The irony of today's blog post title is that, whether we like it or not, we are all being forced to stay together right now perhaps more than we would like. The reason for that is the ongoing coronavirus pandemic with the recommendations and, in some places, orders that we remain at home other than to handle necessary business. We are working from home, eating at home, you were shipping from home, and performing just about any other daily tasks from our homes. These are truly strange times in events that none of us could have likely ever foreseen happening. However, they are the reality we are living through and we need to be able to make the best of these times so that we come out on the other side in strong positions financially, relationally and physically.
While we are all living together closer than ever before it may not be the case that you and your spouse are doing that well from a relational perspective. It is obvious for any person that has ever been in a committed relationship that physical closeness does not always equate to relational closeness. Quite the contrary, you can be physically close to another person but emotionally distant from him or her. The real trouble is that It is relatively easy to fall into bad habits with your spouse that cause problems in the relationship. Physical closeness and the time to communicate with him or her cannot always make up for these shortcomings, either.
The challenge that married people have to face right now is that they need to be able to stay together in act as a team despite the circumstances presented by the coronavirus. The extra time on our hands can be used to help strengthen the marriage relationship but this will not happen unless you act intentionally. If your goal is to use this time of quarantine to work with your spouse in order to better your relationship, then you should take concrete steps each day to move towards that goal. Hoping and wishing for a better relationship with your spouse will not create the outcome that you desire.
In Today's blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, I would like to share with you some material and advice on how married persons can stay together despite the challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic. This is advice that I believe will be effective for married people no matter if this is your first or fifth marriage. I understand that your relationship has unique factors and circumstances that set it apart from any other marriage in the world. However, I also believe that there are certain circumstances that we all encounter as married people that you could stand to benefit to learn from over the course of today's blog post.
Where does the advice in this blog post come from?
Before you ask yourself what experience I have as a family therapist or counselor I can tell you that the answer to that question is none. I am not a licensed family therapist or counselor and have never attended family counseling myself or in my marriage. The advice I would like to provide you with today is more or less practical advice that I have gained in my years as a practicing family law attorney and contributor to this blog. I do not pretend to have all of the answers, or even most of the answers, but I do think that my perspective is a valid one. If you are searching for advice on how your marriage can stand the test of his pandemic, then I think there is a kernel or two of truth contained within this blog post that can help you.
Let's start with the end in mind. This is a piece of advice that we all hear in our lives when it comes to any kind of goal-oriented thinking. To improve your life and to make progress each day it is helpful to envision an end point or goal and to continually aim your efforts towards reaching that goal. To get there, you need to take small, baby steps towards reaching that goal. In doing so, he will benefit your life on a daily basis and over a long stretch of time can actually reach these lofty goals that you have envisioned.
A very straightforward and simple goal to visualize, when it comes to strengthening your marriage during a pandemic, is to simply avoid getting a divorce. Yes, I realize this may be a pretty extreme statement to make and I am not saying that if your marriage is going through a rough spot due to the pandemic and a divorce will necessarily be on your horizon. However, in my time as a family law attorney I have very rarely observed happy married people go through a divorce. Therefore, if at least one member of your marriage is not happy then your chances of going through a divorce increase exponentially.
Avoiding a divorce means but you need to understand what a divorce is, not only from a legal perspective, but from an emotional one. The legal aspects of a divorce are important to note and consider prior to filing for this type of case. However, it is the emotional aspects of divorce that you are likely more equipped to handle because they do not take any specific legal or a process driven knowledge to consider. While very few of us have law degrees and a detailed knowledge of family law, we all have emotions and are all able to consider the emotional consequences of a failed marriage.
Going through a divorce is emotionally challenging to say the least
To that end, you should know that a divorce is not a simple open and shut procedure that many people try to make it out to be. I'm sure that there are divorces that are easy and painless. However, in the divorce cases that I've handled for all sorts of people in our community I can tell you that the vast majority of divorces are at least somewhat challenging from an emotional perspective. If you think that talking to your spouse right now during the pandemic about difficult topics is hard, just keep in mind that the divorce will prove to be much more difficult for you from an emotional perspective. even people who are well put together emotionally struggle with divorce.
