Ms. Hain, are you busy right now?
It works, the home office phase has just really started. My advice takes place under the safety precautions offered in my practice – or by video conversation, but that was already the case before Corona. We already expect that there will be a lot to do in the near future – even after the worst is over. It is still completely unclear how long this will take and which conflicts await us.
What do you advise couples who get on their nerves in the household, because normally?
First I look for the triggers. If the couple spends a lot of time together at home, I recommend giving each other space, finding time for themselves, not doing everything together. To explore how much should be in common and how much should be different. There is nothing more boring than being married to yourself. It is also important to first ask the other person how much closeness and distance he or she wants. Not everyone can assess their partner as well as he or she believes.
Now Corona has tightened the relationship situation at home: everyone is sitting at home, children are raging, and they have to work on the side. You get to know your partner from a completely new perspective. What sensitive issues have you achieved so far?
So far, I have the impression that people are very positive about the new situation. It has to do with the chaos around us. Many make up for this chaos through reason and rational behavior. But precisely because the social contacts are missing, because you are much more closely tied to your partner, I expect an additional burden. The topic of resilience also plays a role here. How well do you adapt?
Honestly, are people even made to endure such a situation, or can it just go wrong?
We are not made for that. We are social beings – and used to move freely. But the period from which we start is not one of several years. We are talking about a few weeks. Such stresses can also survive without damage. The most important needs are assured. Many are familiar with such new, more intensive phases of living together from certain life situations, for example when both partners retire – or, more suddenly, at Christmas.
Couples who retired some time ago would have to put up with it better now.
Yes. In times of retirement there are always major conflicts. The change then comes less suddenly.
Which type of person now has to be particularly careful not to slip into a relationship crisis?
The decisive factor is how much the situation changes for people – and how well it succeeds in creating structures. If you are at home a lot anyway, it will be a little easier. At the same time, those who are used to everyday crises seem to benefit. When there are children, it is often more demanding, but the tasks are clearer, they give structure. The less routine, the greater the personal responsibility. Only agreement helps: about the distribution of tasks, working hours, proximity. And the endeavor not to let the existence of couples go under these tasks.
Is it worse for couples who have known each other for a long time because love is missing as a putty?
On the contrary. It will be easier for those where the change is limited. Imagine how much faster the love relationship is now likely to become a partnership for newly in love couples. Then the pink glasses fall – and teamwork is required.