Fighting about life after Covid and how quickly to get back to normal? You aren’t alone. Times are rough right now. With vaccines rolling out very slowly, many couples are thinking about what post-pandemic life will be like. They want to make travel plans, they are trying to figure out childcare and schooling. Many, many couples are not able to socially distance the way that they would like to. Maybe they are essential workers, or cannot financially support themselves by working from home. Regardless of your situation, one thing is clear: Couples are fighting about life after Covid.
As with all things in relationships, fighting about life after Covid taps into underlying patterns in your relationship. You can quickly feel misunderstood and written-off if you and your partner are not able to communicate your needs and fears clearly, or are unable to be responsive to those feelings. Many of these issues don’t have a clear-cut answer, but here are some ways to navigate these tough conversations.
Remind yourselves about what is important to you both as a couple
Find the things that are important to you both, and start from there. Is supporting each other’s needs important? Is financial stability the thing that you can find common ground on? Is staying healthy something you both hold dear? Orient yourselves to where your common ground is so that you can remember that you have that to work from.
Talk about yourself, not your partner
Avoid labeling and generalizing. It’s easy to tell your partner that they “always” or “never” do certain things. Our historical fights really get in way. If you speak about your own feelings and avoid the blame game, you have a better chance of getting through.
Talk about your hopes and fears
If you are able to connect what you are saying to what your needs, hopes, or fears are, you also have a better chance of getting through. We often approach conversations to solve a problem, and when there is no good solution we feel hopeless. If your partner only thinks that you are attached to what you want or getting your way, they won’t be able to understand WHY it’s so important to you. Help them connect the dots there.
Remember – There are things we can’t control, and that is hard
There are many unknowns right now, and things that we can’t predict or control. Humans have a natural tendency to get worked up about things because they think they can control them. Step back and give yourself a reality check – if you are putting all of your hopes into something working out that hasn’t happened yet, recognize that you need flexibility. Fighting about life after Covid might be about having different expectations and predictions.
Also remember: You can’t please everyone
Family pressures to spend time together or to navigate these times in a certain way can be difficult. If you are arguing about how to please a family member, slow down and remember that you aren’t married to your family. It’s important for each partner support each partner’s wish to please family, and to support individual needs. Get clear on where your partnership ends and your family begins.
The way you are fighting about life after Covid deeply rooted in your patterns. This has a lot to do with our attachment styles and how we show up in our relationships. If you are interested in learning more about how couples counseling can help you navigate arguments about Covid, we are here to help. Our office is in Lakewood, CO, but we are seeing clients via Teletherapy for couples counseling online throughout the State of Colorado.