Making a Marriage Work During Lockdown
Tips for couples communication during these trying times.
Posted Sep 28, 2020
Tensions seem to be running high when it comes to coupling during the pandemic. A recent report in "The New York Post" stated the divorce rate in the United States increased by 34 percent during this pandemic. Although there's no clear end to these trying times that doesn't mean a couple can't keep the peace at home.
A few weeks ago, I spoke with award-winning Whine Down podcast co-hosts and married couple, Jana Kramer and Michael Caussin about healthy ways to communicate in a relationship. They wrote about healthy ways to approach a relationship in their book "The Good Fight". They conceived of the book before the pandemic, but edits and some writing were done during quarantine while parenting their two young children.
When it comes to communication as a couple during quarantine, Caussin says, "We've had to over-communicate on what we need."
The pandemic upended many daily routines and habits. Caussin explains couples are now having to communicate their daily schedule. He says, "They're used to their own agenda and not used to having to communicate their day."
Caussin's advice, "Don't be afraid to ask for what you need."
Another communication tip is to speak your truth. "We want to steer away from uncomfortable things, but that's not your truth and then you end up blaming others and it is resentment. Speaking the truth doesn't have to be mean," says Caussin.
The couple also recommends that each person know and understand their own triggers and as well as understanding their partner's triggers as well. And often the triggers are linked to something that happened in childhood, long before you met your partner. "You bring your stuff into your relationship from your childhood, own it. Claim it. " Jana Kramer adds.
Walking away to take a personal timeout can be helpful, too. It is worth noting that walking away from a disagreement doesn’t mean your partner doesn’t care. Learning how to respectfully take a pause and then coming back to a conversation prepared to resolve the issue is important.
Make the time to spend together as a couple "People use leftover time in the day (for each other)" says Caussin. Instead, he suggests "making an intention to do something different, like taking a walk, so it feels like something good."
And it is important to approach a relationship with the idea that there's still room to grow and learn. "We're constantly growing and learning and learning what we need to do better," says Kramer.