We typically live in a fast-paced world with not enough hours in the day. Not enough family dinners, not enough quality time, not enough date nights. Since the Shelter in Place, couples who normally might only see each other after the kids are tucked in are suddenly on a quarantine couples retreat—whether they like it or not. All of this together time may introduce new things about your partner…like the weird face they makes when they breathe. It might be hard to stay lovey-dovey all the time, but here are a few tips to get through quarantine as a married couple…and stay that way. Here are 10 tips to make sure we aren’t ALL going through a COVID-19 divorce.
- Sex. – Let’s jump right in. This might be the only tip you really need to not face a COVID-19 divorce. Now is the time to make up for all the nights you said you were bloated or too tired. Get creative, do it often, and maybe try some new things. This activity will bring you closer and also help with all that added stress. If you’re still bloated and tired 😉 you’ll love the rest of this post…
- Back to Basics – Pull out all the tricks you did to land your love in the first place. Whip up their favorite breakfast—maybe for the first time since the kiddos were born—and surprise them with a little extra attention. Re-watch your old favorite series and movies, romance each other with massages, go through old photos, or watch your wedding video 1300 times. All of these simple gestures can easily get lost in the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s nice to press pause and get back to the basics.
- Date Nights – Although now is not the time to make a reservation at a new restaurant, you can totally create a memorable dine-in experience at home. Cook together or grab curbside from your favorite spot, light some candles, get dressed up, and ask the children to act as the wait staff. Movie nights, happy hours, and long romantic walks up and down the driveway are also great ideas!
- Give Each Other Space – This is a big one to avoid a COVID-19 divorce in the midst of COVID-19. Whether you live in a tiny apartment or a sprawling mansion, all this extra time together could make it seem like the walls are closing in. Hey, I’m just trying to keep it real. If you need a break, do not feel guilty for taking it. Also, don’t be offended when your partner wants to watch TV in the other room. It’s totally healthy. Some couples may be used to only seeing each other before bed and on weekends and this sudden change of pace is definitely not a vacation. When the “honeymoon” phase of quarantine wears, take a solo walk, a long shower, or just walk into the other room.
- Let Them Have Their Hobbies – If your husband wants to sit in the kitchen and paint by numbers for a solid 7 hours a day, try not to flip the table over. Most of us have some extra time on our hands, so it’s natural to want to pick up a new hobby. Both my husband and I are home from work and I’ve tried to take everything in stride—including and not limited to drums set up on the balcony and a lot of Call of Duty. We’re supposed to encourage each other to pursue our passions, right? Which is exactly why my husband better not make a peep when I livestream trombone Zumba later tonight.
- Get to Know Each Other – Whether it’s a silly Facebook survey making its rounds or an Instagram filter that forces you to answer “who’s more likely to get arrested,” have some fun together and ask each other questions. When we’re all running from work to soccer practice to picking up dinner, a lot of communication is done through text message and conversations get put off. We’re lucky to have the time to really connect right now.
- Play! – Make some room to have some fun every day. Play soccer with your toddler, break out board games, cards, or video games and unleash your inner child. While we all navigate our new normal, it’s easy to get bogged down in the negative, but playing serves up positive vibes for the whole family. Unless you have a nasty competitive streak, then put the Pictionary down.
- Couples Work Outs – This is a great way to support and encourage each other during COVID-19. So many fitness instructors and gyms are offering online classes, now is the time to take advantage, keep your marriage and avoid a COVID-19 divorce. Boost your immune systems, work up a sweat and laugh (especially if you have the same problem as me when you do a jumping jack-THANK YOU childbirth).
- Family Affair – Gosh, I am so thankful for FaceTime. Both mine and my husband’s families live in New Jersey and it’s tough not knowing when we’ll be able to see them again. We’ve made a point to prioritize both sides of our families, and we feel more connected than ever before.
- Talk About It – The world is heavy right now and we’re all drowning a bit in uncertainty. Loss of routine, jobs, and income are a recipe for high stress and no good will come from sweeping it under the rug. Do your best to stay positive, but also remain human. You’re a team, and it’s your job to support and listen to each other. Be honest with yourself and your partner about how you’re feeling in all this. Lean on them. Divorce is real… don’t let it be YOUR reality.
Everyone is doing their very best to navigate the new world. There will be good moments and bad, accept and embrace them. At the end of the day, love is all we have. Treat each other with kindness, and when all else fails, lock yourself in the bathroom with some wine and a podcast.
Photo Credit :: Laura Samuels Photography