For couples facing challenges in their relationship after self-isolating together after an intense amount of time together during the pandemic
The whole world is going through pandemic shift, with people being asked to either avoid all non-essential travel and stay at home or are under complete lockdown.
It is possible that you are one of the couples who are either living by yourself, with kids or/and with parents and now happen to find yourself in a situation where you are spending so much time together behind the closed doors, that your relating with one another has started to get edgy.
Whilst you might be one who during normal times, had actually wished and dreamt of having more time to be able to spend with your partner, or with family and now that your that wish had come true, you are faced with daunting tasks of not only managing yourself, keeping yourself sane but also ensuring that the relationship survives this difficult time.
Isn’t it ironical that now us having all the time in the world to go deeper into our relationship, but instead, we are finding ourselves to be in a place of collapse, on the verge of our relationship getting affected to the extent of breaking up and divorce?
If you and your partner happen to be in this situation, then not to worry as experiencing something like this in these circumstances is perfectly normal. The tips mentioned below will help you not only to provide nourishment to yourself but also take the depth of your relationship to the next level.
In order to provide the maximum tips in such a short space, it is important to understand the relationship in three categories.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise that we don’t really spend time with ourselves to get to know who we are as person, what is it that we desire in life and relationship, what are few things that trigger us at different times etc.
If I were to ask you, what are few things that makes you angry, what would you say? If I were to ask you, in the moments when you feel agitated or upset, how would you want your partner to relate with you? We are hardly provided education that allows us to understand deeper part of us.
When we don’t really have this kind of knowledge about own self, how can we expect our partner or our parents, who are also in a similar situation like us, to not only understand us, know about our feelings but also expect them to relate with us in amicable and harmonious way all the time?
This is what I called a relationship built on fantasy and when I work with couples, I help them translate this fantasy, or so called desired-relationship, into a living relationship.
The first step of that begins with understanding oneself.
We see human as the physical body but would you agree that we are more than just the physical appearance in front of us. Unless and until we are willing to look beyond this physical appearance, we would always be caught up with issues and conflicts because we are working through the deeper part of us but at this physical level.
In my book, Amplify Your Orgasm, I lay down in detail five bodies which makes our human body that we see in front of us, which then gives us deeper understanding about who we are as a person.
Listed below are high level summary of each of these bodies.
Understanding ourselves in this way is the hardest part and might sound strange but the good news is that once we get a hang of this, then not only relating with ourselves but also with our partner becomes easy and natural. Notice and see whether you relate with any or all of these:
It is the body that is connected with our feelings, emotions, expressions (through words, body language, facial expressions etc) and experiences of sensations. Emotion is energy in motion and also physical processes, which through the help of transmitters and receptors, work along a neural pathway to generate a specific emotion.
Feelings are the mental associations we make based on our past experiences. Sensation is the felt sense experience of those feelings and emotions in our body like happiness makes us feel lighter, makes us our eyes sparked and face smile while anger would make our body charged with energy, eyes contracted, face sharper etc.
The more we are aware of these, the more we will be able to know what kind of emotion are we feeling, where we are feeling, when are we feeling rather and adjust ourselves accordingly rather than reacting when these have happened.
Explore with your partner different kinds of emotions and feelings and see how each of you would want to relate with one another when different emotions and feelings come up.
This relates to the way how our brain is structured, our thoughts, our ideas, the various beliefs, social scripts and pattern stored in our mind, various limiting and empowering beliefs that we hold and various habits we develop as a result of all of these.
This also includes the level of presence, awareness, consciousness and attention with which we show up in the world, show up in relationship and show up with ourselves as ourselves. The more awareness we have of our beliefs, our habits, our thought pattern, the more we will be able to work through this body and harmonise ourselves with our partner.
This relates to various energies existing within the human body and various energetic layers that exist outside the human body which make up the human field.
You might not be familiar with this kind of body which is okay because we are not really taught to seeing our body in this way but invitation would be to keep your mind open.
