Last week there was one night when I was really struggling after a very long day at work. I laid down on the couch feeling absolutely drained and simply wanted to turn off my brain. My partner came over and asked me how my day at work had gone. I grumpily said that I didn’t want to talk about it.
Being the caring person that he is, my partner walked over and tried to cuddle with me although he might as well have been trying to get close to a porcupine. Tensing up, I pulled away from him as a surge of annoyance went through my entire body.
I absolutely love my partner but we have been spent almost every day together for the last year and I am… just exhausted.
It turns out that I am far from alone in my exhaustion and frustration. Couples are breaking up and divorce rates are increasing around the world due to being in quarantine.
Based on my experience and other couples that I have talked with recently, here are the top five reasons why you may be experiencing struggles in your relationship due to the pandemic.
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#1. You aren’t feeling as attracted to your partner
Recently I was talking with a friend who told me that she is struggling to feel attracted to her partner and that being intimate is basically a chore these days.
“It’s just exhausting to get physical. Everything feels so robotic and I know exactly what is going to happen, and sometimes I just want to be… in my body alone. I don’t want to have to be intimate with him, but that was never the case before the pandemic… what’s happening?”
The reality is that stress and anxiety will almost always affect our libidos. Remember that these are unprecedented times and that if you aren’t feeling as attracted to your partner, it’s okay. Also, this may be affected by the second reason which is…
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#2. You are spending every moment with your partner
For the last year, many of us have been spending 24/7 in the same quarters as our significant other.
At the beginning of quarantine, this was exciting, especially for new couples. Then as the months dragged on, it wasn’t as exciting anymore.
My friend Anna started dating her new boyfriend Brett around a month before everything went into lockdown last year. They ended up moving in together after only a month of dating and for the first few months, everything was fantastic to the point where they even brought up marriage. Then, when I talked to her last week she said that the relationship is on the rocks and that they may not be able to make things work.
Even if you are living together and can’t do much you need to try to find ways to find space and time away from your partner. Your alone time is essential even if you have to be unique about how you find it.
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#3. Your stress is seeping into your relationship
Recently several friends and I got together to do a socially distanced happy hour outside. Within a few minutes, we were talking about how exhausted and overwhelmed we are and how we have been inadvertently taking it out of our partners.
It turns out that being in a constant state of unknowns has an extreme effect on our mental health and is most likely why we are feeling it in our relationships.
Taking a hard day at work out on my partner is the last thing that I want to do, but the small things that I used to handle easily seem so much bigger these days.
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#4. You feel like there is no excitement or romance
Prior to the pandemic my partner and I were avid travelers and it was something that we absolutely loved doing together.
Now it’s been over a year since we were able to travel and the impact of being trapped at home for so long is something that we are both feeling.
I miss the excitement of going to new places with my partner and seeing something with him for the first time. I miss spontaneous date nights and the romance that comes when you aren’t both drained and just trying to survive the week to live through the same weekend activities over and over again.
What helps these days is reminding myself that our situation is temporary and something that will pass even if it is hard in the interim.
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#5. You are having real conversations that result in conflict
When you are with someone all of the time there is a point when the surface-level conversations are going to lead way to the deep topics that you and your partner may have been avoiding.
Recently my boyfriend and I had a very deep conversation around the fact that I have always struggled with his desire to run his own company because I worry about the effect it will have on our relationship and family in the future.
Although it wasn’t an easy conversation to have, it was something we have honestly needed to address for months, and finally, it came to the surface and we were able to come to a resolution.
Being together all of the time means that you are going to have conversations sooner than you may have in a different scenario and at times it may result in tension.
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As a reminder, this isn’t forever
At times it can feel like our current situation is one that is never going to end. When I am feeling the most exhausted I continually remind myself that what I am feeling is temporary.
In the meantime, be kind to your partner and to yourself.
Remember that if your relationship has been affected by the pandemic, you are far from alone. All we can do in the meantime is to try our best to be kind to our partners and most importantly, ourselves.
This post was previously published on Hello, Love.
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