Do couple conflicts happen more often to you during this time of Pandemic, KALMers?
When a couple in their everyday lives have their own business, whether one or both are working outside of the home, or each has a packed schedule, often times we might miss them like when we were still trying to get to know each other. When we are finally able to spend some time with each other become sometime we long for.
However, after more than a month of WFH and just staying at home all the time, can you still maintain the romance that was there before? Certainly Covid-19 Pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives. What about our relationship with our partner in the midst of this pandemic? Do you find these changes to increase your couple conflicts?
Reason for Couple Conflicts #1: Sudden Changes That Causes Stress
When someone who is used to work outside suddenly have to be stuck at home all the time, it will create a particular form of stress. If we are not quick to acknowledge or even realized that stress, there can be emotional outbursts that creates unnecessary conflicts between the couple.
Any kind of sudden changes can create a disturbance inside of us. This is a normal and understandable reaction. What then should we do so we can respond to this disturbance so it will not cause unnecessary relationship conflict? Let us learn to understand ourselves first. Identify the feelings that we feel that are caused by this sudden changes because of Covid-19, “I am feeling bored,” or, “I am feeling trapped and angry”.
When we are able to understand our own feelings then it will be easier for us to regulate them. Is it not true that when we feel bored, tired, frustrated, it all comes from our mind? That is why the ability to think logically can also help us regulate these emotions. When we can say, “No,” to our ego from trying to satisfies itself with unhealthy expression of boredom and frustration, we can manage our relationship conflict better. Have a conversation with yourself; let him or her know that, “I am bored but then maybe this can be an opportunity to try something new,” or “I am not trapped at home, I am save at home”.
Reason for Couple Conflicts #2: Meet Often, Fight Often
The encounters that were missed by many before suddenly become a trigger for arguments. When we have to be together all the time in the context of pandemic, whether we realized it or not, it can create a feeling of unrest that make us lash out to our partner. Not everyone can express their worry, their anxiety. However, this inability can cause misunderstanding that leads to unending conflict. That is why in situations like these, it is good to make sure whether what we think in our thought is the same with what our partner feels.
What can we do? Set aside a time for just the two of you to talks about your respective feelings. If we feel we do not really understand what our partner’s is feeling, we can ask it in a loving way, “Are feeling tired? Or sad? Or angry?” Or you can asks, “Is there anything that I do that you do not like?”
It is important at times like these for us to be able to speak with love, hear with love, feel with love. The one in front of us is supposed to be the person who we love the most. Your partner needs a hug not a cold shoulder; a smile not a cynical look; a positive encouragement not withering criticism. Love can feel tired of loving at times but is it then we need to fertilize and water our love even more.
Reason for Couple Conflicts #3: When Income Stops, Expenses Runs
A financial problem can be a second pandemic in the house. This is why we need to remind ourselves that we are not alone going through this financial hardship. The whole world is going through it. No one is to blame, but we have to go through this with a commitment to support one another.
Let us picture a scenario where not only we are strapped for money, we also fight more often with our partner. Where is the happiness in our relationship? What we need right now is patience in the midst of hardship. Are not couples meant to support and strengthen one another? Especially in a time such as this. Talk about your finances again with a cool head. What are the options available before us. How to re-arrange our expenses for our household needs. And if you have never done this together. Perhaps right now is the right time to do it.
This is the time when our love is being tested. Is our relationship controlled by money? Or can we sit together to plan, manage, and take the best financial decisions as our expression of love towards one another? We cannot “eat” love but it can be the source of our strongest motivation to commit, sacrifice, and be creative so that we can find a way out from a difficult situation.
Find Immunity in the Midst of Covid-19 Pandemic
Let us work together so that the couple conflicts we are facing right now become an evidence of how weak our relationship is. It is rather an opportunity for each couple to be thankful for their love. The best immunity in times like these is the ability to manage our negative emotions to become positive emotions. When there is a small thing that makes our emotion uncontrollable, then learn to stop it immediately. Don’t go through with it. When we give too much room for our negative emotions to roam it can destroy all good things.
The best vaccine in times right now to maintain our relationship with our partner us by complementing each other to create an exciting home environment. What causes sadness we turn it into something joyful. We turn worrying things into something to laugh at. Whatever is heavy can be light when we face it together as a couple. There will always be a multiplied strength when we face it tougher.
If you and your partner do feel totally stuck as a couple, agree on finding a mediator. This mediator have to be a neutral and competent party. Not a family member of one of the couple, because it can actually makes it worse. When needed, do not hesitate to find a professional counsellor. Why do we have to hesitate in investing in one of our most important relationship? You can also use online counselling service through KALM App (available in Apple Apps Store link and Playstore link)
Be Thankful Always
No matter how hard the condition is right now, be thankful that we can face it together with our partner. No matter how heavy our burden is, let us be thankful we do not have to shoulder it alone. No matter how bitter is the reality, let us be thankful we can be each other’s sweetener. Remember, we do not know how much time we are given with our partner. Why then should we waste this precious time we have together?
Keep excited, KALMers!
Notes: KALM knows that sometimes we can get trapped in a toxic or an abusive relationship. If this is the case, this article is not meant for you. Find help from someone that you can trust or contact a trusted organisation (In Indonesia you can contact Women’s Right Commission at +62-21-3903963).
If you are unsure whether you are in a toxic relationship or not, you can read this article here or you can consult first with a Kalmselor through KALM App.
Author: Dr. Rini Handayani S.Si., M.Pd.K, P.C.
Editor: Lukas Limanjaya