haven’t noticed.
Find your space.
Spending 24/7 with anyone can be challenging. If you are both working from home, designate your own working spaces and stick to them – even if it is on opposite ends of the dining table.
You should not expect your partner to be able to talk to you whenever you want and vice versa. Set a particular time to chat about your day – whether it’s after working hours, or before dinner.
Spend time with yourself.
This is a great time for you to self-reflect and set healthy habits. Enjoy it!
Sharan Kaur is a relationship counsellor at The Mind Faculty, a private mental health therapy clinic in Kuala Lumpur. She helps clients to build more joyful and meaningful relationships. Her areas of focus include relationship counselling, marriage and pre-marital counselling, family therapy and LGBTQ therapy.