Do you know there are seven main energy centres within the body that govern how we feel energetically and there are seven bodies that constitutes part of human field?
Love, intimacy and compassion is felt at the centre of the heart, intuition is felt near third eye, sexual turn-on and creativity comes from area near genitals etc. If these energy centres are clogged or not activated, then we will be lacking in the areas which corresponds to those energy centres.
Sometimes, you might feel like coming closer to your partner, sometimes you don’t, irrespective of how they might have been behaving towards you. Why would that be the case?
This is the body that all of us are most familiar with which we know has eleven different body systems like muscular system, cardiovascular system, endocrine system, nervous system etc. The more we work in taking care of these systems the more our physical body will function well without us feeling exhausted or having nervous breakdown etc.
This is the body which I associate with the one which is working towards our overall life purpose, which is in connection to the divine, in connection to God or Universe, whatever you might want to call it.
There are many paths and languages to make sense of a spiritual journey. Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Islam, Shintoism, are but a few of the ways to understand and connect to something larger than ourselves.
For me the best way to work through this body is by using two concepts of desires and fear. Desires are what drives us, fear is what stops us. Desire for cuddle, desire to be intimate, fear of not speaking up and saying the thing you want to say to your partner etc.
Once we have an understanding of ourselves in this way, then it becomes easier for us to show up in the way we want, to the extent and level of intensity we want. Rest of the bits in terms of relating are really easy, even though, these may sound and feel very difficult.
The next step in relating would be in breaking them down in the tips that serves as the tools for relating at basic level and the tips that serve as tools for relating at deeper level.
The deeper we desire to go in relationship, the more depth of tools we will need to be able to relate, because, lot of hard-core issues, beliefs, patterns etc stored in the bodies will start to emerge. Here are some of the easy tips for basic relating:
Identify activities that helps both of you to connect together – whether it be cooking each other favourite dish, watching particular TV series, going for walk (if you are able to), playing a game etc
Whilst we want to spend time together, it is also important to understand that we are a person which is different and distinct from our partner. Our bodies, as mentioned above, has various needs and we need to ensure that all of those needs are fulfilled as much as possible.
For ex: our mental body, would desire mental rest or mental stimulation either through reading something or playing a game. In such case it is important to ask for your own space to be able to get that rest or stimulation.
Our energetic and physical bodies would have a different need which could be doing yoga, exercise to move the energies in the body whilst also moving the muscles and blood circulation to have us feel good at physical level.
Create time and space for each other on daily basis where you express your desires, fears and needs for your own self and towards each other. Desire could be – I desire to eat pizza today, I desire us to spend time in the shower together etc. I fear that we will run out of money soon, I fear coronavirus etc. I need a hug, I need space, I need us to be able to talk through stuff etc.
Intimacy and vulnerability are important part of relating. When we become intimate with one another, we feel seen. Create space to be able to create intimacy with each other.
Depending on your needs, this could be 30 mins a day, or 5 mins at various times throughout the day etc. During those intimate moments, ensure that there is no distraction of phones, TV, kids, parents or others.
Express your vulnerabilities to each other. Don’t hold yourself back because if we are not going to be vulnerable with our partner, with whom else can we be really be vulnerable to that extent?
We often forget how much we value each other and how much each person in the relationship compromise and does things for the other person. We get into the habit of taking each other for granted and get used to them.
Whilst we may be getting used to them, it is important to note that, the other person is still making those or similar efforts.
Developing a practice of expressing gratitude on daily basis helps us to not go into our habit of taking the other person for granted. We also need to make sure that we express the withholds i.e. we say the thing we have been wanting to say without holding back.
Holding our expression onto our chest for various reasons is not going to serve any purpose but to makes us feel suffocated and resentful overtime towards our partner or others.
Deeper relating means the tools which you have been using so far will no longer be sufficient to help you navigate the unchartered waters and as such you will need better tools to navigate as deeper things will start to emerge.
