What is the effect of being in COVID-19 isoation having on your close relationships?

During my 12 week isolation in the flat I thought about a pre retirement course I went on and the instructor said his wife was at home during the day and he was out working. He said when he came home really tired his wife wanted to talk immediately because she had been alone at home all day and it caused conflict between them so they agreed an amount of time he would have to settle in and sit down before they chatted. Someone else said the opposite effect of being at home and their partner came in full of their day because they were hyped up and used to interacting with others and how overpowering it felt. So they were going to try the same settling in time. Perhaps many of our relationships are being tested, as I know mine is, as we have never, in 40yrs, spent so much time in a confined space together. My husband’s funny little ways are definitely magnified. I love him dearly but he is unable to do or deal with more than one thing at once, I am a multi tasker. He gets stressed out because he has piles of papers everywhere, whereas I know I don’t deal with stress well and I deal with things straight away and immediately file things away. He says he wants to be the one to do certain tasks and not me, which is brilliant, but then he has something else to do and immediately leaves me to do the tasks. There is no right or wrong in either of our ways but that does not mean they don’t get to me. !! What are other’s experiences ( I might well come back in on this thread !!!) ?

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Hey Erica,
I don’t have a partner but I can appreciate your problem. I’ve been married twice.
This happens to many couples pre virus when one of them, usually the male retires after a lifetime of work.
At a lose end with nothing to occupy himself he will get under the wife’s feet.
Marriage becomes strained however much you love each other, irritating habits of the retiree become magnified out of all proportion and lead to the inevitable row.
You’re not alone with the problem Erica, thousands of couples experience the same.
There is no easy answer.
Look at the big picture Erica, does it really matter?
Best wishes
Anthony

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Dear Erica I wasn’t being flippant in my reply to your last post. I hope I didn’t offend you?
In 1994 I was medically retired from my job, and drove my wife mad being around all day. We had 4 children at home at the time.
My wife took out a loan and enrolled in a social work diploma course.
I became househusband, which I admit enjoyed immensely. I did all the ironing, cleaning, packed lunches for kids, cleaned their shoes etc and shopping etc.
The 2 younger kids were at primary school and the elder 2 at Grammar School.
I used to take the youngest to school and queued with all the mums at end of the school day.
I also cooked the evening meal for all of us.
My wife enjoyed her course and qualified and now is a high earner.
These times are difficult for us all.
From reading your past posts I get the impression that you are a strong and adaptable person.
I’m sure you will get used to the changes that this current pandemic has forced on all of us
Be strong Erica
Best wishes
Anthony
Ps remember the song by the Animals, “I got to get out of this place, if it’s the last thing I ever do( second line of song) Another one for David’s list maybe.

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Oh, Anthony, I was certainly not offended and I may not sound it but I am a very easy going person. Actually, my motto is ‘how important is it’. I just thought my post might help others also get things off their chest. Oh, the Animals, Eric Burden and Chas Chandler, I love the start of that song, not as good as The Kinks Waterloo Sunset though. It is interesting hearing about others lives.

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Erica,
You mentioned Eric Clapton in a previous post, I met him when he was playing with the Yardbirds, remember them “ for your love “ was a hit for them. Eric is a brilliant musician but a very surly individual, maybe he’s mellowed.
I forgot about Queen you mentioned in your playlist,
I saw them live at Earls Court in 1975.
Our seats didn’t exist so I complained vehemently and Karen my wife were seated with friends of the band just above the stage. Gosh what an experience, not only the music but the fact the bands friends shared their drink and spliffs with me.
There were run ups each side of the stage and Freddie and Bryan May each took turns on them. Within spitting distance, certainly in Freddie’s case as he was inclined to spit a bit when he sang.
We were so close to the speaker stacks we were both deaf for 2 hours.

I knew Rod Stewart rather well when he was still Rod the Mod,
Every Easter in the early 60s I and my friend Bryan used to take our blanket rolls and sleeping bags down to Brighton for parties and jazz clubs and sleep under the pier. Rod sometimes would join us. He’d never sleep under the pier though, in case he messed up his heavily lacquered backcomb.
I used to carry a guitar too, I couldn’t play it, just for the image.
Best wishes
Anthony

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Have no fear my husband always redeems himself when he makes my evening hot chocolate. I have also replied to you under our music thread.

