“How can I miss you when you won’t go away?”
There is a beer cozy at the place we vacation that says this. I always thought it was sort of awful to have around. Interestingly, now with the pandemic lifestyle, many marriages are strained because of this very thing. Rhythms as simple as the daily departure to go to work have been eliminated taking away the hours we may have missed our spouse and the small, yet significant, happiness upon seeing them when everyone comes home again.
Without patterns of separation, the chance to long for our partner is thwarted. Small irritations happen much more frequently as couples navigate a lifestyle they didn’t expect to tackle until retirement. Oh my gosh…you are always here!!!
I have so many new couples seeking counseling and it is easy to see how the pandemic has taken a toll. Whatever problems they already had are amplified with the increased time together and the absence of departure and space. What to do as we approach the COVID winter? As we wait for the vaccine to bring us back to normal life rhythms, here are three suggestions:
- Consider creating some rhythms of absence. This could mean rearranging home office space, or someone packing their lunch and really disappearing for the entire workday, or honoring the need for more solitude in other ways.
- Do something new. I have encouraged creativity with many of my couples. Getting a new board game, a table topics question cube, or start a new project. Doing new things can show a new side to your relationship.
- If you need it, get help. Couples get stuck and entrenched in damaging patterns and getting unstuck often requires some external question or perspective.
My Marriage Check-Up is designed to help. I hope you’ll consider it if you find yourself wanting a lift in your marriage.