– By Sarah Condie
Keith feel blessed to have had each other during this period of restricted social contact. For so many we know, social isolation has been just that – living alone, removed from the normal relational connections that encourage and nourish.
Even so, being in close proximity nearly all of the time can be a challenge for the best of marriages. A May 2020 Relationships Australia study on the impacts of COVID-19 restrictions found that 42% people experienced a negative change in their relationship with their partner.
But even small choices and actions have an impact. Here are four more steps you can take to promote a healthy and strong relationship.
5. Move beyond the mundane
In recent months we’ve had lots of conversations around what it’s safe to do and what we are going to eat and therefore what needs to be on the shopping list. But intimacy deepens when we share feelings, hopes, fears and the like. Next time you sit and have a coffee together or go on a walk try and have a deeper, more intentional conversation about the highs and lows of life since COVID began and share your feelings and thoughts with each other.
6. Remember the good times
What have been the highlights in your marriage? Remember past holidays or fun connecting times – maybe scroll through some photos together of your last holiday. This will help you reminisce and share the memories you each have.
7. What makes you laugh?
Laughter can be an incredible circuit breaker. We have had a hard few weeks recently and it was Keith’s birthday. Sarah was still awaiting results from a COVID test and had to cancel plans we had made to celebrate. We had no food in the house and an empty day ahead. Keith went to the shops and bought our lunch and we watched a comedy film together. In many ways it was a silly, trivial movie, but it made us laugh.
8. Remembering the benefit of touch
Human touch has all sorts of benefits. It communicates warmth, builds trust, strengthens our bond with each other and the soothing impact is good for our health. But it’s easy to forget to embrace when you are together every day all day. Be more conscious and proactive and make the effort to touch. Hugs are great! And so is snuggling in close while watching tele and holding hands while walking together.