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Esther Perel's Advice for Couples Under Lockdown

Esther Perel

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

Esther Perel

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Esther Perel's Advice for Couples Under Lockdown

Esther Perel's Advice for Couples Under Lockdown

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

thecut.com

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Key Ideas

Esther Perel

Esther Perel

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

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 full-time with their significant other but also working alongside them. This situation, together with the uncertainty of the whole pandemic crisis can create tension.

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 because order for them means making sense of the chaos of the external world and the one that is rising inside of them.
  • People wanting to talk all the time with other people and have a sense of what’s going on with everyone.
  • People thinking that their partner is not cautious enough.

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 upside down like that. During these uncertain these, we are all experiencing a form of anticipatory grief.

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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

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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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Love Progression

As the initial stage of love fades away, a deeper, richer sense of each other should take its place, and couples can find more ways to make things interesting and fun.

Look With New Eyes

Staying curious about each other and finding things, memories, places, and activities that are yet to be shared or experienced together is a great way to rekindle the relationship.
Revisiting your past and finding ways to connect better by looking at the other with 'new' eyes makes us see many things that were overlooked earlier.

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