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Erica

I am finding it tough due to the entire family being at home all day. My son is back from Uni - he is studying to be a Doctor - and my daughter has finished Y12. So with everyone around it can get quite fraught. I’m on Interferon and it definitely makes me irrate and fly off handle very quickly, which none of my family are considerate of. I don’t think they quite appreciate how hard it is to be stuck at home and not able to go out, when they go off running or on a bike ride. It’s my new normal for the moment, as it is for all of us, so any coping strategies - other than earplugs - would be greatly appreciated.
Lou

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Hi Lou, what a good time to post on our community forum. I am useless with coping strategies and I realise I am unlikely to be able to change my husband so it is just accepting how he is and try to laugh at what I think of, on a good day, as his funny little ways. However I have not got 4 of us under one roof to contend with. I followed my parents parenting ways and never apologised for loosing my rag and we did not communicate really. I was brought up not to say how I was feeling medically, emotionally or practically and asking for help was a weakness, therefore I expect other to guess what is going on for me. Don’t forget you are on interferon and I think even I am very emotional at the moment and I think it is natural for you to feel fraught. I have found the value of this forum is that we can say how it really is for us with people who completely understand, perhaps as those close to us cannot. I felt better just having vented above. You are a special Mum, I find headphones with my favourite music playing helps me. Please keep posting and telling us how you are doing, we are going to support each other through these times.

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@Erica thank you so much for starting this topic, as I’m sure it will be significant for many. It will be really good to hear from more people, and also give people the opportunity to share what has worked for them in terms of coping. Thank you again!

Everyone, please do feel free to share as much as you feel comfortable with :+1:

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Hi @Erica, I think my world is just a little fraught. I gave up my job as they wanted me back full time, and if truth be told I didn’t like the job enough to want that, but now realise the timing sucked and I am jobless, on top of isolated! I feel a pressure to find a new job immediately if not sooner and my son is enjoying winding his sister up, which can be either hilarious or fractious depending on the topic!! I thought 2020 would be a turning point, after my health diagnosis last year, but it’s actually proving a bit ‘plus ca change…’ . I just have everything crossed that the other side has a pot of gold sitting waiting for me :slight_smile: And until then, I’m going to do some online learning - so many free courses on the Internet. Hope you are doing well. Lou

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Hi Lou, what terrible timing with your job and perhaps there are not many jobs going out there at the moment. However, despite your offspring being offspring and having to cope with that, what a good idea to do some free online learning, it shows your initiative, good for your CV and what a good role model to your offspring !!!

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@Lou this must be so difficult for you Lou! but very well said by @Erica! online learning sounds fantastic :slight_smile: what kind of courses are you looking to do?

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I work in marketing so using it as great opp to refresh my knowledge and get under the skin of digital marketing etc more, to reinforce my knowledge. I may also look to pay to refresh my language skills - I’ve got a degree in languages but they are easily forgotten when you don’t use them very often! I do believe it’s important to aim to do one or two things every day so you feel that the day has been productive. I could just sit and binge watch Netflix otherwise!!

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ah I know what you mean @Lou good point! I think feeling like we’ve been productive/set ourselves some goals can do a lot for our well-being. And interesting mix there Lou! which languages did you have in mind?

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Hi, and welcome to the forum @Lou. It sounds as if you are thinking of lots of ways you can improve yourself and prepare for life post virus. Perhaps you need a special jar for a fine each time the kids have a disagreement :joy:
Good to hear from you @Blackhat. You sound to have had an eventful life. My husband was listening to Planet Rock last night and somebody was talking about Mothers, THE music venue in Birmingham for 60s and 70s.
Well, my long suffering husband has now had to deal with my unexpected hospitalization and complications post surgery (not blood cancer related), and yet he still looks at me with the silly grin he has had on his face since we met 44 years ago (remarked on by friends and our kids). I guess I am really lucky as we get on well and tolerate each other’s foibles.
We are used to spending a lot of time with each other, as even when we were teaching we quite often ended up in the same schools. One teaching assistant used to say “Here come Tweedledee and Tweedledum/ Romeo and Juliet/Jack and Jill…” I think our coping strategy is down to having a great sense of humour, which has been inherited by our children. Latest offering " Now mum is without a gallbladder, half a lung, and an appendix, what will she have removed next?"
@Erica thank you for your messages and e cards. They have meant a lot. I am easing myself back in slowly. Take care buddy. You have done a grand job

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@Pisces56 hello again! haha yes as you say, often some humour and a bit of laughter can be the best medicine :smiley:

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