You've got questions? We've got answers! Here, a sex therapist (and supermum) shares tips on how to get through Covid-19 as a couple.
Raise your hand if you’ve yelled at your partner at least five times during the circuit breaker. Now, raise your hand if you can’t count the number of times you’ve yelled at them. Yep, us too. There’s no doubt that with all the stress and anxiety that comes with the Covid-19 pandemic, our relationships are bound to take a hit. Apart from all the usual stuff we worry about – from money and work to whether our kids are eating enough vegetables – we have the added stress from all this coronavirus madness. But how do you stop yourself from strangling your partner when he’s missed yet another homeschooling session AND make your relationship work at the same time?
Rica Cruz, licensed psychologist, sex and relationships therapist, and faculty member at the Ateneo de Manila University, has the answers. We’ve asked her all the burning questions to help us get through Covid-19 with our marriages and relationships intact.
Because of Covid-19, my partner and I keep on fighting – I think we spend too much time together! How do we keep the spark and our relationship alive?
Give each other space. If it means not talking to each other for hours of the day, so be it. Accept the other person’s quirks. The Covid-19 circuit breaker might make us focus on our partner’s traits that we don’t like, such as speaking loudly while on work calls, or things strewn all over the floor. But let those go; it isn’t good for your relationship. They’re not worth the added stress and picking a fight over. Instead, focus on the positives. According to studies, you should focus on five positive traits of your partner for every trait you don’t like about him/her.
How do we create ‘space’ if there is none?
Create a routine and your own space. Choose separate corners of the house where you can work, read or do whatever you want. As I’ve said, if it means not talking to each other for hours in a day, so be it.
I keep on worrying about Covid-19 and how it could affect my family. How do I prevent this anxiety from affecting my relationship and sex life?
Most of us are anxious at the moment. However, it’s better that we focus on things we can control first to ensure our family’s safety. Once those are met, then we can focus on our sex lives. Don’t push it if it’s not there yet.
Is it normal that I don’t feel like having sex right now?
Generally, because of the anxiety the current situation brings, some people may have lower libido than usual. However, once they are assured that their basic needs are met – food on the table, family members are healthy, no foreseeable major problems after the circuit breaker – then it’s all systems go!
With all this self-isolation and social distancing, my partner, kids and helper are always at home. How can we ever have sexy time with everyone around… ALL THE TIME?!
Wait until everyone’s asleep, perhaps? Or shower together! And, if you’re open to it, lock your room and tell everyone not to bother you because it’s your ‘alone time’.
There’s never been a more critical time to keep our relationships intact – especially with kids around. Showing them that Mum and Dad are aligned and supportive of each other will give them some kind of semblance of what life and romantic relationships used to be before Covid-19. And if we can alleviate anxiety for them anyway, it’s already a win for us all.