- Stockwell teaches partners how to infuse pleasure and purpose into all aspects of life from the daily grind of running a household, to ecstatic experiences in the bedroom.
- As couples around the world find themselves stuck together 24/7 due to the coronavirus, Stockwell says this is a great opportunity for couples to share new experiences and become closer than ever.
- She encourages listening to your partner and talking through what you're each feeling, making time for individual self-care, and exploring intimacy in the bedroom.
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Throughout America, couples who typically only see each other on evenings and weekends are now together all day long. Whether one or both are working, or they are currently unemployed, this creates seismic shifts in the relationship. For some it can be a wonderful time to deepen the bond between them. For others, it leads to tensions and clashes that could be potential precursors to divorce.
Once China lifted its quarantine protocol, there was a spike in the number of couples filing for divorce . This doesn't surprise divorce lawyers who say their offices are contacted by new clients most frequently in January (after Christmas vacation); they know that time together leads to breaking up.
On the other hand, times when couples are forced to stay home are known to lead to an increase in the birth rate nine months later. Recently, businesses that sell sex toys have also had a surge in business; the Womanizer brand reports a 50-60% increase in sales than expected in the first quarter of 2020.
Given these statistics, it's important to prioritize your relationship while adhering to social distancing and lockdown protocols. Here are five things you can do to enjoy one another and give your relationship the nourishment it needs.
1. Set aside time to have a conversation about what's going on right now
Everyone responds to stress differently and everyone is not necessarily going to be focused on the same thing. In many couples, one partner is more concerned about getting sick, and the other is more concerned about the couples' finances. In your conversation, take turns sharing what is most troubling to you. Do not dismiss your partner's concerns or try to fix them. Instead think of listening as an opportunity to get to know your partner better. Once your partner has finished sharing, simply respond with "thank you for telling me." Only after you both of you have shared, turn your attention to practical matters and solutions. While doing so, prioritize collaborating and handle your circumstances as a team.
2. Take turns expressing gratitude for what is going well in your lives
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Share gladness for your physical safety, for good memories of your first date, for the way your partner laughs. Tell one another what you love and admire about one another. Many couples never take the time to name what's good, and doing so is always very heartwarming.
3. Take some time on your own to do something you enjoy
Whether it's taking a warm bubble bath, doing an online yoga class, journaling, reading a novel, or just taking a nap, spending time replenishing yourself is essential for showing up and joyfully interacting with your partner.
4. Use the time to explore and expand sensually
In my work as a relationship and intimacy expert, I find it helpful to start very simply with something that is comfortable, and expand from there. This will mean different things for different couples. Some options include learning sensual massage, reading love poetry aloud, or sharing a sexual fantasy. I find it very helpful to have one partner be the one determining what occurs one night, and the other partner the next. That way there is an opportunity for each person to create an experience and share it, without one partner having the responsibility of reading the other partner's mind in order to figure out what they would enjoy.
5. Pick a new activity to do together, or one you used to enjoy in the past
Do a puzzle together. Practice a new language. Make a movie of your life with your pets. Create a Facebook page and share information about a topic that interests both of you. Watch every comedy on Netflix. Or get a relationship book and work through the exercises together. Good options include " Getting the Love You Want " and and " Uncompromising Intimacy. "
The point is to pick something you are both excited about and can do together. Having a shared project will enhance the good energy between you.
While much of what is going on in the world can feel overwhelming and uncertain, spending all day with your partner does not need to. After all, having a fantastic relationship is a learnable skill, and if you and your partner aren't yet masterful, the time at home is perfect to work on it.
Alexandra Stockwell MD is a relationship and intimacy expert who shows couples how to build beautiful, stable, long lasting relationships. A wife of 24 years and a mother of four, Alexandra helps men and women infuse pleasure and purpose into all aspects of life from the daily grind of running a household, to clear and intimate communication, to ecstatic experiences in the bedroom.
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