Divvy up chores fairly, keep arguments single-issue: how to survive being cooped up with your partner

Lockdown and working from home can put stress on relationships, but the new normal could provide opportunities for positive changes – if we are thoughtful

The coronavirus crisis has presented couples with an unusual relationship problem: a surfeit of togetherness. Where busy partners once struggled to find the time to be together, they now ration scraps of privacy. Not only has the pandemic reduced our love lives to one, endless quiet night in, it also obliged many people to work from home, to spend all day in each other’s company, under stress and underfoot. When arguments start, there is nowhere to go. So how can couples cope with each other during this difficult, seemingly indefinite period?

The first thing is to be aware of what you are up against: this is about more than a lack of personal space. The uncertainty surrounding coronavirus and lockdown has led to high levels of stress. “Everything is far more intense,” says Andrew G Marshall, a marital therapist. “Not just the togetherness, but the fear and anxiety.”

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