The quarantine inevitably functioned as a test for those couples who are living together. Suddenly they had to live a vacation situation (24 hours together) but with an environment of routines, little fun, lack of disconnection and no personal time or privacy, in addition to the added tension of not reaching the end of the month in some cases, by the alarming news of every day …
In this situation, many relationships got to the point where their members (or one of them) wondered if this really is what they wanted, if it is the relationship they want or prefer to make the decision of separation.
In order to reach this conclusion, the first thing I recommend is to make a list of those aspects that are the consequence of confinement and those aspects that were already part of the relationship before and that are now accentuated. Because in some cases perhaps it is simply the borderline situation of confinement that has caused certain discussions and tensions at home.
If the conclusion is that we realized that it’s not the kind of relationship we want, that we need space and we do not want to continue with that person, the next step will be to see if the other person feels the same and we can make the decision by mutual agreement or we have to face the separation alone.
To get to this point, it is best to try start a conversation in which we talk about how we feel in the relationship, to see the level of awareness that our partner has about the borderline situation. When both members feel the same way, the breakup is not a great duel, because the connection was simply lost and both are aware of this. The greatest difficulty resides when one must state to the other that he does not want to continue knowing that the other does want to be in that relationship. At that moment an emotional catharsis occurs, an endless number of painful emotions that are often difficult to manage.
If this is the situation in which we find ourselves, the most complex, the first approach is to think about whether it is worth causing the rupture at this moment of isolation and movement restrictions or if it is better to wait until when we expose the decision we can leave, so that each one can go through their grief process without creating tension and a bad atmosphere at home.
Sometimes the best is gradually raising the situation, transmitting the discomfort, the feelings, so that the other person gets an idea and does not suffer an emotional shock when receiving the news.
See also: A “disobedient mom” in quarantine: care crisis
Therefore, if we decide to wait, the most recommended is exposing that discomfort. But if on the contrary we see that it is time to transmit it, even if there is quarantine, we must be very clear on how to manage the breakdown under the same roof.
The most important thing is that when the decision is transmitted, there is no doubt that it has been made and there is no going back. It is better that the other party does not cling to the hope of returning and can assume the rupture and the duel.
Secondly, you have to try to have a cordiality, but without too much interaction, you have to start digesting that each one will make his or her life and, therefore, it is better to spend the day in separate spaces, to have a certain intimacy to speak with friends, seek support and cry or disconnect if needed.
And finally, perhaps you can take advantage of the insulation to begin to consider how to carry out the separation for practical purposes: if there are children in common, if you work in the same company, where they will live … If there are important ties, it is better to consider as a team how they will break, trying to seek well-being for both of them.
Of course insulation does not facilitate breaks. He put a lot of couples on the edge but is making separation difficult. But we should not stop our lives for that. This is a new reality and we must learn to live in it, looking for the best ways to make decisions and keep moving forward.
By Núria Jorba, for La Vanguardia.