As a result of the the raging global pandemic caused by the corona virus AKA covid19, the world has been forced to literally shut down, businesses, schools, recreational and worship places are forced to close and everyone is confined to their homes. For marriages and relationships, this is a period of sober reflection, as the flaws and strengths of your relationships come to bare. Many marriages will emerge stronger, energised by the quality time spent together, others will crumble as the stark reality of incompatibilities and irreconcilable differences become exposed.

The forced temporary confinement to the homes have afforded some couples the opportunity to take a break from the compulsory pressures of making a living and focus on enjoying each other’s company, for others, it is an ongoing nightmare, with nowhere else to go, they are forced to confront the realities and the consequences of years of neglect and maltreatment of their spouse. For those forced by unavoidable circumstances to be separate from their families at this time, the loneliness drives home the reality that at the end of the day, family is all that matters.

Judging by the stories coming out of some homes, it is obvious that with the absence of places of escape like, offices, bars, clubs, gyms, churches etc some couples for the first time in their marriages have been exposed to the true nature, temperament and character of their spouses. Naturally, nerves will be on edge, buttons will be pushed and the patience and tolerance level of the spouses will be pushed to the limits. Being forcefully confined to the house without respite and the frustration of not being able to move around to do the normal things you enjoy makes it almost inevitable that you will get on each other’s nerves.

This is a litmus test for marriages and relationships, how well you fare depends entirely on you. This is not an opportunity to constantly snoop around and investigate your spouse for flaws, it is a time to focus on bonding and rebuilding where there is lack of communication. Be ready to make sacrifices and overlook minor issues, don’t jump to unnecessary conclusions, things are not always what they seem. You may be irritated by certain habits you discover, apply wisdom and tolerance and always correct in love, bearing in mind that you are not perfect.

It is not easy for anyone at this time, with the number of deaths reported around the world and the raging spread of the virus, everyone is on edge and may snap at little things, be patient and understanding, constantly reassuring each other that you will be there no matter what. Limit the use of your phone when in the presence of your spouse, it is a distraction, it is disrespectful and may send the wrong signals. Endeavour to give yourselves some space, breathing down a spouse’s neck and policing their every move will increase the chances of getting into an unnecessary argument or fight. Everyone deserves some privacy, space and alone time to process their own thoughts, respect that and be considerate.

Finally, it is important that we observe the hygiene and social distancing guidelines released by our health professionals to help stop the spread of the virus. By the special grace of God, this too shall pass – Sir Stanley Ekezie