These are not easy times for some marriages. The lockdown in some states is affecting marriages both positively and negatively. While some couples are using this time to be on honeymoon and bond very well, others are fighting constantly because they can’t stand one another.
It is not easy to stay with your spouse all day, all week without having misunderstandings. From the stress of running after children, for those who still have little children at home to the discomfort of having to answer unending questions and then to the reactions of teenagers who have to stay in one place for a long time, this is a challenging time for couples and parents.
These stressors add up. If couples are not careful, they tend to unleash their frustration on the closest person to them, their spouses. When tempers rise more than garri and voices refuse to be calm, the result is a constant fighting match that will have consequences on the marriage.
A man sent me a message this week saying he’s fed up with his wife of six years. According to this man who lives in Lagos, his wife is impossible to please. He lamented that she has been testing his patience since the lockdown started and he’s gradually losing it.
When I asked him what the problem was, he said she’s always nagging him about not providing enough money to feed the family. He confessed that he’s trying his best but his wife has refused to understand the true situation of things regarding their finance.
He said she told him to go out and make money like his mates instead of waiting for her to start feeding him like a lazy bum. This man who is a bus driver doesn’t know what to do anymore to have peace in his own home.
I told him to call his wife when she’s calm and explain things to her as clearly as possible. She should be reasonable enough to know that money is tight these days due to the lockdown and his line of work is affected by the decisions of the government. I wished him luck.
While this is a challenging time for many marriages, couples can turn things around and minimize the negative impact this lockdown is having on their marriages by engaging in some bonding activities.
First and foremost, couples should set aside some time to talk about what is going on in the world right now and come up with coping strategies that will see them through this difficult time. This is not the time to envy other people’s marriages. You don’t know what those people are dealing with behind closed doors.
Find out how your spouse feels about coronavirus and its impact on your lives. Everyone responds to stress differently and everyone is not necessarily going to be focused on the same thing.
In many couples, one partner is more concerned about getting sick, and the other is more concerned about the couples’ finances. In your conversation, take turns sharing what is most troubling to you. Do not dismiss your partner’s concerns or try to fix them. Instead think of listening as an opportunity to get to know your partner better.
Once your partner has finished sharing, simply respond with thank you for telling me. Only after you both of you have shared, turn your attention to practical matters and solutions. While doing so, prioritize collaborating and handling your circumstances as a team. You need to face the challenges together if you want to strengthen your relationship.
Take turns expressing gratitude for the things that are going well in your lives and family. Gratitude is a powerful tool to overcome the anxiety and uncertainty this period brings. Be grateful for your loved ones.
Share gladness for your physical safety. Be thankful for the time you met and how your relationship has progressed. Recall good memories of your first date. Tell your partner what endeared you to them. Let them know you love how they laugh. Tell your spouse what you love and admire about them. It’s heartwarming to go down memory lane when the world is in turmoil.
While this lockdown means spending more time with your spouse, you can create an alone time to recharge by doing something you really love alone. You don’t have to be in your spouse’s face all day. Have some time off to do your own fun thing. It will help your marriage.
Whether it is setting time aside to exercise, dance or read, make sure you take care of you at this time so that you can be sane enough to deal with marital stress right now. Spending time replenishing yourself is essential for showing up rejuvenated and joyfully spending time and interacting with your spouse.
Married couples can use this time to explore sexually. There’s a prediction that there will be baby boom by December because of this lockdown and I completely agree. This is because lots of couples are using sex to relax and while away time.
While this is not bad, what is terrible is giving your spouse crappy sex like before. This is the time for spouses to explore one another’s bodies and learn new things in bed. This is the time for men to give their wives mind blowing orgasms without excuses. You can’t say you are tired anymore, so do your job well and with class too.
For all the married men dodging from taking their baths with their wives, where do you want to run to now? You are stuck with your wife all day, so stop fighting what has been settled in marriage heaven. Taking a bath with your spouse is a great and quick way to get some alone time. It doesn’t have to lead to sex and it doesn’t have to be planned, just hop in! Your spouse will love the spontaneity and it’s certain to bring you closer on a daily basis.
Married couples should play games together to make this lockdown period a memorable one. This is not the time for Men to be running around in neighbourhood beer parlours just to avoid spending time with their wives. That’s so wrong.
Make it a priority to continue having fun with your spouse. If you don’t have fun with your spouse, how will you both build loving memories? Play board games over a bottle of wine, have a movie night with popcorn and soft drinks or cook your favourite foods together while your children help out. Keep your relationship fun and light-hearted. It helps you enjoy each other more.
Encourage your spouse. Find out how they are doing. Quit looking out for your well being only while neglecting your spouse. You can be present with your spouse and they would still feel alone because you are not connecting with them emotionally and physically. Connect with your spouse in ways they want they be loved.
Learn to encourage your spouse when they are sad and discouraged. Let your spouse know that they can count on you in good and bad times. Don’t dismiss your spouse’s fears and anxiety over what is happening with a wave of hand. Put yourself in their shoes and treat your spouse the same loving way that you want to be treated.
May marriages come of this period sweeter and better. May marital bonds grow deeper and stronger. And may we defeat COVID-19 soon. See you next week.