As newlyweds, you and your spouse probably couldn’t get enough of each other. You would have been perfectly happy honeymooning on a deserted island – or even spending a week sequestered in a tiny studio apartment, for that matter.
If you’re currently quarantining because of coronavirus, however, you are likely fantasizing about a taking two-week vacation all by yourself. Heck, you might even be rethinking the whole marriage altogether.
No matter how compatible you are, Pandemic 2020 is taking its toll on every couple’s cool. That’s why we’ve rounded up this advice from psychologists and marriage counselors on how you and your honey can not only survive this unprecedented situation, but thrive because of it.
Establish Your Own Spaces
Especially if you’re both working from home, establish separate spaces where you can have a little solitude. Couples who live in a large apartment or house can do this a little more easily. For those who share a tight squeeze in a city center, set up folding screens or even a privacy tent. Just because you’re stuck inside together doesn’t mean you have to be cheek by jowl 24/7.
Stick to Separate Routines
Similarly, follow a set schedule. Even if you don’t have to work during business hours, a “workday” is a good way to be productive and hang onto your sanity. And if you and your partner will both be busy in the daytime, you’ll enjoy your evening togetherness that much more.
Embark on a Project Together
Maybe you’re both currently unemployed, and so there’s more free time than usual. Make the best of this circumstance by planning and executing a project together. It could be an enterprise you’ve been dreaming of for a while (starting your own small business or side hustle) or just something you pick because it sounds like fun (perfecting your homemade pizza or taking an online course). Either way, the collaboration and communication this requires will help strengthen your bond.
Revamp Date Night
Remember date night? It doesn’t have to end just because you can’t go out dancing or dine at that new downtown hotspot. Get dressed up, put some romantic music on the stereo, and sway with each other right in the living room. Or spend quality time together preparing an elaborate meal: a Japanese feast of tempura and sushi, for example, or a spread of delicious tapas dishes.
Doing something unusual will help you break out of a pandemic rut (lookin’ at you, Netflix). Try playing board games, reminiscing while drinking champagne and looking at old pictures, or giving each other massages.
Cut Each Other Some Slack
Stop keeping score of who’s doing what around the house. If you’re parents, remember how you coped when your children were newborns: you quit worrying about things like vacuuming regularly or folding laundry – it was enough that your kitchen counters were clean and you washed your clothes at all. You simply didn’t have the bandwidth to micromanage each other’s contributions.
That mindset can help you out during stay-at-home mandates, too. Between any new responsibilities you have (hello, teaching algebra to an eighth grader!) and the continual coronavirus-related stress, you have enough on your plate without deodorizing the dishwasher – or insisting your partner do it.
Our final tidbit of advice might sound hokey, but it can really help, according to experts like divorce lawyers in Harrisburg PA. Chances are you have a great deal to be thankful for. You’re not sick with COVID; you have a home to stay in; and you’re together. There are plenty of couples who are waiting out the pandemic while separated by a continent or an ocean, who would give anything to sleep in one another’s arms each night.
Before retiring each night, jot down three things that you feel grateful for in a special notebook or journal. You can share these with your partner, or keep them private.
Weathering the Storm, Together
We’re all in this together, and that’s especially true of spouses and partners who are going through this difficult time while trying to maintain a strong relationship. Just think – someday in the not-so-distant future, you might look back on the quarantine with fondness, remembering the romance you found inside your four walls.
Have you found a creative way to keep the spark alive when you’re both schlepping around in your pajamas? How do you keep from getting on each other’s nerves? How’s your sheltering-in-place sex life? Leave a comment below and let us know how things are going for you and your sweetie.