We want to talk today about significant others, and how to best nurture a healthy environment for vibrant, growing relationships. While this subject is relevant for any time, it’s particularly important to heed these suggestions now as we’re all living through social distancing. Every relationship has cracks and issues, but living through a pandemic and the stressors which come with it are adding an extraordinary amount of strain to even the most level, healthy relationships.
Particularly if you and your significant other are both working from home, it is so important to build areas + times of separation from one another. And having separation in the flow of the day can help too. For example, is there a clear definition between the work day and “family” time? Or does one bleed into the other? Or at dinner, do you just move the papers and laptop out of the way to make room for your plate? More than ever, having a routine which brings a sense of order and structure can be so reassuring to many people, in a world which can seem more chaotic every day. Be sure to separate the mundane, daily, unimportant activity from that which is more sacred, more meaningful, more elevated.
It’s so normal to get lost in our own work and daily activity that we often don’t understand what our partner is doing with the majority of his/her day. We know they “work” or “go to the office” but we often don’t get to observe the pressures, accomplishments, challenges, etc. they encounter. So, make it a point verbalize your appreciation of your partner’s efforts when you see them. Simple acknowledgements can go a long way towards building feelings of empathy and appreciation, for each partner.
Benefit of the Doubt
Here’s the reality: you and your partner are BOTH dealing with increased stress and unpredictability right now. They’re likely emotionally overwhelmed and not trying to annoy you or hurt you. When you communicate, acknowledge his/her feelings, ask questions to help clarify what is being said, and listen to truly understand vs. trying to “defend” or “be right”.
Thank you for reading, please feel free to share with your friends if you found this post valuable. We are always here at SouthEnd Psychiatry to start a conversation and to hear from you!