Coping with a ‘difficult’ spouse during lockdown

As if life is not hard enough, then you realise that the spouse you have been trying hard to endure his/her difficult behaviours for years has suddenly become unreasonable in the name of self-isolating together. You are not alone as many couples are also facing the biggest challenges in their marital relationships today and someone must learn to apply the attitude of resilience to sustain a sense of normality in the home. Below are a few simple steps to help you cope with a difficult spouse in this current situation.

Be realistic about the situation
Compatibility is an essential aspect of a good marriage and the relationship will only strive when you and your spouse enjoy each other’s company and share common interests which can bring the much-anticipated optimism amid crisis. Unfortunately, if your marriage has been nothing but a roller coaster of challenges, you must be mindful of the resentments in the air and try to understand the anxiety isolation may be having on your difficult spouse’s behaviours.

Reflect on the positives
Nobody goes into a marriage with the intent to become unreasonable but situations beyond their self-control have certainly made their lives intolerable. Even though the realities of this situation deserve a change in even the hard-hearted, your spouse may be too consumed in his/her own despair and can become insensitive to the daily realities of life in general.
Everyone deserves to be commended for the good deeds they have done as focusing on the negative behaviours alone can be unfair. Think about the good times you had together and try to reflect on the positives too no matter how minimal they were. Your spouse may need your support and sympathy now more than ever before and putting your differences aside at this time will certainly define you.

Be kind to yourself
They say that tough times do not last but tough people do. This is not the time to play the blaming game especially when you are both hurting. Life is too short to remain in the same position therefore be kind to yourself and give yourself some credits for the progress you’ve made so far. Dealing with a toxic spouse is a hard job and you have come a long way together when you look back at how far you have both travelled. You have been able to tolerate your spouse’s excesses up till now. Do not let this current situation begin to test your intolerance. Conflicts in a marriage is the reality of life but how you address them amid crisis makes all the differences between humanity and brutality.

Make space for each other
Finally, even after you have done the needful and emotions are still running high, it can become difficult to get through to your spouse if the behaviour becomes so irrational that you are not able to sit down as a couple to move things forward.
Give your spouse some space to isolate alone so that you can maintain your own sanity and spend your solitude to reflect on changes you can execute immediately while in this situation and those changes you plan to implement in the long term which will benefit your marriage with or without your partner.


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