As a motivational speaker, business coach, and founder of Luckadoo Media Co., Inspiration Lab member Hayley Luckadoo loves to empower women to take steps toward big dreams and a better life. She is a serial entrepreneur and big dreamer who took a hobby wedding planning business born out of a college dorm room and created a multi-business success story. She loves supporting entrepreneurs through her podcast Females on Fire, and co-hosting a relationship podcast, Best of Luck, with her husband. Below, Hayley shares ways to keep your marriage strong during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A worldwide pandemic is probably not what you had in mind for 2020. This crisis has affected so many areas of our lives, careers, emotions, and for some, our health, but there is one thing it doesn’t have to negatively impact — your relationship.
Married couples are going to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic one of two ways: happy together and more in love than ever or more than ready to get away from each other. So how can you make sure you’re taking all the steps to have a marriage that survives quarantine? We’ve got plenty of ways for you to cultivate a healthier, stronger, and happier marriage while you’re together at home.
Have a morning meeting.
With schedules haywire and nothing feeling normal, it’s easier to get stressed, have arguments, and feel defeated over something as simple as miscommunication with schedules. Wake up and cook breakfast together and then have a “breakfast meeting” where you discuss schedules for the day, including anything either of you need to do for your job, school meetings the kids may have, and even alone time for each of you. This meeting is your “work away from work” and you should treat it as a serious schedule to stick to. You’ll avoid arguments and stressors over schedules being so different now that you’re both at home all day.
Give each other alone time.
Just because you’re under one roof 24/7 doesn’t mean you have to actually spend time together 24/7. Everyone needs alone time to do their own thing. Emotions can run high during this already stressful situation, and the last thing you need is to feel like you just want to get away from each other out of desperation. Schedule some time for each of you to go to another room alone and watch a show, read a book, or just relax with your own thoughts for a bit. Healthy relationships acknowledge that needing time apart is natural and not an indication that the other person doesn’t want to spend time with you.
Continue to have date night.
Just because you can’t go out doesn’t mean you can’t have a date night. Get creative and use this time at home as an opportunity to try something new together. If you have kids, turn on a movie for them in another room to get time to yourselves or have a late-night date after they go to bed. If you’re having trouble with ideas, consider one of these:
Cook dinner together. Pick a meal or a recipe you’ve never tried before, complete with dessert, and then get dressed up and enjoy a romantic dinner with candles.
Have a cookout or a bonfire, grab some lounge chairs, and star gaze in your backyard.
Go for a long sunset stroll around your neighborhood. Walk holding hands and play 20 Questions.
Let your inner child have some fun by building a blanket fort in your living room. Curl up inside together with some popcorn and movies.
Have some fun with a little friendly competition. Grab some board games (or even video games) and play together tournament-style. Loser plans a date for the winner once the pandemic is over.
Stay in constant communication.
If you’re feeling stressed, you absolutely need to sit down and discuss it with each other. It’s easy to allow this situation to be stressful — with both of you at home or potentially working from home and jobs and finances affected. Ask yourselves what it is specifically that’s making this time stressful for you and come to a solution together on how you can move forward in a healthy way. Remember your spouse is going through the same situation as you, so try to keep that in mind when you start to feel frustrated. If you’re already in this together, you might as well come out stronger together.
Use this time wisely.
Even if COVID-19 has had a major negative impact on your family, if nothing else, you have been given the gift of time. Use this time to take actions that will better your relationship. Ask yourself, “How do I want my relationship to change after this pandemic?” Have a discussion with your spouse about how you can turn this time into something that will change your future for the better. Take control of your finances, clean out things in the house, or find a new activity you can enjoy doing together. Just make sure you’re taking advantage of the extra time at home that you’ve been given.
Your marriage doesn’t have to suffer because of a pandemic, and you can use these unusual circumstances to cultivate an even better relationship than you had when it started. You both have to decide you’re going to come out on the other side of this better TOGETHER. As long as you’re both working toward a more successful marriage, you’ll be able to make it happen, and you’ll end up stronger, happier, and more in love than ever.