The world is heavy. We feel it. It’s hard to escape. And the weight of it all might be seeping into your relationship. It’s not a question of how to build a fortress to prevent the events of your community or society from penetrating your relationship; it’s a question of what amount of energy you devote to feeling those feelings, and at what cost.
Author’s Note: This blog post was written mid-March, just before COVID-19 stay-at-home orders became widespread throughout the country, drastically altering the way we live our daily lives. At the time, celebrating anything seemed like an artifact of a previous life.
As the weeks wore on, the importance of celebration became clear; celebrations are necessary. And as a result, we’ve seen birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduations, and more celebrated in new and creative ways. We’ve learned a lot about ourselves, our relationships, and what we value most. We hope this post carries a new layer of meaning as we begin navigating forward with this changed perspective.
What do you celebrate in your
Do you go all out for every birthday and
anniversary or are you in a season of life where you barely have time to yell,
“Happy Anniversary!” across the room as you head off in separate
Do you celebrate the big milestones? What
about the small victories? Do you still commemorate your dating anniversary?
What about the anniversary of when you first met?
The thing is, we choose whether we want to
make celebrations a priority, whether we celebrate both the big and small
occasions, and whether we do that through grand or mundane gestures. By doing
so, we create our own relationship celebration “culture.”
Our exact timelines will vary, but we’ve all been in this for a while now. Quarantine, lockdown, shelter-in-place, or whatever you want to call the new normal we’ve been living. Depending on where you live, you could be pivoting towards opening up and going back to something resembling life “before.” For some of us, life will continue to unfold in restricted, socially-distant reality. We hope that over the last weeks and months, you’ve been able use some of your time at home to invest in your relationship. As you prepare to step back into the hustle and bustle of life, we encourage you to reflect on the things you want to take with you and carry on from this time. Yes, we know there are probably many things you’d like to leave behind, but there has been some good that has come out of staying home and slowing down your pace of life.
Every day we are presented with opportunities to strengthen our relationship. Most of the time these opportunities are disguised as ordinary interactions or situations. Other times we’re presented with circumstances that completely throw us for a loop. (Oh hi, COVID-19!) When we don’t have any control over the circumstances, we do have control over how we react to them.
In our recent Rally for Relationships livestream event, Jocelyn and Aaron Freeman talked about how the current situation can either strain or strengthen your relationship. Here are five possible relationship strains you might be facing right now and strengthening solutions to help you come out stronger.