What is called a present pandemic is moving quickly into some apocalyptic breakdown outside of the home. Yet, in our homes, as we cozy up to “social isolation,” there can be great opportunities in affirming our relationships. The circle of our relationships can get tighter, and although we are warned not to touch others or shake hands, we yearn to snuggle up to our spouse/loved one.
Jokes abound on how many births will occur near the end of this year implying that given added time together, there will be more intimacy.
But hold on
there for a moment. As we try to prevent being contagious to the Coronavirus,
we are more emotionally contagious with our loved ones. Why? There is an
intermingling of the basic underlying need to love and be loved. As much as we
regret and want to repress our childish ways, the unmet needs of the
“wounded child” comes forth. We are infected by an emotional virus that pleads to be treated. You all need to be loved and treated with security.
As with the coronavirus, we carry an emotional virus from anytime when we met until when (?), maybe forever. What I am referring to is how we get infected, say before the age of 10 years. We witness our parents infecting us with non-attachment and relatively traumatic experiences that causes us to seek treatment. Everyone gets infected, some traumatically and probably the majority much less.
But like the value of anti-bodies, this emotional virus has benefits. Finding a loved one is the magical treatment. We fall in love with someone who we deem virus-less. We continue that perfection infatuation until the emotional virus shows up.
But most of us know that Stage 2 of Relationship Building is the “power struggle” period. And power struggles can be exposed more now that we are quarantined within the “emotional virus.”
So now isn’t it the time to treat our afflicted state of relationship infection! If you get agitated or triggered by your spouse by being in such close proximity, deal with it. Don’t run away from it and emotionally quarantine yourself. By that I mean, please understand that “We have been dealing with this toxicity off and on for who knows how long?” Now that your work life is shortened and you’re likely home together, schedule some soul-time to sit down and soulfully check-in and listen to each other.
Relationships are broken down primary, extending family and friends. The primary ones reflect back to childhood and how you formed your original attachments with your parents. Unless you can comprehend and address these interactions and evolve into being a healthy partner, you will be blind-sided by the phantom of childhood memories.
Since we are a men’s group, we can speak for most men who underestimate the impact of their early development and easily get trapped into replicating mom and dad’s interactions. We are supposed to be the stronger sex/gender, and women typically want a strong man. But there are a lot of limitations for men in relationships these days. Feminism causes women to want equal power and therefore become more challenging. It’s then easy for men to trap themselves in power struggles that they can’t win.
The beginning infusion of listening to each other can treat the virus. Having times to be present for each other’s frustration and confusion during these challenging and changing times can actually provide a lot of healing. Going for walks. Giving each other massages. Creating your own list of healing treatments. Spend 5- minutes of uninterrupted check-ins together. There are massive amounts of information on the internet recommending healthy relationship choices.
This is a time for exceeding gratitude. We are alive and well. We can start marital Gratitude Journals together. And we can be open and available to family and those Covid-19 victims. We can pray together. We can watch captivating and relationship building movies. Zoom, Zoom together into groups with similar interests.
We can all come out of this together. Maybe what caused this was an emotional virus that needed to be embraced and treated.