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The Lockdown Effect on Wedded Bliss

by Michael Heath

You may be wondering if the title was stolen from an old Kenny Rogers song. I promise you it wasn’t. Cabin fever is real and influencing many marriages. It appears more lockdowns are coming. Blame it on Covid-19. Most all know what it is like to be restricted to our homes to protect ourselves and the public. In many cases, both spouses are working from home, when before only one or neither was in such an arrangement. Children have all been forced into home learning. That usually means that parents are involved in teaching or at least monitor the child’s progress. The change in routines cause hardships. To be homebound for extended lengths of time with family can result in irritability, anxiety, and stress. All the togetherness is pulling some relationships apart.

Alone Time When You Are Not Alone

Everyone needs his/her own space. It is not easy getting “alone time” when stuck inside with everyone home and few places to go. However, there are means to escape without going anywhere. Here are a few ways to get away alone and keep one’s sanity:

  • Find an empty room and lock the door
  • Put headphones on
  • Get lost in a crossword puzzle or Sudoku
  • Go outside and do yardwork or finish a garage project
  • Open a book
  • Practice meditation
  • Play with your Smartphone

Learn from This Experience

Know that getting through this successfully can strengthen a partnership. Learn from it. If, before this happened, you were considering working from home, realize that you have been given a dry run in which to make clear decisions. Maybe retirement is on your horizon. Remember the old joke: I married you for better or worse, but not for lunch. Now that you know what being home all the time with your spouse is like, some better plans can be made. A new, second career that gets you out of the house might be just what the psychiatrist ordered.

Control this lockdown situation; do not let it control you. A little strategic thinking can go a long way. When it comes to children and their home learning, take turns in the teaching and monitoring functions. Most important of all, just breathe. Realize that this is all an anomaly. There is no point in making any rash decisions based on what is fortunately a temporary circumstance. One day the world will return to normal.


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