Surviving quarantine as a couple requires unique flexibility. Suddenly, you’re learning about a side of your partner that you may never have seen before.
His temper gets short when he’s stuck at home for too long.
She spends way too much time in the kitchen.
Both of you are ignoring cleaning tasks, which are getting way out of control.
If you’re struggling with surviving quarantine as a couple, try these strategies to help strengthen your relationship–and to keep your finances on track in the midst of this disaster.
1. Set aside time specifically to spend with one another.
Since you’re quarantined in together, it’s easy to think that you’re spending enough time together. The fact that you’re spending all of your days in the same place, however, does not mean that you’re actively spending time with each other, especially if one or both of you is juggling work or dealing with trying to teach your kids from home at the same time. Instead, set aside specific time to spend time with one another. Create an at-home date plan. It doesn’t have to be expensive! You can:
- Order takeout or delivery from one of your favorite restaurants that’s still providing service
- Have a picnic in the backyard or in your living room floor
- Watch a movie together–while committed to putting your phones up!
- Play a game together
- Sit back and just chat
2. Talk about your financial situation.
This crisis has caused financial problems for many people. Even with a stimulus check coming your way, you may have faced job loss, furlough, or increased expenses related to quarantine or trying to get the supplies you need in spite of shortages. Sit down with your partner and have a conversation about your financial situation. Be honest with one another. Trying to hide the reality–just how short your savings account is, for example, or when those checks from your employer will stop coming–could result in financial snarls that it’s hard to get back out of. Discuss your financial situation. Now, more than ever, you should be on the same page about:
- Online shopping
- Eating out (especially if you’re already well-stocked on groceries)
- Charitable giving
- Impulse spending
Set a budget that you can stick to during this time, especially if you’ve experienced financial problems or shortages related to the quarantine. Then, commit to sticking with it–including any concessions you made during your discussion.
3. Create a plan for the future.
The current situation has caused a crisis for many families. Some have faced job loss. Essential workers may be struggling with the need to go in to work every day in spite of the crisis. Work with your partner to create a comprehensive plan for the future–one that will help you address some of the challenges that you’re dealing with now. You may want to:
Change jobs. Some people have discovered, in the midst of this crisis, that their employer is not providing the support they need to move through this time: that the company is not one they really want to work for, or that they don’t enjoy the industry as much as they originally thought.
Improve your education. With extra time on your hands during quarantine, this is a great time to improve your knowledge. Take a class or get a new certification, especially if you’re dealing with job loss. This is a great way to keep moving forward even when you cannot get out due to quarantine.
Move. You have, in recent days, learned a great deal about your state and local government and its response to crisis. You have likely also learned a great deal about the people around you. You and your partner may have decided, through that process, that this just isn’t the place for you–and that you would like to move somewhere else as a result.
Create a plan together to reach those new goals. Even if you can’t make much progress toward it right now, you can set yourselves up for a brighter future–and that can give you both something to look forward to.
4. Take time for yourself.
Even though you’re home with your partner more than usual–or potentially all the time–you should still set aside specific time for yourself. Engage in the hobbies you enjoy best. Take a long walk around the block by yourself. Do something that you enjoy, even if your partner doesn’t. You still need time to recharge by yourself, even in the midst of quarantine–and taking that time can help tighten your bond.
Quarantine, combined with the stress of the coronavirus crisis, has placed a great deal of stress on many relationships. By utilizing some of these strategies, however, you and your partner can work together to overcome this trial and keep your relationship strong even in the midst of crisis.
At Diamond NestEgg, we specialize in helping couples work together through difficult financial situations. We work through budgets, income & expenses – as well as spending habits & emotional triggers – to help couples work towards their short and long term financial goals. If you feel unbiased, third party support could help you and your partner improve your financial situation, you can set up an introductory discussion here. There is no cost – just a chat!
During the COVID-19 crisis, it’s a better time than ever to ensure you and your partner are on the right page.
If you have any additional financial questions, you can submit them here.
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