Lifestyle blogger, photographer, mother to my son Boden and frenchie Smalls, wife to my hubs Trevor. I built this space in an attempt to inspire you to find your edit and empower you to create the life you desire. Through digital content and honest storytelling, I hope to guide you along the way. Because everyone has an edit, and I'm here to help you find yours.
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Raise your hand if you agree with this statement: it’s not a walk in the park being stuck at home with your significant other all day, every day, week after week… ????????♀️.
This last weekend Trevor and I were at each other’s throats. Like out of nowhere, legit wanted to kill each other (kidding). It’s only logical… we’ve been quarantined inside for three weeks straight ON TOP of him being at home for a month before that due to a new career move.
Luckily we’ve managed to get past a few hard days by having an adult conversation about how we were going to deal. Given the feedback I received via Insta — I decided to compile this post sharing what we’ve learned and are practicing.
I hope this can help in some sort of way if you’re experiencing any difficulty right now at home with the one you love the most. Below you’ll find a list of nine ways to make it through quarantine with your significant other.
Note : no spouse was hurt during the creation of this post 😉
If you’re a couple like Trev and I, you likely have your differences. A yin and a yang rather…
Trevor likes to work hard and play harder. He’s successful in the moves he makes and doesn’t take himself too seriously. A good day to him is accomplishing one task that will move the needle toward our financial goals and then allowing himself time to relax and hang with his family.
I like to stay busy. Since leaving my corporate job I’ve become an overly structured person who thrives on accomplishments. A good day to me is getting through all steps in my morning self-care routine, checking things off multiple tasks from my to-do list as a blogger, photographer, stay at home mom/wife, while trying to be present.
Different, right? Well, the important thing you have to realize is just that: you and your significant other are different. Wired with separate sets of cables. And that’s okay! Hell, pretty sure that’s why you’re together in the first place — you complement each other.
Ultimately, what led us to blow up at one another after weeks of being under one roof was pure annoyance. I was feeling like we weren’t being productive enough, while Trevor wanted to take a breather from “doing” during this break we have. We were trying to project our own stresses onto the other person which wasn’t fair.
It took some time to come clean about “our feelings” because of how stubborn we both are, but it really helped to talk through it. Sharing that we felt anxious, lost, scared… and also didn’t want to be a jerk to the other person. Instead, we just wanted to deal the way we knew how and have support along the way.
Seeing a marriage counselor has helped us with communicating our feelings a great deal over the last two years. We started seeing one before we began trying for a baby — to make sure we were solid and ready to enter into this next chapter. I highly suggest this to any couple — married or not, trying to have kids or not. Learning how to communicate is everything.
Once we got those feelings off of our chest it leveled the playing field. Two vulnerable housemates just spinning in angst, hoping the other person still loved them through it all.
Guys, it’s an incredibly hard time we’re all in. Emphasis on all — because remember, this is worldwide. And though being safe at home with our families is by no means equal to what those along the frontlines in healthcare are experiencing, or those in production or working long hours at grocery stores, or for those whose health has been compromised by COVID… it is still a very trying time. Don’t discredit that.
Something we’ve learned over these last few months of us both at home was to allow each other space to recharge. Because in order to be good to each other and carry somewhat of a positive attitude, we needed time to ourselves.
For me, that means being able to get through that morning routine to fuel my day. It also means having baby-free blocks of time to create content for my blog, engage with my community, learn more about photography and dive into design projects.
For Trev, that means being able to have uninterrupted periods to work in his office on his next venture. It means establishing his new routine that will fuel him in the mornings to be the better person he wants to be. Having time to practice golf, diving into a good fantasy book and getting lost on Reddit.
You don’t have to spend every minute with each other. That time apart is actually very good and very normal. I mean, think about it — most of us are normally working around 40 hours per week away from each other. Talk about a true test of a relationship!
Allow your self-time to take care: practicing deep breathing, saying a mantra, napping, stretching, making a gratitude list, taking a bath, dancing, staying hydrated, snuggling your pet or going for a walk.
Focusing on the things that truly bring you joy is also essential. Now is the time to dive into that hobby you’ve always wanted to get into, learn that language that’s been on your list, or just straight c h i l l. As Ryan Holiday says, “slowing down can often be the secret weapon for those charging ahead”. Whatever will make you happy… prioritize that right now.
