Covid 19 : An opportunity to grow and develop your marriage?
“It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8
The consequences of what we have all lived through these past months, has been for many, a roller coaster.
Lows are predominant now as many marriages are struggling, frayed by the relentless cycle of managing work, schooling children, toddlers, more cooking, in addition to increased housework. Add exhaustion, money worries and lack of usual support from family and it can feel overwhelming. Arguments and tensions increase, who does what, when and how becomes the focus. Finger pointing and blame creep in, flare-ups become more frequent, with no outlet for distress. If we came into lockdown already at odds with each other, it’s probably got worse as the weeks passed. Hopelessness and thoughts of ‘this marriage is not working’ become more frequent.
What might help?
Yes prayer! Ask God who is already in your marriage for help. Consider taking a minute each morning to turn to each other, (hold hands if you can) and say ‘Lord help us through this day. Amen’.
Money, time, mess, sex, kids are some topics argued about. Important to know that conflict is an inevitable part of living as a couple. Marriages that were faltering may be cracking under the strain. Increased arguments point to the need to have a better way of communicating and managing conflict, not to failure or the end.
Did you know we become deaf to each other when arguments escalate? Survival responses kick in (fight, flight, freeze). When both are calm, plan how you will give each other ‘time out’ when needed so listening can re-commence. Some ideas: remove yourself to a quiet space, bathroom? Count from 20-0 backwards; Listen to classical music; Pray; Breathe (internet); Physical exercise. Calming yourself is being responsible and loving.
Learning some additional skills for managing conflict and improving communication. The Alliance of Catholic Marriage Organisations website is a great starting point. Be kind and gentle to each other, you are good people doing your very best in a tough time.
God bless you,
This blog was written by Clive and Kathy Jones , Retrouvaille England and Wales who make up part of the Alliance of Catholic Marriage Organisations.