It’s no surprise that the divorce rate in has spiked during the Coronavirus Pandemic. The latest estimate from Legal Templates is that there is a 34% increase in divorce in the US since last year. The couples who are more likely to split are newly married ones (married less than 5 years), and those with children under age 18. In fact, 45% of couples who pursued a divorce through Legal Templates had children (up 5% from last year).
With the onset of the pandemic, many couples have found themselves feeling more stress due to financial strain, being cut off from their usual social contacts and leisure activities, and working and living in close quarters. Parents also worry about their children getting sick if they return to school. Further, they must decide whether distance learning is a good option for their children given their own work schedule and their kid’s academic and social needs.
Truth be told, many individuals in my counseling practice have reported an increase in arguments with their partners and say that the culture in their home is more tense, making it difficult for them to have supportive, loving dialogues with their partners.
During heated discussion, both partners will have their own unique way of reacting to comments and concerns. Since there will be disagreements, showing respect and kindness is mandatory during discussions. Practice the tips below for 30 minutes each day with your partner. Then plan a special activity to do together each week such as going for a long walk, watching a movie, or gong to a restaurant for a meal that has outdoor dining.
5 Ways to Have a Loving Dialogue with Your Partner:
- Offer unconditional loving-kindness to your partner. This includes support and compassion to him or her if they are upset (rather than justifying your position). When you or your spouse are having an argument, find a quiet time and place to talk. Set ground rules for respectful conduct such as “No name-calling or yelling is allowed.”
- Seek to genuinely understand your partner’s point of view, without debate, criticism or judgment. If you can’t compromise, attempt to let each other have what they want sometimes, if the issue isn’t a deal breaker for you. Remember that love and caring take time to develop in a committed relationship and there will be ups and downs.
- Don’t take things personally when you disagree. Imagine that your partner’s concerns have nothing to do with your character or worth. Picture that there aren’t any threats, assaults, or insults in your partner’s statements when your “raw spots” are triggered. Remember, they’re just speaking about what upsets them, but it doesn’t change your value or worth.
- Try to brainstorm ways to creatively deal with your partner’s concerns. Be careful not to ask your partner or children to choose between you and another family member. Loyalty issues can’t be avoided all together but they can be minimized if parents strive for amicable relationships.
- Taking a short break when one or both of you is feeling defensive or flooded is a good strategy. This will help you to be clear and calm in your efforts to communicate and repair hurt feelings. Don’t forget to discuss important issues after you have calmed down.
Focusing on being especially compassionate when there’s a rough spot can go a long way toward creating a safe emotional space for both of you. This safety net can help promote intimacy and understanding without winners or losers (no one wins). The relationship wins when you both generate a solution within the context of a loving relationship. Ask yourself: “Do I want to be right, or be happy?” when you feel yourself getting defensive or digging your heels in during an argument with your partner. You have it within your reach to create a satisfying relationship and personal happiness.
You can find Terry on Twitter, Facebook, and, movingpastdivorce.com. Terry’s award winning book Daughters of Divorce: Overcome the Legacy of Your Parents’ Breakup and Enjoy a Happy, Long-Lasting Relationship is available on her website. Her new book, The Remarriage Manual: How to Make Everything Work Better the Second Time Around, was published by Sounds True on February 18, 2020. Her books can be ordered here.
I’d love to hear from you and answer your questions about relationships, divorce, marriage, and remarriage. Please ask a question here. Thanks! Terry