Spending extra time with your partner isn’t always a bad thing. But in a pandemic?? Now the game has changed, and we are forced to spend this time together in our new “normal” – whatever that may be. Whether you are working from home, recently unemployed, or just staying home A LOT more – these physical distancing measures are affecting us all.
In the beginning, we took this opportunity to enjoy the togetherness with our partners and treated it like a vacation. But recently, and you are not alone in this feeling, it feels like the “honeymoon” phase of quarantine is coming to an end and you’re realizing that this wasn’t just a nice break from work and responsibilities. This is our new normal, and we have to live with it until restrictions get lifted or possibly until a vaccine is place.
Of course we LOVE spending time with our partner, but if we aren’t openly talking about our situation together or have a shared understanding of what our new “normal” looks like we can be left feeling frustrated or disappointed, which ultimately leads to conflict in our relationship. And if you stumbled upon this blog, you are likely feeling the struggle of conflict in your relationship right now. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!
So many couples have this sense of “you should know better” towards each other. Like, you expect that other person to “just know” exactly what you want. But here’s the thing, YOUR PARTNER IS NOT A MIND READER. And neither are you!! As much as we like to think that we can predict what others are thinking, it is impossible. Expectations need to be shared and in order to share those expectations we need to open up and communicate effectively with each other. When we don’t share our expectations with each other and still expect our partner to “just know”, we find conflict.
I encourage you to check into your expectations and tell your partner what those are. TRUST ME, this will better your communication by grounding yourself in your own voice. Talk often, about all the things! You will be surprised of what you learn about each other and that will strengthen your relationship.
A couple tips on how to get the conversation started:
Make The Time
Making the time to have those hard and uncomfortable conversations. When the argument is over this doesn’t always mean the conflict is over. It waits for things to get tense again, and then it comes back up. Agree to discuss these issues together. And then ACTUALLY discuss it.
ACTUALLY Make The Time
Knowing that you agreed to have these hard conversations is not the same as having them. So, have a conversation about conflict; discuss how to approach conflict in your relationship when and if it arises. Discuss your expectations and let each other be heard. Then, mutually decide what will work best for the both of you when conflict does arise. Hold your relationship accountable to what works best for BOTH of you!
Refocus Your Relationship
It is common for couples in conflict to have reactions to the extent that they are unable to deal with what the conflict is REALLY about it. We tend to react to reactions rather than focus on the conflict itself. Try approaching things as a couple, look at US against the problem rather than fighting sides. Fighting sides does not work but when we team up we can take on much more – two heads are better than one, right?
We hope this helps! We would love to hear back from you on how you’re tackling conflict in your relationship as a team.
Grab our FREE workbook “Rooting Out Our Expectations” here – a guide to help you and your partner address expectations together.