• Post Pandemic Decompression

    Watch out for post pandemic couples’ conflict! Couples automatically become a great team in a crisis when they temporarily stuff their stress.

    In order to get through an ordeal, a lot of couples compartmentalize their feelings. They suppress their annoyance, fear, burnout or anger with one another. But decompressing afterwards can challenging.

    When the crisis ends and the pressure is off, they explode. “We got along so well during homeschooling, unemployment, being quarantined together-now that it’s over all we do is fight!” is an example of this.

    Smart couples know not to confuse celebrating with decompressing. Celebration is positive and embraces the future. Decompressing is about safely discharging all that pent up negativity towards each other. Wise partners know not to mix the old negativity with the joy of moving forward.

    Communication tip:

    1. Each partner makes a list of what feelings got repressed in 2020. Your list can include the sheer boredom of staying at home, frustration at a poor sex life because the kids are always around, poor self-esteem at the extra ten pounds you’ve gained, how your partner’s minor annoying habits now seem divorce-worthy, etc.

    2. Lovingly share your lists.

    3. Thank each other for the sacrifices made during the pandemic

    4. Ask each other how you can support one another’s decompressing from the items on the lists.

    5. Plan together about how you’ll want to blow off steam.

    6. Ask each other how you’ll both know when you’ll feel “decompressed.”

    7. Then make plans to celebrate together. You both made it through a tough year and that deserves recognition.