How to make sure your relationship survives coronavirus

Remi Pearson tells how to keep the (romance) home fires burning in close quarters

Wondering looking for strategies to make sure your relationship survives coronavirus?

Before social isolation, here's how life looked with a partner: a glimpse through a foggy shower screen, quick kiss goodbye before work, a few catch up texts during the day, dinner and a chat and bedtime.

It's the bit in the middle that has changed for a lot of us. The hours and hours we're suddenly together, living and—if we're lucky—working on top of each other.

In one way it's fabulous (more time to see the person you want to have a conversation with for the rest of your life) but also hard: less time for the person whose head you live inside.

Having been married for 27 years, The Coaching Institute's Remi Pearson has the professional and personal insights to help.

Here are the "defining principles" she and her husband JP live by "every single day". Of course, they all translate to 'normal' daily life, not just social isolation!

So, key takeaways to make sure your relationship survives coronavirus:

It's important to know there will be ebbs and flows for every couple. "It's normal that some stuff you had that was important to you in the beginning might fade away and you’ll feel a sense of loss, but it might be replaced with something else," says Remi.

Every year for 17 years, she and JP have re-evaluated their vision and purpose together: "We make sure our values are clear—our values aren't the same because we're not the same person, but we reset our own then we figure out what our 'as a couple' values are."

The Pearsons work out guides about how they go about living their purpose every day, separately and together.

"We have separate purposes and a combined theme," says Remi.

"To be navigating life through those makes decision making easier because we're guided by who we want to become and what matters to us regardless of what's going on."

Remi and her husband also make sure they connect in "a deep, emotionally intimate way" every single day for at least 45 minutes."

Both people need to prioritise the relationship. "We connect every single morning and during the day for a really good amount of time and a private conversation," reveals Remi.

"It's not 'yep, good, how are you, did you get that?' Then we do it again at the end of the day."

The third thing Remi and JP do every day, not just so their relationship survives coronavirus, is share a gratitude for each other.

"It has to be for the other person, and we say, 'I am so grateful for you because ... ' and then we share a highlight of the day," she says.

"And yes, it is okay sometimes to say, 'There was no highlight and right now I'm not grateful for you one little effing bit.' We're human!"

Remember you can't be everything to each other all the time. Talk to your friends about things while your partner talks to theirs. Nobody has the answer to everything and no one person should be your sole comforter and confidante.

"Even if you're in the same room as each other, take a break mentally. Go ring someone and get the answer somewhere else, or just don't express it. Not everything has to be shared all the time," says Remi.

"In the interests of honesty, sometimes I get, 'Shut up SP, and don't share that.'

Times like this are a magnifier of what's really going on in our hearts and minds. Know it's so important now to be #strongertogether (even when someone is driving you nuts.)

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