I blame COVID-19 for our argument.
I won’t embarrass myself by going into the details but let’s just say the stressors of this quarantine super-sized what should have been a trivial issue between John and me.
The good news is that three hours later – we kissed and made up.
The other positive side-effect of our fight inspired me to ask ya’ll this simple question:
“How are YOU managing to keep from killing your partner during a COVID-19 quarantine?”
Yeah, baby. My inbox got flooded with responses to that question. Prepare to be enlightened and entertained by some of my coolest subscribers.
Ho boy, it is really tough. Especially because we would not spend anywhere near this much time together if not for the Quarantine.
- I am forced to learn new skills. One is talking to myself, yes, saying “don’t go there,” or “you don’t need to answer that,” during the frequent moments when he starts a charged conversation. I had been more reactive which was never great, but now I must be more proactive and steer out of the way of these road mines. It helps that he can’t hear well so he’s not aware I am in self-therapy right in front of him! Ha-ha!
- I also use different rhythms so I’m not in the same room as much. I had to learn to pick up my journal and coffee when he comes to the kitchen, make friendly noises, and go to another room, without making any negative talk, so it’s not a trigger.
- I sincerely thank him more. I am pretty hard on him, I am just so tired of the adolescent guy stuff, but I’ve changed my habits so that I sincerely give appreciation more often. He responds very well to this and it clearly smoothed the waters.
- And lastly, I had the big realization that I am often not understanding where he is coming from when he makes assertions. I have stopped the instant reactions and now I count to three, then I say, “I think I’m not quite understanding what you mean.” This is a lifesaver.
- In other words, a lot! It takes a lot to live with another human, and this is seriously dialed up by our global situation. Wishing everyone buckets of patience!
We are super lucky because we have a craft room and an office area that are in separate spaces. We can do things together or “hideout” from one another when needed. A quick bike ride does the trick too!
Solo walks, dual bike rides, social distancing with a friend (me) while hubby goes sailing solo, kayaking together in separate boats. It seems to work when we actually are in/on separate modes of transportation and conversation is not possible, but we still share time and experience.
Pre-scheduled alone time! Tuesday and Thursday nights are “introvert nights” here where we both do our own thing after dinner. Not only does doing different things give us more to talk about later, having it scheduled in advance gives the weeks a nice rhythm and prevents a lot of “what do YOU want to do tonight?”
Walking by myself clears my head, lots of tight hugs, and the occasional Take-out food party!
Medicinal chocolate 😁
Our fight about the remote control. (Silly, but was a pretty big deal, festering for some time.) My BIG hint? If I don’t want to watch what he has on I use my earphones and watch what I want on my laptop.
As you know, I have a really great guy I am married to. However, when we get on each other’s nerves, there is nothing like a solitary walk around the lake or a paddle around the lake in the kayak.
Making TikTok videos!
I get myself out to the woods, alone.
I am in Georgia in our RV at a State Park volunteering for three months and my husband is in North Florida at our home, that works for me!!
Canadian gal says:
I send him outside to count cars. LOL
- We made a list of shows we wanted to watch on our streaming services, so we don’t spend half the night scrolling before we finally choose a program to watch. It’s our new project!
- We each de-cluttered our closets and drawers.
- I relinquished grocery shopping to him. It’s not always done the way I like it, sure. But that gives me more time at home alone while he goes to get whatever he forgot. Win-win!
- I get up and walk my dog really early in the morning. I have friends I meet and vent with. Girl therapy, ya know? He walks later in the morning and I take the first mile with him as a break since I’ve been up a few hours by then.
- Headphones. We tend to verbally process less when we see the other one with headphones in.
- Audiobooks. See headphones, above.
- Solitaire on my iPad while we watch some of the shows he likes. (yawn)
- I’m kind of turning into a pro at this!
P & D say:
To your question about putting up with the close quarters;
- We practice ‘kind patience’ all the time. We also walk, clean something really dirty, play Iron Chef, and we don’t watch the news.
- We also take part in a weekly video call-in with family on Sunday afternoons. That really helps to see family and everybody on the call has a beverage or is eating dinner, and we all tell jokes and poke fun at each other. Anybody with a pet usually has them sit on their owner’s lap so everybody can see them. Tonight, we watched somebody’s dog jump into a pool. Everybody laughs.
- Deb has taken off just 4 days since this all started. I get to go and work every day. We are lucky we can get out even if to just drive to work and back. We spend a lot of time calling and texting friends and family. Deb has been sewing lots of masks. I’ve been pounding out birdhouses and other hobbies keep us putsing about.
- We hit the sack early so we get plenty of sleep.
I received emails from several of you who are feeling stuck in an abusive relationship. You’re doing your darndest to stick it out, but COVID-19 is intensifying the pain you’re forced to live in.
This is not ok.
Stress can oftentimes bring out the worst in people, especially if they learned poor stress management from their family of origin.
Now is the time to reach out for help. No excuses.
I’ve provided these links to help you – right now.
https://www.thehotline.org/ The National Domestic Violence Hotline
With love and virtual hugs,