It is like this, if you want to dive deeper into the ocean, one can no longer use snorkelling instrument as a safety tool and still have an enjoyable experience.
In order to scuba dive, in order to go into deeper parts of ocean, one would need a proper gear that can not only keep one afloat, provide oxygen but can also help one deal with water pressure, cooler water temperature, keeps one safe from other species whilst also keeping one connected with rest of the crew.
Deeper relating with require higher presence, more attention, more awareness and more consciousness so make sure you are engaging in activities that help you provide these whether it could be sleeping, yoga, meditation or even playing a video game etc before you start relating at deeper level.
Here are tips for deeper relating:
Couples often get into the habit of compromising with each other to such an extent that they often forget about providing self-care.
Self-care is about rebalancing all of the bodies so that we not only feel in alignment with ourselves but also can show up in relationship every time as the best version of our self.
Long warm bath, meditation, extended period of space for oneself are some of the examples of providing self-care.
People in relationship often not only fail to set clear boundaries for themselves but also fail to respect each other boundaries. Boundaries are important for us to feel safe.
Just like you have lock on the door that allows you to feel safe about your house, just like leaving work at agreed contractual time makes you feel good about maintaining the work life balance, in the same way, boundaries help us to feel safe, feel good about ourselves and allow us to remain open to relating with other person who respect such boundaries.
Ask for each other boundaries and ensure that these boundaries are respected. Always, speak to each other about what works, what doesn’t and make sure that each person hears the other person without projection.
If need be, practice reflective listening i.e. repeating back on what is being said by the others person.
Deeper part of relating will bring out old beliefs, patterns, and unexpressed and unwanted emotions stored within the body. Beliefs and patterns get formed as a result of circumstances in the past which might no longer be there anymore.
Whilst our circumstances get changed, but beliefs and patterns just don’t walk away. They continue to remain and emerge from time to time whenever they are being triggered.
It is important to reflect whether such beliefs still serve us, and if not, we should work towards dismantling them and creating more supportive beliefs instead. As couple, work together in identifying different beliefs and patterns stored and then find ways on how both can be supportive of each other.
For ex: when a man spends ten minutes together in physical space with a woman, he will demand and ask for sex. If I do anything for the other person, he/she will expect something back in return.
If we spend more time together, it will result in conflict etc. There could be trauma stored in the body which neither of the couple would be aware of and wouldn’t know how to work it through. In such case, learn to more about trauma or speak to specialist.
Intimacy happens at all levels – and is not just physical. Ensure different levels of intimate needs (emotional, physical, mental, energetic, spiritual) are fulfilled for each partner as much as possible but without in a way that might feel as an obligation to the other person.
Sexual connection is one of the best ways to keep relationship together. Always share what works, what doesn’t and ask for what you want. Sexuality is a much bigger topic for which it needs a separate discussion.
I share about this topic in my book, Amplify Your Orgasm. Read this book together to take your sexual connection to deeper level.
If inspite of everything nothing works, then don’t hesitate to seek a specialist. They are specialist for a reason and are here to serve couples and help them go through difficulty they might be encountering.
Being in relationship is really amazing and beautiful.
Whilst you may be facing difficulties at the moment, but do note that both the partner in the relationship, at a deeper level desire to be heard, seen and loved and have love for the other person to such an extent that they are really willing to make it work, else you both wouldn’t be together till now.
Relationship takes effort from both sides, it takes regular reflection, expression, energy and honest communication. The above tools will help to keep the relationship as smooth as possible.
Whilst there might be frustration and hurt that might be making you want to quit, but do note that there is no guarantee that you will not encounter similar issues and situation next time you are in relationship with someone.
Whilst it is always easy to quit when going gets tougher, but the bravery lies not in quitting, but in making it work, in being able to see and pull it through, in being able to come to other side together and say to each other, ‘Wow, we did it. Gosh, what a ride it was but we pulled it through’ and then celebrate. Best wishes.
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