Relationships are not an easy task during normal times, let alone during this time of war, during a time of fear, pain, and loss of a sense of stability and security (physical and emotional).
These difficulties we are going through can bring a couple closer, but it can also create an even greater gap.
I want to bring awareness into some of the processes that I have seen, so it can bring you closer together. Especially during these times, we need to work together as much as possible.
1. As a nation, we are experiencing a major trauma, including those that nothing happened to them. Our body can experience pain, fear, and anger. Cry it out. Yell it out. Dance it out. Let your body feel these. When there is no space for these emotions- they are suffocated inside the body and then can come out eruptively, at the closest person to us- our partner.
2. Our nervous system can be sensitive during these times. This means, that normal relationship triggers can be felt stronger. Things can go into the ‘unbearable zone’ more easily.
We can feel more strongly especially things also related to war, such as boundaries, the right to exist, the right to feel, the right to be heard, the right to be seen, and so on. It’s also an opportunity to heal these.
3. Couples want to keep their children as safe as possible. Sometimes, you might not agree on the way. I’m reminding you that the most important anchors for your children are parents who feel safe (as much as possible in these circumstances). Let’s start with emotional safety: We have a tendency to compare difficulties. Some exhibit their difficulties more than others. There’s no point in comparing. Everyone is going through a difficult time. And everyone is doing the best they can, in their own unique way. There is room for the difficulties of everyone.
4. I see the question of staying in Israel or going abroad, especially when one of the partners is from abroad. Each has their own way of coping. Some need a stable routine, and losing it is unbearable. Some need to get away, and staying is unbearable. These are two different coping mechanisms, perhaps even symbolizing both parts in each and every one of us, needing the familiar anchors and the safety, not really knowing which is more bearable to let go of, and whether our choice is actually safer. As I see it there is no objective truth. So, I suggest to listen to your heart.
5. We have a tendency to find solutions, but perhaps now is a time for an even *braver authenticity*. Talking from the heart about fear. Talking from the heart about love. And all that’s in between. Love is the language of peace.
6. And a few practicalities: to enhance a sense of safety and strength: any physical activity- even 5 minutes a day will bring you back to your body. Dancing for fun with the kids, and just simple stretches. Add to that some self-love with a good hot chocolate and caring for one another- just with a gentle: ‘how are you?’
This is the antidote to what is going on. This is how we rise from this.
Feel free to reach out for online therapy. Another option I’m opening up these days is affordable therapy in small groups, online (groups for couples and for individuals).
Personal and couples-therapist
Author of ‘Your Happily Ever Love List’ on Amazon