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Esther Perel's Advice for Couples Under Lockdown

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https://www.thecut.com/2020/04/esther-perels-advice-for-couples-under-lockdown.html

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Esther Perel's Advice for Couples Under Lockdown
Photo: Amy E. Price/Getty Images While self-isolation is a challenge in and of itself, it poses unique problems for couples who are isolating together. People who are used to seeing their partner at the end of the day now find themselves in the position of not only living full-time with their significant other, but also working alongside them.

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Esther Perel

“Disasters generally operate as an accelerator in a relationship.”

Esther Perel

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Couples under lockdown

Lockdown poses unique problems for couples who are isolating together.
People who are used to seeing their partner at the end of the day now are now living with the new reality of not only being...

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Different coping styles

There is a polarization going on around the way that people deal with fear, with anger, with the preparations in the face of disaster. You can find:

  • People that become clear organizers...

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Experiencing grief

Grief is not just about death in the physical sense.
Living during a pandemic provides you with constant reminders that death can randomly appear in your life and it can throw your world ...

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Go Sooner Than Later

Most couples don't consider counseling until a real crisis or a catastrophe appears.

It is better to go to couples counseling during a specific life event, strengthening some piece of a rela...

Finding The Right Therapist

Finding a suitable therapist, right for both the partners can take time. Take into consideration:

  • Both partners are comfortable with the choice.
  • Any preferences (gender or cultural background) are taken into account.
  • It should be convenient to schedule an appointment with him, not interfering with other commitments too much.
  • At least two kinds of counselors are spoken to, and then a decision taken.
  • Check online for recommendations or ask for a referral within your friend circle.

Types of Therapies

A good therapist can utilize multiple approaches and will tailor the provided therapy based on the couple's needs. The common therapies are:

  • Gottman Method: Focused on positive communication
  • Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT): helps couples with their emotional needs.
  • Imago Relationship Therapy: Connecting new relationships with old ones.
  • Other approaches like Hypnosis, sex therapy, etc.

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Creating routines

Creating routines

Too much is expected of modern relationships: your partner is supposed to fulfil roles that historically used to be spread out within communal structures. Your partner is supposed to be your be...

How to respond to the "invisible work"

During the pandemic, being at home with a partner reveals the "invisible work" they're doing, which may be taken for granted. This expanded view of ourselves and our partners can go in two directions.

  • In one direction, you are curious and say, "I never knew. I really appreciate it. I realize how I let you do everything." It becomes a source of connection.
  • It the other direction, it becomes a source of blame where you want to complain and tell your partner just how much you are doing. This way, you're not going to get help.

How people should fight

Couples go through harmony, disharmony, and repair. So they will inevitably get into arguments. However, what matters is how you fight. Don't highlight everything negative while taking the positive for granted.

  • Start by saying to yourself, "What are the one or two things that they have done that I can appreciate?" If you start with that, you will fight differently.

  • Stay focussed on the one thing that you're upset about at this moment. Don't end up talking about other things.

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Go to bed at the same time

Happy couples resist the temptation to go to bed at different times. 

They go to bed at the same time, even if one partner wakes up later to do things while their partner sleeps.

Cultivate common interests

Don’t minimize the importance of activities you can do together that you both enjoy. If common interests are not present, happy couples develop them. 

At the same time, be sure to cultivate interests of your own; this will make you more interesting to your mate and prevents you from appearing too dependent.

Trust and forgiveness

If and when they have a disagreement or argument, and if they can’t resolve it, happy couples default to trusting and forgiving rather than distrusting and begrudging.

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