The Coronavirus has changed everything. There is no more work or school, and now, it feels like there is no more freedom.
Lives have been reduced to just staying at home. Even though the lockdown laws allow for us to go out for food, medicine and the occasional trash run, there is nothing more to do. Isolated seems to be the only word to describe daily life, as we experience it now. Family members are there, friends are not, and honestly, there seems to be nothing to do.
After the Chinese government lifted their lockdown, it appears as if divorce rates surged at an exponential rate between Chinese couples. At one point, people rushed out of their homes for food. Now, they rush out of their houses to consult with divorce lawyers.
What can we do to keep our relationships honest and open, in a time of being trapped together?
First, we must express empathy towards each other.
As panic and anxiety rise within in each and everyone one of us, we must find empathy. It is the key to keeping communication open and honest. Although we need to express empathy in our normal lives, this is the key for our lives in lockdown. We need to recognize that this is a difficult time for everyone. In every household, each family member needs to play their part and shoulder the burden. Allocating an equal number of chores to each member is especially important. No one parent or spouse should carry everything solely on their shoulders. As cliché as it may sound, this is the time to remember: “We are a team.” Each teammate needs to do their part, in order for everyone to succeed.
Second, we must listen to each other.
This is a time of crisis. While men tend to have the urge to problem solve, it is important to put that aside. Get out of your heads and open up your ears. In this time of fear, may express our worries with words and in tones of anger. However, through listening and open communication, we will learn that our partners anger isn’t anger after all. It is simply an overwhelming feeling of panic in disguise. Once we have this revelation, we can properly support our spouses and attempt to take this fear away.
Third, we must respect each other’s space.
Yes, we are living in a lockdown and quarantined in such a small space. However, that doesn’t mean that we cannot do our own things and live our own lives. This is probably the hardest part, because at times, we will find ourselves needing space, while our partner does not want that space. However, we need to accommodate for each other and respect each other’s wishes. It is important to appreciate your alone time, but also appreciate your time with your family. Laughs and smiles, kisses and hugs are so important and precious. However, these precious snapshots of our lives can turn sour, once we find ourselves getting annoyed with one another. When you find yourself becoming overwhelmed by your partner, respectfully remove yourself from the situation and try to find a space, where you can spend some time alone. Hopefully, this will prevent a drastic escalation from annoyance to divorce.
As much as we must continue to love and grow together, this may not be the case for some couples. For anyone afraid to be stuck at home with an abusive spouse, please look into the following service:
Non. No. Nein. (Say No! Stop Violence Against Women)
This service is provided to all women in Europe by the European Commission. Visit their website at ec.europa.eu and click on their helplines tab. Here you can find a “Helpline Directory.” Search for your country, and you will find a number for your national helpline. Most helplines will provide emotional, economic and legal support.
In Italy you can call 1522.
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