Teacher, Høgskulen på Vestlandet
Now that society is reopening, many couples will struggle with the coexistence patterns they developed during the pandemic. But there is a way out!
This is a discussion post. Opinions in the text are the responsibility of the writer.
Many couples will struggle now that everyday life, as we knew it before the pandemic, is about to return. In common for many of the couples is that they had a good life together before the pandemic broke out.
Cohabitation characterized by known mutual expectations. A daily life organized in patterns that ensured both closeness and individual “breathing spaces.” Patterns that disappeared so abruptly.
The characteristics of the loved one she had learned to live with, perhaps with increasing time together, became irritating. Maybe only time revealed underlying problems in the relationship? Or maybe time itself created problems?
Since isolation did not have a time horizon and could therefore be experienced as if it were forever, even small moments of irritation could turn into “mountains” of conflict. Conflicts that were often understood as negative individual characteristics of the other.
For one thing, the world had become small. On the other hand, it had become limitless and dangerous. A world that forced new patterns.
Insecurity and insecurity
The patterns developed during the pandemic served important functions, but will in all likelihood need significant adjustments now that everyday life is returning. Many people still find it unsafe to break known interaction patterns.
And with insecurity comes uncertainty. With uncertainty come misunderstandings. The result, therefore, is that many, instead, cling to even inappropriate patterns of living together.
The boss becomes the monster!
Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing multiple times and expecting different results. There is a lot in it. Yet this is how most of us deal with problems.
Who is responsible?
Rarely can problems be isolated to an identified debtor. For many of the couples who have struggled during the pandemic, the difficulties are the result of having lived through an extraordinary situation for a long time. The pandemic has been the problem, but the partner has been held accountable!
The pandemic has made extraordinary demands of all of us. Requirements Few of us have a repertoire to cope with. So perhaps it is unfair to evaluate our relationships on the basis of an extraordinary situation? Most of us will probably not comply if we are considered in such a position.
A first step toward desired changes may be to look rather at the couple’s relational strengths and one’s own couple / family history. Ask yourself the questions:
- What values are important to us as a couple / family that we safeguard in our new everyday life?
- What patterns of daily life before the pandemic do we want to maintain?
- What patterns developed during the pandemic do we want to take further?
- How to evaluate our new pattern of coexistence?
The pandemic has been an extraordinary burden on the coexistence of most of the people. A tension that made it necessary to change the established patterns of coexistence, given the extraordinary situation in which we find ourselves.
The reopening of society will mean that many of the patterns of coexistence that the pandemic “forced” to advance are no longer adequate.
Therefore, we must find our relational strengths and success stories from the past and use them as a starting point to find new preferred ways of living together. A search that requires the experience of an expert. An expert competition that only couples and families can own.
Don’t let the pattern turn into the monster!