Wednesday | 01 April | 2020
By Anja van den Berg
Many South Africans are now working from home while also looking after their children due to school closures. The Covid-19 lockdown means that we will all be spending more time behind closed doors – but how will this impact our relationships?
Divorce lawyers have already forecast a spike in splits later this year due to couples being confined together.
If you are part of a twosome who are both working from home, you need to have a plan. Here are a few ideas:
- Don’t make assumptions about how the other person feels
Relationship therapist Aoife Drury says that often we feel that others are experiencing the same emotions or thoughts that we are. Don’t assume the other person will feel the same way about this uncertain time that we are all going through. “Assumptions breed resentments as they lay down false expectations,” Drury explains. “The antithesis to assumptions is clear and open dialogues so avoid mind-reading. None of us has experienced this before, so we will all cope with this differently, and that’s okay.”
- Put big arguments on hold
Although it is reasonable to expect some tension during this ongoing situation, you shouldn’t use it as a chance to vent all your ongoing relationship issues. Some things will need to be parked. “Big and difficult conversations may need to be put on hold while you deal with the current situation,” says relationship specialist Aidan Jones. “This is especially true if one of you is ill or thinks they may have symptoms.”
- Don’t just work, work, work
If you are struggling to balance working from home and managing your relationship, try to establish a clear boundary between “home-life” and “work-life” from now on. If you are working at home, there will still be home and life admin to do – set a time for this. It may feel as if the house is a mess or needs cleaning but make an executive decision to do this outside of ”working hours”. Decide to establish a routine … and don’t work in your pyjamas! Make sure you build in breaks for tea, coffee and meals. If you have a garden, go outside for an oxygen break. Don’t work all hours.
When the day is done, make sure that you have a shared interest or activity to which both of you look forward. It’s important to share more than just housework. Now is the perfect time to chill on the couch while enjoying a new series on your favourite streaming platform.
The Independent: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/love-sex/coronavirus-tips-self-isolation-family-partner-argument-a9411851.html
* All information was correct at the time of publication.