Don’t let intimacy get pushed to the side. Sex is the best way to realign and reconnect with your partner. Spice it up (my fave secret weapon here). Have an at-home date night. Bust out a board game. Dive into a movie marathon or show. And don’t forget to stay connected — FaceTime your distant loved ones, schedule those happy hours via Zoom with friends.
A frustration that often Trevor and I experience during an argument is that the other person isn’t listening or really hearing them. It’s something we’re always trying to work on — because relationships are two-sided, not one.
Instead of staying comfortable in your own mindset, try absorbing new information via a book, a professional, an audiobook, blog or podcast. Being exposed to new ways of thinking allows you to gain perspective in your own life. Having an open mind can allow you to understand more of where your significant other is coming from when you disagree.
I loved this tip sent in from a friend. Trev was really good about checking in with me during pregnancy, but we haven’t carried that into our life now. And of all times, now is the time.
Check-ins are a safe place where you can come together to reflect on what happened over the past week. You would bring things that can wait to be discussed. Write down the good and the bad as they come up, giving you time to think about why something upset you. Is there something you need from the other person to make it better? Is there actually something more that’s bothering you? The entire exercise allows you to not be reactive in the moment, rather to dig into the underlying issues. And the hope is after you talk about what’s been bothering you, you gain an understanding of how to handle it in the future.
This was another incredibly eye-opening tip passed along and taken from the amazing Brené Brown’s new podcast — “Unlocking Us” — via episode 5 (which I HIGHLY suggest you listen to here). After the 6:30 minute mark, Brené explains how it’s absolutely false to think couples operate at a 50/50 level. In actuality, strong couples practice a sort of dance that’s more like 80/20 and 20/80 where one person pulls the weight when the other person just can’t and vice versa.
For example with Trev and I — I’ve been having some hard days out of nowhere since stopping breastfeeding. Out of nowhere I’ll feel down, lethargic, moody… which is no fun for anyone. Luckily I’m able to relay this to Trev and he can react saying “No problem, I’ve got Bo. Go rest”. Which is HUGE. Then on the days where he is feeling out of sorts, I take the lead and allow him time to heal.
But what happens when you’re both operating at a low number — say you at about 20% and your partner really struggling at about 10%? Well, that’s where you have to be mindful of the gap and commit as a couple to make up that remaining 70%. You would put together a gap plan to get back to 100 for the betterment of your relationship and/or your family.
Brené shares tips on how to prevent getting down to that low level. Key things like sleep, moving your body (as that’s where we store anxiety and hard things), eating well (we tend to eat like Buddy the Elf during times of crisis which makes us go up, then crash) and lastly limiting the news (as it’s like gasoline on the anxiety fire).
She then shares the gap plan she’s created with her family, and I love it: 1) no hard words, 2) no nice words with harsh faces 3) say you’re sorry 4) accept apologies with “thank you”, not “it’s okay” and 5) puns and knock-knock jokes. She’s good, and this resonated hard. Can’t wait to put it to use!
Like I said before — this is a really unique situation we’re in, and it won’t last forever. It took some time for that to sink in between Trev and I, but when it did, we agreed to make a pact on how we wanted to look back on this period of our lives: knowing ourselves that much more, bring stronger in our relationship and closer as a family.
Though it can be hard with the amount of work still having to be done at home and with kids, I urge you to try and look inward. Is the work you’re involved with the work you really want to be doing? If not, treat this time as an opportunity. Take advantage of these minutes without the normal voices and stresses you’d have at the office. Notice your surroundings at home with the ones you love and work so hard for. Better yourself in any way that you can so that you can commit to yourself and to your significant other that you will come out of this lighter and with more love after all is said and done.
Stay well and stay good to each other friends. We’re all we’ve got.
Lifestyle blogger, photographer, mother to my son Boden and frenchie Smalls, wife to my hubs Trevor.
I built this space in an attempt to inspire you to find your edit and empower you to create the life you desire. Through digital content and honest storytelling, I hope to guide you along the way. Because everyone has an edit, and I'm here to help you find yours.
Get To Know Me
Mother. Wife. Blogger. Photographer. I built this space in an attempt to inspire you to find your edit and empower you to create the life you desire. Through digital content and honest storytelling, I hope to guide you along the way. Because everyone has an edit, and I'm here to help you find yours.
Hi, I'm Cortney
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