This is NOT a Second Honeymoon: Settle Things and Leave Them Settled (or carefully reopen acknowledging that are doing this)

This article is extracted from “This is NOT a Second Honeymoon: Helping Couples Survive Spending A Lot of Time Together”, a book that was written by Christopher L. Smith to help couples during the COVID-19 pandemic. In his clinical work, he realized that couples being quarantined together have particular challenges. The book goes into a lot of these challenges along with strategies to survive these types of times and even to have their relationship thrive. We will be sharing a series of these extracts over several weeks to help you. If you would like to look at all of them together and get the book right away, it can be found on Amazon (Book).

There is a lot of uncertainty in the world around you. Adding to that uncertainty by constantly going back on things you have worked out is not helpful. Part of what you need to do during these types of times is to create stability and structure in your life, which right now is a shared life. Just as relitigating past arguments stirs things up rather than allowing things to settle, going back over things that you have settled can stir up things, albeit in a smaller way. Similarly, leaving everything up in the air and not settling things will not help both of you have elements of structure and certainty that you need at these times. This applies to small things (such as what are we having for breakfast tomorrow or who is cleaning the cat’s litter box) and large things (such as where should we set up a home office or should we let a parent move in with us for the quarantine).

At the same time, there are uncertainties in the world, and part of the nature of what we are dealing with is that the world and how we operate in it is changing around us. You also are finding yourself in new situations so it can turn out that what you thought would work well won’t, and you would like to try something different. When there are good reasons, it is okay to want to go back to something that the two of you thought you had settled.

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However, when you do this, it’s not fair to make your partner feel like they are on a merry-go-round hearing the same or similar conversation and maybe even doubting themselves. Use care in reopening the topic and acknowledge that there have been changes, and you want to look at it again.

It’s not fair to make your partner feel like they are on a merry-go-round hearing the same or similar conversation, maybe even doubting themselves.

This is NOT a Second Honeymoon-- Christopher L. Smith

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