Relationships aren’t built on the expectation that you’ll be spending all day, every day with that person, so give yourself a break if you’re find it challenging. The key thing to remember is that for now, a new ‘normal’ needs to be developed so that you can both cope with being in such close quarters. 

Here are some tips to help make this time a bit smoother: 

Maintaining your relationship with your partner

  • Your routines and roles may change if one or both of you are working from home. This could be a challenge or an opportunity so try to make it work for you by checking in regularly about how this is working.
  • If you tend to argue or bicker then accept that you may transfer that onto what you each think about the virus. You may want to take a closer look at our tips on how to deal with arguments and apply these to the situation.
  • You may want to know as much as possible about the situation whereas your partner may prefer to take each day as it comes. Remember that there are many different ways of coping in stressful situations and your way isn’t the only way.
  • Something you usually find irritating about your partner may become useful in a crisis or they may surprise you by how well they are handling things. Let them know how much you appreciate this.
  • Big and difficult conversations may need to be put on hold while you deal with the current situation – this is especially true if one of you is ill or thinks they may have symptoms.
  • If you’ve been arguing with your partner over a particular issue, consider calling a truce during this period to make living under one roof more bearable.
  • You may have elderly parents or other family members with health problems and you may have particular worries about these people.  Try to understand if your partner needs to prioritise these people at the moment.
  • You may need to get creative with the space if you are both working from home. Take turns to share the most comfortable spot.
  • You can leave your house once a day to exercise so try a short walk/run or walking the dog, to give yourself some space and help reduce any tensions. Do continue to follow government guidance and practice social distancing.  
  • If you’re not in the same house, get creative about how you stay in touch. For example you could arrange a date night via video messaging where you both eat dinner together, have a glass of wine and chat.
  • If you were having relationship problems already, understand that being together in the same house may bring these to the surface. You may want to consider relationship counselling via webcam to help you work through things.

We’ve also put together some tips for avoiding arguments and conflict:

Avoiding fall-outs

  • Treat each other with kindness especially when the outside world can feel threatening. 
  • If you are self-isolating you are likely to have a lot more time on your hands.  Think about how you can use this time in a way that will help the family / you as a couple in the longer term. 
  • If you’re getting frustrated with others in the house, it might be an idea to share how you’re feeling by getting in touch with a trusted friend.
  • If somebody says or does something to upset you try counting to ten and taking some deep breaths. It may be you no longer feel the need to ‘react’.
  • Choose your battles and weigh up if they are worth it at this time.
  • Remember that children will learn from how you deal with conflict. Keep this in mind when you are all under one roof together.
  • Understand that with the best will in the world, rows are quite likely in these circumstances. It’s how you deal with them that counts.
  • If you’re being abused or think you could be, make sure you get access to support to stay safe.