As we swim in unchartered waters with this COVID-19 pandemic, is the stress of being homebound exacerbating your intimacy struggles?
Because of this crisis, the two of you are home together way more than you are accustomed to being home together. So if your marriage already feels fragile and tense, now what?
I don’t have easy answers, but I offer up the below tips in hopes that some of them may resonate with you.
Obviously each marriage is different and the depth of discord varies. So glean from the below what may work for you and let go of what will not work.
Consider these three tips:
1. Acknowledge the added stress
Call it out. Call it out and say, “I know we were already struggling in our intimacy before this world crisis hit. And now being homebound with each other, it’s just going to bring to light how difficult those struggles have been.”
There is something about shedding light on something that can help steady the ship at least a little. Once you’ve acknowledged the added stress, resolve to not fuel the struggles.
If you aren’t in a place to work on resolving your intimacy struggles, then at least resolve to not make them worse with snide remarks or hurtful behavior. Put a pin in it all, so to speak, until the virus crisis and disruption have subsided.
2. Be intentional with self care
This is good advice for all of us obviously, but it may be even more crucial for a husband and wife who are at odds with each other. As best you can, do good self care. Allocate space in the home for each of you to get some alone time.
Try to get good sleep. Maintain healthy eating habits and at least a little exercise, even if you can’t go to the gym (if that was part of your regular routine). Even 30 minutes of fresh air on the deck each morning or afternoon can do a world of good to help you stay centered.
And though you know there is tension between the two of you, try to encourage each other on the self care front. A compassionate word can go a long way. And if you have kids at home with you as well, be intentional in tag teaming on the parenting duties. Step up. Help each other out so that you each get some space and alone time.
3. Have a conversation via a journal
Being in such close proximity (not to mention if you have children around) can make it incredibly difficult to have a conversation about your intimacy struggles. Why not try a new approach? Get a blank journal and start journalling to each other.
The heart motive has to be in the right place, of course. You both would have to be on board with using the journal not only to speak in the “I” and share your feelings, but also to express baby steps you are willing to take to be part of the solution.
If the journal approach doesn’t work, you don’t have to continue it. But at least give it a try. You may be surprised at the ways it breathes humility and empathy into your marriage. If that happens, what a gift it will have been that you gave to each other.
The above are just three suggestions. What other ideas do you have? This pandemic is unprecedented, and we are going to continue to see the impact of it in numerous ways.
If your intimacy has already been in a fragile place, my hope is that this world crisis will bring clarity that your oneness as husband and wife is worth redeeming.
Copyright 2020, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.