By Pat Sabiston, Connecting NowFaith
There are hilarious quotes on Twitter and funny memes on Facebook about how couples are handling marital stress during this forced isolation. Unfortunately, the reality of such pressure on relationships can take its toll. Most experts agree the post-COVID-19 world will see a spike in divorce.
Also, law enforcement agencies have seen a rise in domestic violence calls. Still, interestingly, the calls are about “disturbances” (read: “arguments”) rather than physical violence. Christians are not immune to tension during isolation due to too much togetherness, which can put a strain on even the best of relationships. With this in mind, we reached out to Connecting NowFaith readers to solicit their advice on this issue.
“Our tip would be to keep to a routine, still make plans to do something together – for
example, plan a fun picnic in the backyard or take a walk in the neighborhood. It’s also important to give each other space. We also make time for ourselves to chat on the phone or quietly read a book." – Ellen Contreras, Account Executive
“Like every couple, Reeny and I have had our moments where we feel things getting tense between us. That’s normal when a couple has that much time together. Ben Franklin once said, ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’ So we give each other permission to walk away if we feel things are heading toward a contentious moment. But with the caveat, that we come back and talk it through after cooler heads have prevailed. It’s not good to leave things unsettled. Scripture tells us not to allow the sun to go down on your anger. But in the moment of tension, just tell yur spouse you need to step away. We have a back patio that can be a peaceful environment for a retreat. Sometimes, however, Reeny will just say to me, ‘I think now would be a good time for you to go fishing in your boat.’ Haha!”. – Greg Sempsrott, Pastor
“If you cannot remember the last time you prayed for your spouse or found you are slacking in following God’s advice to ‘walk in love, obedience, and unity,’ then now is the time to amp up those things. During this unprecedented time, spending more time with your spouse should be a joyful time and not one filled with strife or nit-picking. Guard your mouth and let no evil words leave your lips. Ask the Lord to give you godly wisdom and peace to respond in everything with self-control and humility. Be patient and ‘do not grumble against one another’: James 5:9. Even if you know you are right, humble yourself in all situations. God responds delightfully to that action. Use this extra time we have been given to draw closer to the Lord together. Learn how to become one again with your spouse, seeking to be honest, sincere, and pure. Let your marriage always witness for Jesus, regardless of the circumstances.” – Samantha Brown, Administrative Assistant
“God told me to ‘install’ an imaginary neon sign in my frontal cortex that blinks ‘Grace. GRACE!’ every time I feel about to lose it with my husband. After all, God extends grace to me every day!” – Pat Sabiston, Writer and Marketing Consultant
“The one thing I have discovered throughout my 30 years of being married is to allow my husband to have some space and time to veg. Then find the one thing you both enjoy doing the most. For us, that would be being out in the water. Enjoying the time God has allowed us to share together." – Lisa Miller, Resale Store Manager
“Like many other couples around the country and world, we are experiencing and dealing with stress and anxiety of these times. Financial uncertainty, homeschooling our children, juggling working at home and home life, our daily routines turned upside down, and all of this ‘togetherness’ are some of the challenges that have tested our relationship. To deal with these challenges as a couple, we found that laughter, special attention to understanding and kindness, as well as giving each other time for ourselves, have helped us to deal with some of these issues.
“Finding humor and silliness when we laugh about something together always brings us closer and makes us relax in unity. Try not to take things so seriously all the time and always laugh together!”
“We all react to stress and challenges in different ways, but we must accept our flaws unconditionally and care for each other’s feelings. Be especially kind and loving to one another!
“Our family is together all the time now, so taking time to be alone is very important as it helps us re-center and have our time to breathe and reflect – running, working in the yard, or doing anything that we enjoy helps us. Take care of yourself and take time to breathe and reflect on your own!
“We will get through these challenging times together, and we will be healthier couples because of the experiences we have shared. Many blessings and wishing good health to all!” – Loreto Murray, Event Coordinator
Thanks to everyone who contributed to our questionnaire, and keep these helpful hints in mind: •“Time outs” are okay, as long as you tell your spouse what you are doing and come back together in agreement.
• Keep your sense of humor. • Humble yourself before God and draw close to Him. • Issue the same grace to your spouse that He has given you. • Everyone needs a time of solitude. • Take time to have fun together. • Let your marriage be a testimony to Jesus. • B-r-e-a-t-h-e! • Just be kind. • Pray for your spouse every day, and ask for Godly wisdom. • Exercise: Get your heart rate up and temper down.h pressure on relationships can take its toll. Most experts agree the post-COVID-19 world will see a spike in divorce. Also, law enforcement agencies have seen a rise in domestic violence calls. Still, interestingly, the calls are about “disturbances” (read: “arguments”) rather than physical violence.allow visitors to explore more of what interests them.