Quarantine orders are slowly being lifted. Businesses are opening. Restaurants are beginning to serve to dine-in customers. People are scheduling playdates. And just like that, we’re beginning to move in the direction of “normalcy”—and I use that term loosely.
Wait! Before you fill up your calendar, return to the office or settle back into your routine, let’s think about the impact these last few months have had on you, your marriage, your family and your perspective.
As a couple, you don’t want to waste this crisis. There are lessons to can learn. Growth you can experience. You also don’t want to set yourself up for disappointment because you’ve developed some expectations of your spouse that they don’t even know about. This is an opportunity for your marriage to take a huge step forward. It doesn’t happen by accident. Be intentional about reflecting on this time so that you and your loved one can move forward with purpose.
Grab a cup of coffee. Put a really good movie on for the kids. Put them to bed early. And talk. Take 3 or 4 of these questions at a time and have a thoughtful conversation. No matter how great your marriage was before the COVID-19 outbreak, we can all improve. Talk specifically with the goal of being better than you were before.
Questions to Discuss
- What have you learned about yourself during the quarantine?
- Have you learned anything about me?
- During the quarantine, what emotions have you experienced?
- What have you enjoyed the most during the quarantine?
- What has been the toughest part of the quarantine?
- Did you notice any physical or behavioral changes in either of us?
- What have we learned about us as a couple?
- What will you miss the most about the quarantine? The least?
- Discuss one situation or decision which I handled through the shelter-in-place order that you were very pleased with. And why?
- Discuss one situation or decision which I did not handle in a way that you would have. And why?
- Knowing then what you know now, what would you do differently to help us grow during the order?
- Did we effectively communicate our thoughts, feelings and desires as they changed and evolved during the quarantine? In what way?
- Did you feel valued and cared for during the quarantine? What did I do or not do to make you feel that way?
- How do you think the quarantine affected our marriage in a positive way?
- Did we do anything during quarantine that we want to keep doing?
- What parts of pre-quarantine family life do you not want to go back to?
- What are our marriage’s biggest strengths? Biggest weaknesses?
- What does a successful marriage look like? How can we work together to achieve that success?
- Who are the people outside of this family (extended family, friends, neighbors) that we care about?
- How could we be intentional to care for them and stay connected?
- What was our pre-quarantine normal? What should be our new normal?
How can you make the most of your conversations?
- Listen to understand without being defensive.
- Be specific.
- Avoid mind-reading. Ask questions for clarity.
- Keep it positive. This is meant for you to grow as a couple.
This may lead you to want to be intentional about using what you learned as a springboard for greater things within your marriage. Check out How to Create a Family Plan for Post-Quarantine to turn some of the discussion into planned action. If nothing else, don’t miss the opportunity to connect deeply with the one you want to be most connected to.
***If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact the National Hotline for Domestic Abuse. At this link, you can access a private chat with someone who can help you 24/7. If you fear your computer or device is being monitored, call the hotline 24/7 at: 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***