My Not So Secret Diary

Relationships in Lockdown

Relationships in Lockdown article from Sky News about coronavirus lockdown and relationships writing about it for my sobriety blog, My Not So Secret Diary by Claire Hatwell
I read an interesting article this week from Sky News called, “Coronavirus: The psychology of why lockdown is making our relationships stronger.”

Obviously things are different for us all at the moment, whether we are in lockdown, or self-isolating too. Regardless of whether we are alone at home or with our families, and even if we are still working, we are all limited in who we see and how much contact we have with others. Whether we want it to or not, and however positive we try to be, it is affecting us all.

I was concerned that at a time like this, it would isolate us all more. I am not saying it is easy for anyone, even those who live with other people, because no-one is used to living so closely. I live and work with my husband and yet spending twenty-four hours a day with each other is more than either us of are used to, except for holidays and at Christmas. Of course we also have the four children and the dog at home with us too. It’s a full house, and we are just lucky that we have space, otherwise I think we’d be finding it harder. I thought we’d have more arguments, and to be honest things are okay, although I do get a bit ratty when I end up doing ‘my washing’ or other jobs around the house and everyone else mysteriously disappears!

The lockdown itself has managed to push the fast forward button on many people’s relationships. At least two couples that we know have gone from being fairly serious to living together in this situation and I can’t say I blame them. It must be hard to be distanced from those you care about for an unforeseen length of time. But, we must also remember how lucky we are to have the technology we have available nowadays. Although we might not be able to see others, we can invite them into our homes using our phones and iPads. My eldest son is very social, and was seldom home before the lockdown in the evenings. To start with I think he thought his Dad and I were overreacting by asking him not to go out, and so for us the lockdown actually helped. He suddenly saw it was real and although unfortunate, it was necessary. If it wasn’t for social media he and his friends would be totally disconnected, but instead they are with him all the time, via his phone in his pocket. He goes up to his room in the early evening to chat with them too, and I think it’s nice that those connections haven’t been lost. It would be horrible for him otherwise.

Adding on to the change in lifestyle at the moment, we also have the differences with visiting the shops and the fact that many people, like us, are shopping for others too. I thought I’d have more free hours in the day, but once we have queued up, waited to get in, trailed up and down and then queued to get out again, a trip to the supermarket can take me more than two and a half hours. I’m glad I only do it once a week!

The thing is, that beyond the other things, I do seem to have more time to talk than before. This morning for instance, instead of rushing about like I would normally, I found the time to FaceTime my Mum and Dad, which I don’t often do. This morning they watched Stanley cycling in circles around my house and then took me on a tour around their garden to show me what they’d been planting and their new chicken run. It was rather nice. Stanley even wanted to show them how he uses his potty! They’d certainly have missed out on that experience otherwise! Speaking to a friend yesterday, she echoed my thoughts, telling me that she is finding time to do different things and see people that she wouldn’t normally, although again, it’s from a distance when she drops items off. I think it’s nice to have an excuse to connect with people. A lot of us lead quite isolated lives nowadays and this lockdown has affected us in ways I hadn’t expected. The article says, and I tend to agree, that, “Being increasingly interdependent and uniting together against the invisible enemy outside our doors may well make us appreciate one another more than ever.” I actually like being asked to help, although I’m not very good at asking for it myself! I like being able to do things to help. It makes me feel useful, and while I know there are a lot of people out there on the front line doing more than me, it’s nice to think I am doing my part at least.

Take care, and thank you for reading.
Claire x


Here’s the link to the article if you’d like to read it.