Quarantine is like a cauldron. The sameness of space is the pot. The time is the fire. Being in the same space with the same person or people for sustained amounts of time will move people together or apart.
These types of situations do not necessarily create relatinship problems but they do EXPOSE them. Crisis has the gift of exposing the cracks of relationships, the cracks in communication, the cracks in commitment, the cracks in finances, and the cracks in connection.
When the cracks are exposed some will turn towards each other to work through the cracks and repair the cracks. Others, unfortunately, will turn away from each other, blame each other, attack each other, become defensive, and what were once relational cracks become relational collapse.
Here are a few thoughts about conquering the collapse I have come up with and from colleagues.
- You are not going through this alone. It is very easy to forget that your spouse is going through the same thing.
- Everyone responds to stress and crisis differently. Many couples have fallen apart simply because one partner felt wronged because the other does not respond to crisis the way they do. Take time to know how each other react to stress and challenges.
- Whatever the hard topics were before will become even harder to talk about. They will be harder to talk about because you will no longer be able to hide behind the busyness of work, schedules, or hobbies.
- Allow yourself and your spouse to be vulnerable. Everyone is being exposed right now. Everyone is vulnerable right now. No one has it all together. To be honest, no one has had it all together anyway. This moment exposes the reality of their vulnerability.
- Get help. Yes, pray. Yes, have your time of devotions. And yes, get help. Therapy is help. Therapy is okay. Therapy is not a lack of faith. There are several platforms out there providing teletherapy services and most independent therapists are providing tele mental health services.
Be safe. Love your neighbor. You are your brother’s keeper.