The pandemic influenced so many aspects of life – including relationships. If you’re married, your everyday routine likely changed at some point over the last year. Maybe one (or both) of you had to start working from home. Maybe you lost your job. Or, someone got sick and was out of commission for a while.
On the positive side, having to stay home and be together more often may have made your relationship stronger and closer than ever.
Now, the world is starting to reopen. While that’s certainly a good thing, it comes with its own new brand of stress, especially in marriages.
From going back to work or struggling to find it, dealing with a home-life balance, and just trying to find your footing in the “real world” again, you might feel like your relationship is rocky.
With that in mind, let’s look at four ways you can overcome the post-pandemic stress in your marriage.
1. Keep Talking
Communication should be the cornerstone of any marriage. If you’ve been “stuck” at home for over a year, you had no choice but to become a better communicator with your spouse.
Now that things are opening up, you might slip up on those communicative ties. That can exacerbate your individual stress and put a strain on your relationship.
No matter what you’re feeling, make a point to keep talking to your spouse as often as possible. The more you stay connected through communication, the less stressed you’ll be about your relationship.
2. Find Time for Your Spouse
At the height of the pandemic, most people had nothing but time to spend at home. You probably were with your spouse more than ever before on a daily basis.
But, “real life” isn’t always like that. Schedules quickly get busy, especially if you have kids.
Make a point to schedule time together as often as possible. Yes, even if you have to “pencil it in,” it shows that you’re making it a priority. Don’t let your relationship falter just because of a busy schedule.
3. Figure Out The Future
The pandemic may have changed your perspective on some things. That’s especially true if it caused a major life change, like a job loss.
Once you start to get back into reality, it’s important to reflect on those changes and determine what it is you really want.
That includes everything from focusing on your career to what matters most to your relationship and family. It’s okay to be in a different place now, mentally, than you were a year ago.
Whether you want to talk about financial goals, career changes, what your kids should be involved in, or even marital issues, keep the future on the table as often as possible. It’s important for you and your spouse to be on the same page. If you’re not, it will create more struggles within your marriage.
You can’t compromise without communication (which brings up the first point). But, you also can’t compromise without a goal in mind. The future can feel scary and uneasy, but the more you know you’re able to tackle it with your partner, the less overwhelming it will be.
4. Take Care of Yourself
Spending time focusing on your marriage is important. But, in this post-pandemic world, it’s just as crucial to practice self-care.
It’s okay if you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed with this “new normal” we’re going through. You’re certainly not alone. The full mental health effects of the pandemic won’t be known for years. But, studies have already shown a negative impact with increased stress, anxiety, and depression.
If you’re struggling, personally, you’re going to bring those struggles into your marriage. Taking the time to care for yourself should be a priority. That might include journaling, meditation, mindfulness, or even talking to a mental health professional.
If you’re dealing with post-pandemic stress and it’s affecting your marriage, you can overcome it. Keep these ideas in mind as a starting point. Or, feel free to contact me for more information or to set up an appointment.