Are your relationships suffering during these crazy Covid-19 times?

You were on a good track. Life was great. Things were on the up. Relationships were awesome and then Covid reared its ugly head and everything, especially relationships went on a downward trajectory.

Just a headsup: You are not alone. We are all struggling through these uncertain times. Yes, I agree some are suffering more than others.

The good news is that you can turn it around before it is too late. The bad news is that it won’t happen overnight and you will have to put some work in. My personal opinion is that if you do not make the changes necessary then it is just not of your greatest value or interest. Do you agree?

So let me guess. You and your partner are arguing more than usual. If you have children they are not doing what you want them to do and not as fast as you would like them to do it. Your boss is asking you to create miracles. If you are the boss then your staff just don’t have the attitude or oomph to get things done.

Let’s face it… we are all very, very confused. We are all struggling to be positive as we do not know what the future holds. Our jobs are not secure, our finances are not what they used to be, we are losing loved ones to Covid, we are worried that we might get covid. The list is endless. I mean how happy can we be when we are all walking around with masks on our faces. It’s the most uncomfortable suffocating thing ever and we have no idea of when this will all end.

So picture it: We are all not in a good place. We have all lost control. Now for a person that loves control this is probably the worst place we can find ourselves in. We feel caged in and we feel like we can do nothing about it.

What has helped me to survive so far is to know each day what I will get up to. I include everything from exercise, healthy food plan for the day, work, meditating, prayer, time with my loved ones, learning something new, reading etc.

I do not always stick 100% to the plan but I always try. Every single day. I add in extra breathing exercises, prayer or meditations if I am feeling extra stressed or the fear of the unknown starts setting in. I just take 5 minutes to get my mind right, focus on gratitude and faith and then I am back on track again. Give it a go and see how you feel afterwards.

When you come from a place of peace and calm your whole life turns around. You are better equipped to handle challenges and more importantly your relationships will be better for it.

Unfortunately when we are not in a good place we normally take it out on the people closest to us. The ones we love the most. The more we have expectations of them that they do not fulfil the more our relationships are eroded and in the end it is so bad that we look at each other like strangers. These same people that we once loved so much originally it hurt if we were not around them as often as possible.

“The Devil does not try and destroy bad relationships as they are bad already. The Devil goes for the good relationships and before you know it he has destroyed every chance of reconciliation. ”

Take a step back if you see this happening to your relationships. Take time to decided if this is what you want. You can turn it around before it is too late. Take note that if you have children then they are watching your every move and they learn from you. History repeats itself. Often our relationship skills we have learnt from our parents.

“If you have memories of your parents constantly arguing and disrespecting each other and you and your partner are doing the same thing then I am sure you do not want your children to have the same toxic relationships one day.”

Learn to think before you speak if you are angry. You cannot take words back that have been said. These words hurt and unfortunately are never forgotten. Once respect is lost in relationships it is difficult to get it back.

It is not only you that is struggling, your partner probably is too. Learn to give words of love, support and encouragement. You will feel better about yourself and your love will grow with your partner. Your partner will start treating you better and they will probably try better to keep you happy as they can see that you are trying your best and trying to improve your relationship. As the famous saying goes “what you put out you get back” …. and often double. So make it great.

It’s difficult to tell your loved one that you are struggling and that you are not in a good place or that there is something that you do not like about the way they are doing things or are not doings things. Learn the art of communication. Start small with conversations that do not get you all worked up and hot under the collar. As you get used to opening up then start talking about the more difficult things that are getting you down. When your partner speaks then keep quiet and give them a chance to also view their opinion even if you do not like it or agree. Respect that it is their feelings. Make a pact that you will both try and work on keeping each other happy. It takes two to tango. Always remember that. Don’t jump right into it when they get home. Give them a chance to settle in and then mention that later you would like 5 minutes to chat. It will become easier the more you do this.

One of my worst words is “Expectations”. What are you expecting of others? Often it is something that is bothering you. The truth is that what you find fault in others is often a self-reflection of what is bothering you in your own life. Read that again. The next time you feel frustrated take a step back, breathe and think about it. Money problems, laziness, needing more affection etc. etc. etc. You can be the person to turn it around if it bothers you that much. Things that are of your highest value and priority are not always the priority of others. Do not put it on them.

We often stress and worry about things that are unimportant and we expect everyone to hop, skip and jump when we want things done. Are you going to ruin a relationship because the bin was not taken out, the mug was not put in the dishwasher or they made you 5 minutes late for an event? The question to ask next time you feeling that you cannot control something is “Is this Life Threatening?” If it is not then do what Elsa from the movie Frozen does and sing “Let it Go, Let it Go, Let it Go?” It takes practice but you will be happier in the end and so will your loved ones be.

If you learn to give up the control you allow others to be independent and they will start doing things that you would normally always do. I found that with my children when they were younger I controlled everything from what they did, what they ate, when, how, who and what. I got exhausted and I starting feeling angry, resentful and frustrated all the time. I starting picking on my husband for not helping enough. I eventually got so tired of making all the decisions but then I realised that it was my own fault. So I learnt to give up the control one day at time. Eventually my husband and children started doing more and making more decisions. More importantly my children have learnt to be successful and happy young adults. If I did not give up the control they would have never learnt about consequences, independence and resilience. I would of done a disservice to them and to myself.

Coming back to the love of your life. How much time do you put into romance? When last did you steal a kiss, pinch their bottom, sneak a love note into their lunchbox etc. like I am sure you did in the beginning when you first met. The spark can be reignited. At first it can feel a bit weird and abnormal but it will start to feel natural again once you practice your love language on a daily basis.

Remind yourself of why you originally fell in love with your partner. As my Mom always says “The reason you fell in love with someone is often the same thing that irritates you most about them in the end”. Don’t allow that to happen. Being different is what originally attracted you. Fall in love with that again.

I challenge you to make it a priority to spend more time with your partner. No excuses accepted about babysitters, no time, being too tired, no money etc. If it is important to you then you will make it happen.

Relationship Tip Number 1: Laughter is great therapy. Have some fun. Laugh at and with each other. Life is short. Enjoy it … together.

Relationships are not easy. I have been married for over 28 wonderful years. There have been loads of good times but there have also been plenty of bad times but we have never given up on each other. Our love has grown from all the obstacles. As a couple you need to make that choice each day to keep supporting and loving each other. My husband once said that when I make him really angry he reminds himself of all my good points. Now that made me laugh but it is true. So next time you are really angry with your partner then remind yourself of all their beautiful personality traits. It really works.

So today start afresh and send a cute and romantic text to your love. Get the sparks going again. It is never too late.

Wishing you and yours loads of love, peace and happiness! Robyn xxx

PS. Bonus Relationship Tip: You cannot change others, only yourself. Change starts with you.