COVID-19 isn’t the only pandemic ravaging China. The outcome of too much togetherness is making the country’s divorce rate go viral too. Both Bloomberg and The Hill report that too much time together, at least when it’s poorly managed, is hazardous to your marriage. Let’s pay attention to what’s happening to marriages in China — who has been under lock-down — while we’re still ahead of the game. Anticipation is smarter than reaction after-the-fact. These 7 things are dismantling Chinese marriages in the aftermath of their two-month coronavirus lockdown. Do your best to learn from what’s happening in China. Let’s find ways to prevent America’s divorce rates from spiking.
1. Constant Arguing
Problem: Too much arguing is a red flag for not enough listening. As I’ve said so many times before, arguing is simply two people speaking about two different things at once, and no one’s listening. Here’s how to avoid an argument.
Answer: Listen. Be respectful. Stick with one idea at a time. Accept another person’s idea without responding with your own opinions, be careful with alcohol and never raise your voice to anyone. Another person’s point of view does not have to be the same as yours.
2. Financial Clashes
Problem: Unemployment is climbing and about to sky-rocket. Many Americans live just within their means so they have very little cushion. Elevated stress will turn into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder if you don’t establish and exercise alternate ways to manage your thoughts and emotions.
Answer: Create a modest budget now and adhere to it until the crisis is over. Don’t make financial decisions outside your new budget without consulting with each other first. Share control of all family arrangements.
3. Too Much Time On Devices
Problem: You or your spouse are hiding out too much online, or are perhaps struggling with Information Addiction. Updating yourself with apocalyptic news will not keep you safe.
Solution: Stay present, do your share, and make reasonable pockets of time to Cellbinge. We all need alone time more than ever. Just make sure it’s at the right times and at reasonable intervals. Learn what you need to know and pay attention to what’s really important: your family.
4. Lopsided Housework and Child Care Tasking
Problem: If you’re doing your own work online and begin thinking you may be doing more than your share with the kids’ home-schooling and running the entire household, Say So. Resentment is fertile ground for chronic arguments.
Solution: Sit down as a family and sort out who is supposed to do what. After you’ve carried your weight, do more. There is always more to be done; do extra. A positive and reassuring text goes a long way.
5. Differing Parenting Styles
Problem: If you’re the softie with the kids and you find yourself married to the inflexible disciplinarian, you may be making your spouse or partner feel undermined. Further, kids are way smarter than you are and will go to the parent most likely to say Yes.
Solution: Get on the same page with your spouse. Disciplinarians need to lighten up a little. Softies need to support their spouse in co-parenting and give the children structure; it will make everyone feel calmer and your spouse won’t feel like the Meanie.
6. No Alone Time
Problem: No matter where you turn, that same somebody is always where you want to be. Find places to regain your calm that are quiet and solitary. Everyone needs a little space from time to time. Especially now. To some, having no alone time is like running out of oxygen.
Solution: Create places and times to go off by yourself to regroup. A lot of people are sitting in their cars. I’ve had many couples and individuals conduct online therapy appointments from inside their cars for privacy. Just make sure you explain to those you love that you need some space, which is not the same thing as a desperate need to get away from them.
7. Domestic Violence
Problem: Those prone to violent bursts of temper are more likely to strike their spouse. Managing your anger in an uncivilized way is inexcusable. Damaging anyone or anything won’t give you more control and it certainly does nothing to ease your long-term anger and frustration.
Solution: Take regular alone breaks. Take off on a run to burn off heightened energy. Do your best to calmly and respectfully communicate why you need to be alone. After you’ve released your steam, the next step is using words to represent yourself. Keep your unkind hands to yourself. Temporary moments of rage are temporary. Creating situations that require outside officials to step in will only exacerbate your own emotions. Anger is always about control, control is overrated and no one actually has control anyway.
As I’ve written before and will write again, this is a marathon challenge and not just a sprint. Pace yourself, hydrate yourself emotionally and visualize your finish line. You’ll get there. Just make sure you protect your marriage, your family and everything you hold dear. Let’s learn from these reports out of China and keep America’s divorce rates low.
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