Keeping the Peace. How to live with a partner you can't stand during Covid.
May 25, 2020
These are unprecedented times, well perhaps not so unprecedented. The Spanish Flu, which was the last worldwide pandemic occurred in 1918. It took two years before it was over, and it took the lives of 50,000.00 Canadians. I am not suggesting that it will take two years before we have Covid 19 under control, but it certainly seems as if the virus is here to stay until we develop a vaccine. All this to say, that we are going to have to adapt.
For couples who are or were contemplating a separation, adapting can pose troubling concerns.
i. Should we stay together so that we minimize the risk of spreading the virus to our children, or
ii. We have no choice but to stay together, because I just lost my job and now there is only one breadwinner, or
iii. If one of us moves to a new residence, how do we handle parenting?
Finally, if we have to or choose to live together until the pandemic ends, how do we do so and somehow keep the peace?
Keeping the Peace Checklist
1. When you are upset or agitated go to a private place. This should be an area that has been dedicated as your time out area. When you get there, do something that helps you to relax. It could be meditation, watching television, working on a puzzle, or taking a nap. Do what you must to help yourself return to a state of equilibrium.
2. Take a walk. Covid restrictions don’t prevent you from going outside. Just be sure that you do so safely.
3. If you are in the middle of a heated or escalating discussion and you feel that you must respond rather than take some time out, take a few deep breaths before you speak. This helps you to speak from a more reasoned and less emotional stance.
4. Create a separate workspace for yourself and your spouse. This will help to reduce the amount of time for difficult or unpleasant interactions.
5. Reach out to a friend or family member, and finally,
6. Whenever possible, remember to be kind. For example, if you are going to the corner store, ask your ex or soon-to-be-ex, if they need anything.