Is the corona virus lock-down affecting your marriage and relationship? You might be new couples or may have been together for years but holing up together in one spot could present a great opportunity to know your partner better or in the case of many marriages, HELL. One thing I’ve noticed is that tensions and strained conversation between couples has been on the rise.
Over the past three weeks, i have received innumerable calls from worried spouses and partners. They want to know if a sign of irritation signals a “no love” situation in their relationship or marriage. The answer is no. So abeg, just chill.
A recent speculation by divorce lawyers says that the corona virus lock-down will affect marriage and relationships with noticeable increase in divorce rates. This will spike later on in the year due to what i have decided to call self-isolation discoveries. Don’t work yourself up into a corner thinking about something that may never happen but just in case it does happen, i will advice on what you could do about this.
LIST OF THINGS SELF-ISOLATION WILL UNCOVER ABOUT YOUR RELATIONSHIP or PARTNER
Industry – Spending time with your partner during this corona virus lock-down is going to show you how industrious they are as an individual. Can they make something out of nothing? Is your partner someone you can leave money, assets, valuables with and have them double the value up or are they caught up with complaints and reasons why opportunities may not work.
Crises Management Skills – We are all not called to be John Rambo or Wonder Woman of the Amazon but spouses, being brave for your better half in times of crises is a very important attribute in marriage or relationships. It makes men attractive and women desirable.
At a time when the world is ravaged by a pandemic, don’t add to the stress levels around the home by painting doomed pictures, discussing every conspiracy theory or just looking like the whole world crashed. Bravery is not a must but it’s an honorable choice that says “Although i’m afraid, i decide to look for ways to navigate us to the other , better side”. Fella’s, there’s nothing sexier than this.
Real Money Situation – COVID-19 is a bastard! Ailment with no parents. Many families and couples have come to the stark reality that there was really no savings stowed away for the proverbial rainy day. All they had was a piggy bank. Two weeks into isolation, money worries are plaguing many relationships because partners are getting worried and asking themselves questions about the roles and input everyone has been making so far. Without over-stating the obvious, this will be the second highest reason many relationships and marriages will break up further down the line. Fights are erupting in homes over money and trivial issues.
Ladies, at this point i want to soothe your fears a little. You see that man you married, he’s on a journey of self-discovery and waking up one day and discovering money stowed away isn’t enough is part of that journey. This is where your role as a help meet and source of encouragement for him kicks in. Look beyond the obvious and see those things that made you love him when he had nothing. Make him see those things for himself too. Going for the next available man (or woman) for financial gain is the worst self-valuation technique ever and please don’t ever convince yourself you did it for the family because that’s not true. Stay, help your partner through the maze without compromising their ego.
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☣️…….. it gets juicy from here..
Poor if not Zero Communication – You remember how much of a communicator you thought you were before COVID-19 struck. Here comes the boom because a bulk of your relationship needs communication to survive. Slinking around the house with your laptop and a serious look on your face won’t save you this time because even a toddler can sense everything is shut down and not too serious these days. Rather than pretend that you are caught up with a lot of work, invest more time in improving communication.
Remind your wife or hubby of the love you have for them, get a pet family project thats so much fun even the kids (if any) can join in or simply take her on a balcony date were the both of you just relax to a bottle of wine or coke with the kids watching “PJ Masks” on your (safe) phone. The world may NEVER see a time again like this in our lifetime. Use it well.
You Have Sacrificed Your Marriage/Relationship on Works Altar – Did you know that we sometimes use work as an excuse to escape from the realities of our relationships? Rather than fix the cracks appearing of the relationship, you pick up your bags and rush through the door hoping these things naturally sort themselves out. I always advice clients to never use work as escapism because once you remove that, you have nothing. On the scale of life, your relationship and family matter more than work and money.
Use this period to begin making up for the lost time, it’s the perfect opportunity. No one may tell you this but i will. Escapism is neither good nor bad but the individual using it as a coping mechanism decides what it becomes. If work becomes an escape, there’s an excitement to exit the house that you cannot hide no matter how hard you try.
⚠️ Affairs (My partner may be cheating on me) – Well, let’s just say i left the most important for last. I’ll divide it into two parts namely;
The In-house watcher: When you have time to yourself, you can plan who you talk to, when you talk to them and what to say. Unfortunately when you are locked down and cannot communicate freely, most calls will be ignored, phones will be ever so on silent mode and strange behavior on the increase. Although you may not be cheating on your partners or spouse, i want you to note those calls or people that you are uncomfortable receiving or talking to respectively in the presence of your partner because it’s a strong indicator of a likely future problem.
Your partner unless a totally unaware person will begin to notice these little signs and if you are indeed having an affair, your problem gets slightly bigger. Afterall, the fact that it is an affair does not negate the fact that your cheating partner is human with emotions, feelings and all. So having said this, you will want to manage her/him and also your rightful partner which always ends in a classic fail because…
“…though we may be polygamous animals by nature, the process of love requires nuturing, attention to detail and a high level of relaxation to strike that single chord. A chord a man/woman having an affair cannot strike simultaneously”..
– Temple Obike
The Receiver Observer: You have missed your significant other and the associated perks of your relationship since the self-isolation/lock-down. Everything needs to be done via phone or video calls now. You know they are definitely working from home, staring at your picture every 30 minutes and planning ever-more with you but something seems strange. The amount of time at their disposal isn’t commensurate to the time being apportioned to you. The energy squeezed into those 10-minute daily calls seems lost because though it’s 20minutes now, the flavor is gone, discussion plateaued and everything mundane. Infact, if you didn’t know better, you would say something is wrong.
Lets approach it from three angles. Firstly, your partner has a lot of time on their hands and more think time. when people begin consciously thinking, they initiate a prioritizing process that suddenly re-arranges things. Some of the signs are a withdrawal from activities that used to be their regular. Secondly, finance is a key factor which many boo’s and bae’s will rather die than admit to it being an issue. They are on lock-down and their self=preservation instincts have kicked in. So they need to watch rcashflow and expenses (which unfortunately includes phone calls and data) carefully.
Lastly, you may be part of a harem of potential suitors and apportioning resources in times like is hell because everyone must be contacted to keep equilibrum. No one wants to imagine this but many relationships are at the point of tipping this period due to this point here. My advice is that you call your partner and inform them of your observation rather than stew in suspicion because ,once you actively go searching for clues that point to a partners infidelity, you most definitely will find something whether true or contrived.
As always, i hope this piece helped someone somewhere.Try to enjoy the lock-down period and utilize it as a period of self-discovery for yourself, your spouse and family. Knowledge they say is power but i say in it’s right application lies real mastery.
Written by Obike Temple
A Counselor, psychotherapist, brand-Sage and entrepreneur who has counseled over three-hundred couples, individuals, substance abuse and grief-stricken clients.
For more information on related issues and to schedule an appointment with “Temple’s Counsel” visit our counseling page, chat us up via our website or send a whatsapp message to +2348109055475.
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