As restrictions are somewhat lifted, our daily lives are still quite different than they were 3 months ago, there is no denying that. Gerry and I still are with each other at least 22 hours of every day. I only subtract a couple of hours for times that we take a stroll without each other, meet the Instacart folks for our groceries, and bathroom breaks. Prior to Covid, we had less than half of that time together as we were both working outside of the home. Sure, Gerry and I worked in a business we owned together, for years, but we still never had time with each other, as we were running that business, our baby, and barely had time to breathe. Now, we have plenty of time to take much needed deep breaths, and maneuver through each day as best as one does, during a pandemic.
It’s no surprise that couples are filing for divorce at record rates, due to financial stress, combined with confinement- factors that push some marriages to a breaking point. The numbers are expected to rise as confinement ends, according to many divorce attorneys. There is nothing that enables you to know your partner better than spending every single moment with him/her. The amazing Bill Murray gives marriage advice, based on that very premise.
“If you have someone that you think is The One, don’t just think in your ordinary mind, ‘Okay, let’s make a date, let’s plan this and make a party and get married.’ Take that person and travel around the world. Buy a plane ticket for the two of you to travel all around the world, and go to places that are hard to go to and hard to get out of. And if when you land at JFK and you’re still in love with that person, get married at the airport.” – Bill Murray
When I was in college, I backpacked through Europe with a dear friend of mine, Susan. She and I spent time in hostels, trains, boats, and on hiking trails, with each other, every waking moment. As young women, we certainly weren’t going to go for a walk alone when we were tired of each other, so we stuck together. It wasn’t easy, and I won’t tell you that we didn’t have arguments here and there, but at the end, when we parted at the airport, we bawled our eyes out. It was the true test of our friendship, and we passed.
Fast forward to today. Gerry and I have been married for 15 years, and together for 18. There have been ups and downs, struggles, and a plethora of celebrations, but nothing has been as telling of the strength of us as a couple as being quarantined together for 3 months.
So, how do we cope as a couple during Covid?
- We developed and keep a work routine. We get up in the morning, have our coffee/tea, take Betty White for a walk, and return to our workspaces as if we are leaving for work. We even tell each other, “ok, going to work now.” Often, if one finishes earlier than the other, we may help each other with administrative tasks, shipping/mailing, etc. but otherwise, we treat work time as work time. Bonus, we get to have lunch together every day.
- We spend time outside, together. We take our walks with Betty White, and we have our afternoon/evening toasting of the sunset. It is a time when we take in nature, and breathe fresh air, something that is a gift these days.
- We make sure we still have “our time.” Without getting into the nitty gritty, we make time for those special and much needed moments. We refuse to let a pandemic get in the way of our sex life. Covid promotes a lot of negativity in this world, but for us, that won’t be one of them.
- We talk more than ever. We have meaningful conversations, working through our concerns about issues, whether it be financial, health, and/or the things that bring us happiness. We also ask each other for help with things that the other may be struggling in dealing with.
- We plan for the future. We’ve discussed in other blogs about how we are making travel plans and lists for things we want to do as soon as the restrictions lift. This is important as it sets intentions for us both, as a couple.
At the end of the day, we are not perfect. In fact, there is no such thing as the perfect couple. We have taken pride in the fact that we have been authentic in our blogs, and social media, without also releasing all of our privacy, so it goes without saying that while we have our issues, with or without the pandemic, we can honestly say that we have come out on the other side of this stronger than ever. So, while Covid may be the honey badger, taking whatever the hell, it wants, it hasn’t taken that from us. This is just another situation we will chalk up as, an Arner Adventure.