I was in the shower this morning and I started to think about a meme I saw on FaceBook. It said with all of us being quarantined, think about all of the divorces that will be sure to happen in the coming months. With COVID-19 keeping most everyone at home, there probably will be some domestic issues. Everything from financial problems, to needing personal space. I was able to prepare for the financial piece. After working 20 years in communicable diseases, I saw what was coming down the road a few weeks back. So thankfully, I set enough money aside…..at least for now. That, and I continue to see clients via phone and Internet. The personal space issue though, that has never been a problem for the wife and I. Still, that meme keeps running through my head.
Between a full time job, private practice and shouldering a big load when I get home (due to my wife’s disability), I have little time for social media. But now with being home, social media has become the norm. I am already seeing people complaining about their spouse. While I am certain that there will be domestic issues for many, there is a flip side to that coin. Some couples and families, will actually become closer. Those couples value communication—not only what is being said, but what is not being said. That non verbal communication that often speaks louder than words. If ever there was a time to tune into it, now would be that time.
We all know that the new norm is social distancing. I think that it is important to practice that while at home as well. Not so much for the health reasons, but for mental health reasons. While you’ll want to stay connected, you’ll need some time apart and that doesn’t make your relationship vulnerable. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. It will bring you closer together. I have always preached that the strongest couples are the couples that each individually have thier own identity. And it is hard having your own identity if you are always together.
What I personally have found interesting during this COVID-19 outbreak, is that the wife and I have pretty much kept our normal routine (time wise). What is different is the communication. While we both are great at communicating, often when I get home from a long day, I admit that sometimes I don’t listen as deeply as I could. You know the, “still running though the course of the day in your head” sort of thing. Now being home, I can listen and I can feel the difference. It’s like the conversations are a little deeper, the hugs last a little longer and each kiss seems to be special. I know. You would think it would be the other way around. I mean after almost 20 years, you think we would know everything about each other. But we don’t. There are many layers to the both of us. I credit that to not spending every waking moment with each other. It affords time us to develop and to follow our calling and how beautiful it is to have a partner who is your biggest cheerleader.
So I end with the meme about isolation and divorce. Yes, I am sure that there will be a lot of domestic discord in the future. However, if you tune in, instead of tunning out, I think you can make it.