No-Cost Quarantine Marriage Counseling
by Gary Foreman
Is spending too much time with your mate ruining your relationship? Try these no-cost quarantine marriage counseling tips to get things back on a peaceful, loving track.
Remember when you’re relationship was new and you couldn’t wait to spend time together? How you counted the hours until you would see that special someone? But time and the virus has changed all that.
Whether you read the New York Times or Business Insider, you’ll find that the quarantine has put some marriages on edge. In fact, the Times begins its article this way: “Couples’ fights in lockdown are often about the unremitting intensity of togetherness. The sooner you de-escalate a fight, the sooner you can begin working on real solutions.”
What should you do if you and your mate are beginning to get on each other’s nerves? And because of finances and/or the quarantine you can’t seek professional help? What then?
You don’t always need to shell out big bucks for marriage counseling. There are simple steps you can learn and put into practice that will improve your marriage. If you make them a habit you might find that you’re actually enjoying the time that you spend together.
Take the time to listen to each other.
After awhile you begin to think that you can finish your partner’s sentences. And, in many cases you can. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t listen to each other. After all, there are times when they’ll surprise you with what they say. Their tone of voice can give an idea greater emphasis. Plus, by taking the time to listen, you confirm that what your mate thinks is important to you.
When you live together, it’s easy to find things that you wish your mate would change. It’s easy, too, to criticize, belittle and blame them for perceived shortcomings. If you do that, your mate will begin to shut you out and ignore you.
Try an opposite approach. Look for reasons to compliment your mate. If that seems hard, remember the traits that attracted you in the beginning. A kind word or compliment can go a long way to healing hurt feelings.
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Speak your mind clearly.
You may have complained about it before and think that there’s no sense bringing it up again. But you can’t expect your mate to read your mind. If it’s important to you, tell them. They still might not change. But at least you’ll both know the issue is important.
Find ways to play together.
You’re spending more time together. Why not make that time enjoyable? It’s easy for couples to grow apart. To develop separate interests. But if you want your marriage to last, find ways to share common interests. Preferably something that brings you both pleasure. Perhaps a hobby or binge watching a TV show.
Look for spontaneous ways to laugh at life.
It’s easy to be depressed when you’re concerned about a life threatening virus. Whether it’s a funny video on YouTube or a silly meme, if you can bring a smile to your mate’s face, you’ll be healing your marriage.
Don’t hold grudges.
It’s easy to let your mind replay offenses over and over again. After awhile they begin to dominate your thoughts. Take the time to forgive them. You’re not freeing them from an obligation. Instead you’re freeing your mind from the endless loop of frustration and anger.
Make the effort to make up.
If you’ve done something to displease your mate, go to them and apologize. Sincerely. Not the fake “I only did it because you did this to me” non-apology apology. Ask to be forgiven. And then make an effort not to repeat the offense.
Provoke your mate to love.
One definition for provoke is to stir up. That takes effort. Make the effort to do things that would stir up your mate’s love for you. Learn their love language, the things that make them feel loved and appreciated. Then add those things to your to do list. You might not see immediate results but they will have a cumulative effect.
Share your dreams with your mate.
It’s said that a people without hope perish. Share your dreams with your partner. Ask them to share their dreams with you. It’s easier to move in the same direction if you know where you’re both trying to go.
Pray with your spouse.
If you believe in a higher power, spend time with your mate in spiritually-oriented activities. Verbalize how thankful you are for your mate. Recount the things in them that you are thankful for.
A final thought.
You may be saying “that’s all fine, but my husband/wife isn’t interested in our marriage.” And you may be right. It takes two to make a marriage work. Not just one. But there’s reason to hope that if you do your best that your mate will eventually come around.
And, if they don’t, you might need to visit a marriage counselor. Yes, many will charge for their services. But a divorce can be far more expensive than the cost of saving your marriage.
Reviewed September 2021
About the Author
Gary Foreman is a former financial planner and purchasing manager who founded The Dollar Stretcher.com website and newsletters in 1996. He's the author of How to Conquer Debt No Matter How Much You Have and he's been featured in MSN Money, Yahoo Finance, Fox Business, The Nightly Business Report, US News Money, Credit.com and CreditCards.com. You can read Gary's full bio here. Gary shares his philosophy of money here. Gary is available for audio, video or print interviews.
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