Many of us throughout the last several months have been adapting to new normals that seem to change every other week.
Whether your day to day and week to week has seen little change or your entire life, livelihood and well-being has been turned upside down – our world has changed.
The Beginning – Staying Home
As a therapist, I saw and heard a lot of enthusiasm from couples addressing various issues in their marriage. I saw optimism and hope that there would not only be a change in their relationship, but it would be an enjoyable process.
Within my own practice – I saw positive change! I saw couples communicating differently and communicating well. I heard couples taking extra steps with extra time to go a little further in learning about and pursuing each other. I heard couples understanding and truly hearing each other for the first time in years. I saw all of this while talking to them through a screen. It was incredible!
So the main question here is: How do we keep this up?
Transitioning to “Normal”
So the question of, “How do we continue,” is a great question and it comes with one answer:
The “easier” part of all of this was the simple fact that a lot, not all, couples had more time. More margin. The couples that I saw were taking time out of their days and weeks to meet with me to address the different components in their marriage. Yes, even with small children and other obligations and responsibilities. They also received encouragement and different resources to help them have those interactions.
They acted on what was being introduced
How to be Intentional
So what’s beyond the stay at home orders and the quarantines and the social distancing? A lot of us still haven’t found our new “normal” and we are still trying to figure this world out. What can we do to still experience the connection in marriage now?
- Create / Maintain Margin – Given new space and new and different amounts of time, as couples, we need to maintain that time that has been given. I have noticed that when people have time – they fill it with something and that something is not always productive. Reflect on your priorities. Lift up your spouse and hold them in high regard.
- Be Vulnerable – The desire to connect with your spouse happens when we are vulnerable. Take risks, ask questions, go further. The time that you have created allows for that.
- Be / Get Creative – Find new ways to connect with each other in light of new standards and mask requirements. Go for walks, ride your bikes, pack a picnic, go on a hike, go for a drive, explore the city, serve someone else, read a book, complete a weekly devotion, etc.
- Stay Consistent – there are many ways to maintain intentionality, but you can’t be intentional if you don’t continue to be intentional (go figure).
- Have FUN! – Working and maintaining health in your marriage does not have to feel like drudgery – enjoy your spouse – reflect on joyfulness and your appreciations. It is something to be celebrated!
Finding a new normal for you, your marriage and your family might be a difficult transition and that’s OK! All of us, to some degree, are having to adjust during this time in our cities and country. If you are finding yourself struggling – reach out to someone you trust and talk through it. Sometimes we need help and that is perfectly fine.
If you are in a season of doubt, confusion or even despair, we are here! Schedule a time to get back on track and find your new “normal.”