One of my old mentors once said to me -
“When life squeezes us, what comes out is what’s inside”
For a lot of us, emotions are high right now.Uncertainty with work, worrying about loved ones, and the pressures of self-isolating with partners and kids is pushing some relationships to the brink.
Unresolved problems, feelings and resentments are bubbling up to the surface.
Just as much as I don’t want to see businesses closing during this crisis, I also don’t want to see the divorce rate spike in 3 months’ time!
So today I wanted to share three insights into keeping your relationship healthy during lockdown.
- Recognise your triggers
If you’re snapping at your partner lately, remember that they’re not your enemy. They’re not out to deliberately piss you off.
What’s actually happening is something deeper is triggering you… and you’re lashing out (or wanting to).
For example, you probably don’t give a crap that the dishwasher is still unpacked even though you’ve asked your partner to do it.
What could be going on is that you don’t feel heard by your partner.
Maybe you don’t feel supported.
Maybe you feel like they’re not stepping up in the relationship.
Without getting into a coaching session with you personally, I cannot say for sure what’s going on with you. But I can say for sure that your triggers are indicators of deeper emotional issues that need to be resolved.
So watch out for your triggers. Maybe keep a journal of what sets you off, and when.
Getting triggered is just your subconscious mind’s way of bringing your unresolved stuff to the surface. The more you acknowledge and recognise your thoughts and behaviours, the more you can start to see a pattern behind them.
When you have more of an idea about what’s *really* setting you off, it’s time to try and resolve these issues with your partner.
- Speak the right love language
Do you know your partner’s ‘love language’?
Or your own, for that matter?
We all have different ways in which we perceive and accept love.
Some people like to hear words of affection.
For others, it’s more about spending quality time together.
Others might like to receive gifts, or affectionate touching… everyone has their own ‘love language’, and speaking each other's language can radically improve and strengthen your relationship.
If you like, take this quiz to find out your partner’s love language (and your own).
Take some time to discuss each other’s love language, so you can better meet each other’s needs.
If physical touch is your love language, how do you like to be touched, and when?If your partner feels loved through acts of service, what kinds of things would they like you to do for them?
If your love language is words of affirmation, how can your partner understand what you’d like to hear, and how to say it?
Taking time to explore how you both like to give and receive love will make an enormous difference as you navigate this new way of living together.
- Respect your boundaries
It’s important to honour what you need individually within your relationship.
When you’re living in close quarters, communicating your boundaries is more important than ever.
Maybe you need some ‘down time’ each day in a separate room.
Maybe your partner is working from home and needs their workspace respected.
Or perhaps you need help with the kids so you can still take your daily run.
In the past, I’ve loved spending time with partners so much that I neglected my own self-care. Things like going to the gym. Meditating. Expanding my knowledge through study or training.
But the thing is, all of these self care activities help me show up as a better partner.
They do for you, too.
Make sure you honour that time. Honor the things you need.
And communicate this to your partner, so they understand.
Remember that both of you are going through the same things right now. You may be expressing it in different ways, but the external factors going on are the same for both of you.
So use this opportunity to communicate from a place of compassion and vulnerability, and see what starts to open up for you.