SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WXYZ) — Did you know pandemics have happened in the past and couples have survived whether dating, married, or somewhere in between?
In the 6th century, we had the Bubonic plague, in 1918 the flu pandemic, and in the 1980s we were hit with AIDS.
So today, as we close out 2020, we are learning to navigate COVID-19 in couples quarantine for a second go-round.
When it comes to couples' bliss during the COVID-19 pandemic, challenging is a word used quite often.
Walls closing in, Zoom calls bleeding into one another and needing an hour apart.
How are couples doing right now with COVID? Carolyn Clifford asked.
“Well, I think couples are struggling and they are spending more time together,” said Dr. Terri Orbuch a Professor at Oakland University.
Laura and Andrew Phillips have been happily married for 26 years but when the pandemic hit, there were some adjustments.
“It started a little rough in the beginning,” said Laura Phillips.
Working full time from home and unable to bring in help at home made it worse.
“Typically, I do the inside of the house and he does the outside and there was no outside work in March, so we had some discussions in the beginning we equalized,” said Laura.
How did you come together and equalize?
“I now actively patrol the kitchen for dirty dishes and empty the dishwasher and clean up after myself,” said Andrew Phillips.
And famous people are struggling too!
After 4 years of marriage Grammy award-winning singer Ne-Yo had filed for divorce. He did an interview with Tamron Hall here on Channel 7 and the "Behind Every Man" documentary on OWN. He talks about how the pandemic saved his marriage.
“When quarantine happened couldn't get him to leave, he would not go anywhere,” said Crystal, Ne-Yo's wife on the Tamron Hall show.
“That is what prompted me and him to sit down and have one of the most honest conversations we've ever had,” Crystal added.
Dr. Terri Orbuch is a Professor at Oakland University.
“Some couples are on the verge of getting divorced, some couples are on the verge of saying ‘no no no’ we have to stay together because we can't afford to break up right now. Do you have advice for those couples?” Carolyn Clifford asked Orbuch.
“If there isn't abuse and there isn't huge distress serious issues is to wait until after the pandemic,” said Orbuch.
Dr. Terri Orbuch is a relationship specialist and Professor at Oakland University she says there are strategies to help you survive the pandemic.
- Most important practice self-care because if you are not exercising and eating well as sleeping well, you're not going to be happy.
- Share your feelings of stress and anxiety with your partner.
- Differences will emerge in how you handle the pandemic- accept it and don't try to change your partner.
- A pet or hobby will also help.
Remember this scene from the movie Ghost with Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze. Pottery is what Laura and Andrew took up to do something creative together.
So, finding something new and exciting will add passion and excitement to your relationship.
Finally, show you appreciate your partner by saying I love you. Glad you're in my life or a hug. It’s the small things that really matter.
Here's the Rebound Rundown.
- You're not alone in the struggle a lot of couples are going through this
- Take care of yourself
- Don't forget to show appreciation
One last tip!
Take time for yourself without telling your partner you need space. Instead say, "honey I'm going in the basement for two hours to make some phone calls or to paint. When you return, share what you did with your partner. Dr. Orbuch says it will do wonders for your relationship.