Yes, it’s true. Covid-19 has affected your relationship.
The last few months have put us all through challenges we never imagined a year ago. For many, that included 24/7 confinement with our significant other and our children. Hopefully, this time together has brought you closer. But if instead it sank a deep wedge between you and him or her, you have some relationship choices to make. Here’s some quick reminders to help you chart your path forward as you regain clarity on your definition of “us.”
The Big Decision
Sure it got bad. And if there was any abuse, of any kind, that surfaced along the way, that must be even more carefully considered. Assuming it wasn’t, you’ve got two options.
Stay and commit to making your relationship work
No relationship is perfect. And stress brings out the worst in all of us. If the core of your relationship still seems intact, making a joint decision to be committed to fixing what went wrong could be a great option. Just be sure you’re both willing to work on yourselves as individuals as well as your relationship.
Call game over
While we all dream of being together “forever,” reality tells a very different story. For all of the reasons you’ve heard about, and more, people choose to move in new directions. If you experienced things in those extended times of sequestering that are simply deal breakers, there’s nothing wrong with making the decision to split up.
If you’ve decided to dig in and do what’s necessary to make your relationship better, to make it work on a new level, it’s going to take a lot more than a casual “I’ll do better” from one or both of you. You should consider:
- A re-boot. Go back to square one, or at least an earlier time, and date again.
- Taking a time out. Date nights, a couple’s getaway – time that is yours and yours alone.
- Counseling. The perspective and insights of a professional can go a long way towards helping you re-build. (For more information on couple’s counseling, consider ReGain.)
- Engaging in new things together. An adventure or hobby new to both of you that you’re both excited about doing.
If you’ve gotten to the point of no return, wondering why on earth you hooked up with this person, the formal split is just the beginning. The mechanics of breaking up – legal, financial, residential, etc – are likely not the biggest hurdle. Your emotions have and will demand your attention and take time to heal. Allow yourself time to recover. Some ways suggested by personal and marriage professionals include:
- Be gentle with yourself. Don’t play the self-blame game.
- Become okay, again, with being alone. Remember, you were on your own before and just fine.
- Avoid destructive habits. Ditch the alcohol, 420, and over-eating. Instead, find a yoga, dance, or workout class and get involved in taking care of YOU.
Take a Breather
You’ve experienced what will likely be one of the most traumatic times we’ll ever know these past months. And then layered on a damaged relationship. Before you make a final decision on which path you’ll choose, stop and just breathe. Get clear on what you’re considering and its consequences. Remember, you’re the only one who gets to make the decision, and live with it. There won’t be a right or wrong, good or bad to it. Just what comes next. And that’s up to you.