So, the first step I would take towards avoiding a divorce in maintaining your marriage during this pandemic would be too display a willingness to communicate openly and honestly with your spouse. This means that avoiding difficult conversations and subject matter that you have tried to avoid in the past should not be something that deterred you from having these kind of conversations. You may be battling through emotional, financial, relational or family related troubles in your marriage. It doesn't matter what the particular difficulty is, what does matter is that you and your spouse are willing to communicate through them. I can tell you almost without exception that I have never seen two married people get past problems in their marriage without first agreeing that there is a problem and being willing to communicate through those problems.
If necessary, you should pencil in time on your daily calendar to speak to your spouse about whatever problems you perceive to be in the marriage. What you may find is that your spouse doesn't even know that there is a problem and that by your telling him he is just now becoming aware of these issues. The other thing to keep in mind is that just because you have a lot of time on your hands right now at home does not mean that you always make time to talk to your spouse. Consider all the times when you sat down to look at your phone and the next thing you knew two hours had passed by. You need to be intentional about arranging time to speak with your spouse, especially about topics that are not always pleasant to discuss.
Focus on your common goals and figure out why you want your marriage to remain intact
this is a secondary step that you and your spouse can work with once you have opened up the lines of communication. Determining what your marital problems are and how you can solve them is just part of the equation towards saving a marriage from the brink of divorce. The other part of that equation is determining what your common goals are and determining why those goals are worth sacrificing in fighting for.
I think that determining your “why” as a married couple is of the utmost importance. Reason being is that people will not typically be sacrificed for a “what” but they will for a “why.” let me give you an example of that. If you and your spouse are discussing your marital difficulties and have determined that you need to be able to communicate better, resolve conflicts without resorting to name calling and parent better as a team that is much better then not using your time together effectively.
However, identifying what your problems are is not going to actually solve those problems. Even when he determined how those problems are going to be solved, we still need to identify why it is even worth it to both of you to overcome those problems and to persevere in your marriage despite those problems. That is what I mean by determining your “why.” maybe your reason for fighting for the marriage to succeed is that you want to be able to help raise grandchildren together with your spouse. You may have goals better financial in matter such as paying off debts, saving for retirement, building a dream house in the country or anything in between. If you can go set with your spouse, then you are more likely to stick to the plan despite any bumps in the road that may come up.
Closing thoughts on how married persons can stay together despite the challenges presented by the coronavirus
in many ways, if you and your spouse can succeed in your marriage despite the coronavirus then you have overcome what is hopefully going to be the most significant external challenge of your marriage. Call me an optimist, but a global pandemic is hopefully something that we will all never again have to encounter in our lives. Marriage is tough enough as it is but when you add onto those challenges a global pandemic and it can seem downright impossible at times. However, you have all the tools you need to succeed in your marriage during this pandemic. All you need to do is dig down and put them to work.
Keep in mind that even People who are in successful marriages do struggle from time to time with many of the factors that we have discussed today. Communicating about unpleasant topics in in unpleasant times is not easy for anyone. However, what separates people in successful marriages from those who struggle in marriage is the practice have doing your best to communicate through these problems despite internal and external challenges. I am not here to tell you that challenges will fade from your marriage as soon as you begin to work on them. What I am here to tell you is that those challenges will become less daunting in the skills you have to attack those challenges will become more refined the more you make an effort to work on them.
Questions about the material contained in today's blog post? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan
If you have any questions about the material that was discussed in today's blog More wow post, please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. Our licensed family law attorneys offer free of charge consultations six days a week here in our office, over the phone and via video. These consultations are a great opportunity for you to learn more about Texas family law and the services that our office can provide to you and your family as clients of ours.