The recent spike in divorce cases in China is indeed worrying, and is indicative of a reality that could occur in India as well. Here’s what experts are suggesting couples should and shouldn’t do to maintain the peace in these testing times
Being under lockdown has its pros and cons. Forced into close quarters, couples are getting a chance to bond with each other. However, there’s a flipside to this as well as many couples are finding the already taxing situation rather stifling. Here’s what you can do to assuage the situation and make the best of it.
Do be supportive
It’s a stressful time, no doubt, and keeping those emotions at bay while maintaining the peace with your partner can be a daunting task. Shreya Sridharan Mhatre, counselling psychologist, says that couples must accept the situation and give each other time to ease into it. Each individual must look after their mental health to support each other and strengthen their collective health. To do this, she suggests, “Communicate your feelings and anxieties to your partner so that you’re in sync with each other’s emotions and feel like a team. Give each other space and allow yourself time outs when things seem overwhelming. Once you’re calmer, re-evaluate the situation and convey your thoughts to your partner in a gentle yet firm manner without being hurtful or judgmental.”
Do things together
Shreya also suggests dividing the chores fairly and fulfilling them sincerely to avoid friction. Indulging in one activity that you enjoy by yourself and one with your partner will give the both of you sufficient ‘me’ and ‘us’ time to grow, recharge and feel fulfilled. Lastly, remind yourself that grouses will seem magnified in this situation.
Do stay positive
A positive attitude will take you far, even as a couple. Dr Nisha Khanna, psychologist and relationship expert, elucidates that it’s important to focus on the three As—acceptance, appreciation and acknowledgement—during this time. She advises, “Gratitude is essential in a relationship and strengthens it. So, appreciate—through words and actions—your partner’s every effort; this will kick-start a chain of positive and loving behaviour towards each other.
Khanna also recommends abstaining from nagging, criticising, interfering and trying to change your partner as this will lead to hurt and a possible rift. She also suggests trying your hand at new things and hobbies (consider your partner’s recommendations too), and exercising together to learn more about each other and stay mentally and physically fit. Focus on the positive aspects of your relationship rather than the negatives, she adds.
Don’t assume things
Everyone is different and reacts to situations differently. So, it’s important to understand exactly what your partner is experiencing before jumping to conclusions and reacting harshly. Dr Meghana Dikshit, energy psychologist and success coach, shares, “If you’re wondering why your partner is behaving in a certain way, ask them about it and actively listen to what they say. Discuss issues, don’t argue. They might simply be stressed, so be empathetic, reassuring and don’t shy away from being intimate and physically affectionate. Also remember that men often find it hard to express feelings while women are used to putting their needs on the backburner; so in case one of you needs some kind of help—simply ask instead of assuming that your partner will read your mind and get it done.”
Besides this, Dikshit also opines that it’s a good time to renew one’s relationship, have fun and rediscover the small joys that enriched the relationship earlier. So, use this time to strengthen your relationship and tackle conflicts with conversation and patience.