Staying Married During Quarantine
We had just drifted off to sleep on a Wednesday night about two weeks ago when my cell phone rang somewhere in the darkness. I reached over to my bedside table and fumbled to grab hold of the ringing device, trying not to wake my husband. As I gathered the strength to say, “Hello,” I could hear the sobbing of what seemed to be a female voice on the other end. The urgency in which I heard, gave me the gusto to say, “Hello,” followed by, “What’s wrong?” I looked at my phone and recognized the number of married couple in Florida we had been counseling via Zoom. After staying up late and watching two episodes of the King of Queens, one episode of, The Martin Lawrence Show and two episodes of, My Wife and Kids, with my husband (some of my favorites show, I was extremely tired). It was then, I prayed and asked God for the wisdom that I needed immediately to help in this situation. The woman through her hysterical sobbing said, “I can’t do this anymore, I have to get out.” I listened as she vented in hysteria. She continued, “I can’t take being quarantined with this man.” I could hear him yelling in the background. The call went on about thirty more minutes as I did everything, I could humanly do to bring peace in the situation. By this time, my husband was up and providing me with things to say. It was at that moment that I realized marriages need help during COVID-19. This question came to mind, “How does a marriage survive QUARANTINE?” We needed to provide support for married couples to “stay married during the quarantine.”
Heightened Sensitivity During Quarantine Are you starting to notice things about your spouse that did not bother you before? It seems like our sensitivity has been heightened. Certain things seem to trigger more instances than normal of reacting impatiently and feeling annoyed. Have you found yourself snapping at your spouse when they ask a question that would usually be normal? Imagine that a married couple normally spends 3-4 good hours a day with their spouse before bedtime, but now that has turned into 24 hours, minus sleep time in most cases, since mandatory quarantine. You may have said in the past that you would love to spend more time with your family and how wonderful it would be. Well, the record has scratched and the DJ stopped playing and here we are together spending all the time together a person could ask for. The first week or two were pleasant. You may have played all the board games you could think of: Mastered Scrabble, Monopoly, Pictionary, Spades, Spit, and even Bingo. Some of us made the tic toc videos, the “rush” challenges, and watched all the home movies we made as a family, over the years. Maybe you even looked through old photos, started new projects, and created new recipes together. Then we started to run out of creative options. As you sat across from each other at the dinner table, you wondered what’s next. COVID-19 has changed life as we knew it. There is still a lot that you can do as a couple to keep the spice flavorful in your marriage. This is a time for you to create a plan for a future you always talked about as a couple. It’s time to write the vision for your legacy. This is time to get down to the nitty-gritty about things you have avoided for months and in some cases years. Start With Intimacy, The Basics… Because we are spending more time together around the house, we may not groom ourselves as we normally would prior to quarantine. The salons and barbershops have been closed and our looks seem to have taken a drastic turn. The beard has grown in like a caveman and the gray hair has displayed a sign of wisdom. The fingernails have extended, displaying the new growth, and a manicure is much more needed than ever before. As you slept in the bed and your feet touched, you woke up with scratches that you did not go to bed with. Somebody is way overdue for a pedicure and my guess would be her. Sex seems to be a thing of the past, because it is not a priority, or it is unimportant while the world is dealing with a pandemic. I stopped by to tell you in this blog, that intimacy is necessary for staying married during COVID-19. Relief is needed NOW! Do you know that sex is one of the best ways to relieve stress? Start indulging with your spouse at least 2-3 times per week to keep the intimacy in your marriage. Find ways to look sexy again. Ladies put on best lingerie as in normal times and gentlemen, get those clippers out, and get to shaving. Our ancestors did it, so why can’t you? They made themselves look appealing to one another and did not have the use of barbershops or salons, yet manage to have many, many children. Fix yourself up for you and your spouse. We know that anxiety is a major issue in our homes due to the results of this pandemic. Let’s help our spouse in relieving the stress, by taking better care of ourselves and complimenting them as they self-care. Be More Patient With One Another There are many things that will trigger an argument during these difficult times in the world. While it is happening in the world, it needs to be handled in your house. Remember that your spouse has feelings too and, in some cases, you will need to put their feelings before your seeing your own. While our self-care is important, we must show empathy to our spouse as well. This is not a good time to spawn arguments. If we remember any Scripture during these times spent with our spouse, remember Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God.” Start the good in your spouse and celebrate the amazing things he or she does. Even if its things you already expect of them, still show appreciation. It could be as simple as taking out the trash to him or her cooking a meal. Tell your spouse how proud you are of them. Let’s celebrate the little things. Learn how to apologize and not criticize when things don’t always go the way you both expect it. Although there are 5 love languages, I won’t get into them all right now, but everyone should be practicing “Acts of Service” and “Words of Affirmation” during the quarantine. Use Cooperative Communication, by saying things like “I love the way you make the bed.” “Thank you for taking the trash out on time.” Along with positive affirmations, use terms of endearment, such as “babe”, “hun”, “love”, “sweetheart”, “snook ems” and such! Try “snook ems”, it works. You may be laughing, but I dare you to try it right now. Remember To Love Stay connected to one another’s emotions. This will help the other person know that you care and love them. Don’t assume, ask questions. When you know what your spouse is feeling, it is easier to love them through it. Love is the glue that sustains the marriage. Be to your spouse all things they need to survive the quarantine and COVID-19. Always keep this Scripture at the forefront of your mind: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV) 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Through Loving You until Marriage Ministry, Chaplain AC and Chris Scott have transformed the lives of many couples and individuals over the last 25 years through their ability to make others feel comfortable enough to bring truth to the forefront. They have successfully worked in the capacity of Life Coaches, Spiritual Coaches, Marriage Coaches, and more. They are Global Chaplains and Licensed and Ordained Ministers. As Professional Life Coaches, they are passionate about helping people discover their Spiritual Gifts and Passion to live out their purpose here on Earth. Together with their Clients, they explore how emotions drive behavior, which in turn drives performance. Chaplain AC and Chris use a purpose-driven technique and approach and to coaching and counseling, enabling clients to understand that they have a purpose. Their goal is to help their clients become aware of why they exist and increase their awareness to improve upon relationships, social life, and career. The result is better performance, professionally and personally. They are both certified “Forgiving Forward” Life Coaches! For counseling services please visit www.ChrisScott.net or call (678) 674-4200.