Some call it a quarantine.
Others refer to it as a shelter-in-place order.
Whatever you call it, it really sucks.
More and more cities are reopening and heading into different reopening stages, while some are still under isolation orders. This means endless days and nights with only our romantic partners to keep us company.
Spending all day every day together may have sounded like a mini adventure at first, but after months of being stuck at home with your spouse, you’re no doubt feeling overwhelmed and maybe even a little irritated.
Coronavirus isolation has been the ultimate test for married couples. What makes it so difficult to stay home as romantic partners? Can anything be done to ease the tension of sheltering in place with your sweetheart? Keep reading to find out.
Differences of Opinion about the Coronavirus Quarantine
Do you and your partner feel the same way about how to handle your life in quarantine?
One partner is terrified of getting the coronavirus, taking every precaution to wash groceries, disinfect countertops, and leave the house only when necessary.
The other partner thinks everyone is making too big of a deal out of the pandemic and goes about life, as usual, spending time with friends and not paying particular attention to hygiene.
No matter which side of the coin you are on, having a partner who doesn’t agree on how to handle the quarantine can be incredibly irritating. Partners may feel disrespected by their spouse’s lack of concern over the virus; others feel irritated or overwhelmed by lectures about keeping clean.
Job Loss and Financial Stress
Logically, we know that being told to self-isolate after travel or stay quarantined from home unless you absolutely must leave the house is for our protection. Still, it sure has felt a whole lot like a curse – especially for those who have lost their jobs as a result of the lockdowns.
For couples, finances are a struggle to talk about on a good day, let alone during a pandemic.
A study published in the American Psychological Association found that couples with low income are more likely to be affected by mental health problems. These same couples are also more likely to report marital dissatisfaction and the desire to get divorced.
Without a doubt, being unemployed in the unsure age of COVID-19 is adding an exorbitant amount of stress on marriages worldwide.
Spending Too Much Time Together
During quarantine, we are spending a lot of time with our partners – but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s quality time together.
It’s good to be together and do things as a couple, but when there is no routine or substance to the time you’re spending together, it can make your relationship worse.
Instead of building emotional intimacy, you’re binging television shows. Instead of talking, you’re living around each other.
Too much time together can make you feel like you have no personal space. Couples may feel smothered with affection or even bored.
Give your marriage a fighting shot by:
- Spending quality time with your partner, having date nights, and doing something beyond watching TV and movies together
- Take time each day to be alone and have some “me-time”
- Do something new together
- Keep in contact with friends and family
- Make time for physical intimacy
Working from Home with Distractions
If you are lucky enough to be able to work remotely, count your blessings! You’re still able to provide for your household and keep your finances afloat.
However, working from home isn’t as easy as popping down in front of your laptop.
If you live with children, a loud partner, or don’t have a dedicated office space, getting work done is difficult.
Even without distractions, it can be tempting to slip away from your work to spend more time with your spouse.
You can combat the work-from-home blues by making a set schedule for work hours and leisure time with your spouse. Having an office or room of the house where you can go specifically to work will also do wonders for your productivity.
Concerns About the Future
Sickness aside, one of the most frustrating things about COVID-19 is that we don’t know when it’s going to end.
If you and your spouse had been planning a trip or were preparing for a big event such as starting to try for a baby, quarantine, and the unsure state of the world’s health and economy can undoubtedly put a damper on those plans.
Mental Health Declines
The longer we are in quarantine and separated from beloved friends and family, the larger a toll it can take on our mental health. Depression, suicidal thoughts and a feeling of hopelessness have become more common than ever before.
Here are some tips to protect your mental health:
- Limit your news exposure – It’s good to be informed, but after your fifth-hour scrolling through COVID-19 news articles, your info-intake may be doing more harm than good.
- Go for walks- Getting outside is an excellent pastime during the quarantine. Even moderate exercise around your neighborhood for at least 30-minutes can be useful for your mental and physical health.
- Make something/be productive- No one is saying you have to reorganize your entire house or learn to play an instrument while you’re in quarantine, but productivity helps boost your endorphins. Even completing a simple, daily to-do list can make you feel more accomplished and increase your overall morale.
- Communicate- Talk to your partner about how you’re feeling. They will help and support you during this uncertain, stressful time.
For most of us, being isolated isn’t natural. Rest assured, if you’re feeling stressed out or overly irritated with your partner, don’t worry – it’s normal to feel overwhelmed by the coronavirus quarantine. Don’t let close-quarters ruin your relationship. Follow our advice to make time to be alone and continue boosting emotional intimacy with your spouse.
About the Author
Rachael is a noted writer currently associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of her motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying about today’s evolving forms of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on all types of romantic connections. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.