Intersection of Life and Faith

8 Marriage Habits You Don't Want to Lose after Quarantine

  • Meg Gemelli Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
  • 2020 1 May
8 Marriage Habits You Don't Want to Lose after Quarantine

This too shall pass.” I have a love, hate relationship with that phrase, how about you?

Will this crisis pass? Probably. Most do eventually come to an end, but it can be difficult to remember that when hope feels so deferred. Circumstances dash our trust in God’s timing, and the unknown can be a real killjoy.

I spoke with a younger friend of mine recently. She’s a newlywed, and she and her husband welcomed the birth of their first child not long ago. Grinning ear-to-ear, she proudly explained to me how great “quarantine looks on her.” She has a great sense of humor.

“Now I know why some of the other moms like staying home so much. I planted a new garden with vegetables and flowers. I’m cooking and taking walks with my baby girl. I’m like a ‘pioneer woman’ now,” she joked.

What a great reframe of a forced life change! Krissi is a woman flourishing at a time in which many feel lost and overwhelmed. But just like her, some of us have also found ways to stay healthy and active in an unusual situation. We have so much to learn from one another.

Among the list of adaptations we all have made is hopefully new skills in your marriage. Maybe this extra time has allowed you to learn new ways to communicate, or has given you an opportunity to lean on your partner like never before.

The fact is that this too really shall pass, but here are some ways to make sure that your happy, healthy marriage habits never do.

Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/Toa Heftiba

  • couple holding hands with wedding rings

    1. Never Stop Learning New Skills and Working as a Team

    Have you seen the fabulous DIY photos circulating the internet right now? Pinterest is on fire! Couples and families sheltering in place have harnessed their inner creativity, and the world is a  more beautiful place because of it. 

    Some of us are learning new languages, or finding time to develop skills in technology, art, and carpentry. You name it, it’s being done, and the outcomes are inspiring. My husband and I have tackled a number of home projects, workouts, and experiments together, and it’s brought us closer than we’ve been in a long time.

    Maybe your teamwork doesn’t look as grand as something on Pinterest, but learning your child’s math and applying new parenting techniques together counts too. When the world goes back to “normal,” practicing marriage habits that encourage teamwork and growth will always keep us close. Never give that up.

    As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

    2. Never Give Up the Shared and/or Unusual Roles You’ve Taken on Recently

    My husband is cooking more often, I’m hauling mulch, and my kids are doing more dishes than ever. Is this heaven? Preparing multiple meals a day for the entire fam is no joke. Neither are our jobs, making sure that everybody finishes schoolwork, and tackling spring landscaping.

    They’ve all given my family wonderful opportunities to step outside of our normal roles, though.

    We’ve all had to pitch in, and therefore, we’re more knowledgeable in a number of different areas (especially my boys). This is marriage and parenting gold--a class in Empathy 101, even! Eventually, our schedules will change once again. Our families, towns, and cities will find their way back to the hustle and bustle…

    ...but by then, we’ll have a variety of new choices by which to lend a hand.

    From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. Ephesians 4:16

    Photo Credit: ©Pixabay/Pexels

  • man getting text and smiling

    3. Never Stop Checking on One Another

    Facetime, Skype, Phone Calls, Texts, and Social Media conversations--we’ve never been so far away, and yet so close, in the history of mankind. For some of us, the slowing has been a relief rather than a burden, because we’ve felt more cared for than ever before.

    My husband has made it a point to check in with me throughout the day, knowing that managing the kids’ education has become an extra burden. He also comes home for lunch more days than not, which isn’t our norm at all. In turn, I’ve been increasingly sensitive to his work struggles, since he’s concerned about providing for his employees’ needs at the office. We’ve comforted one another.

    Careers will resume. Schools will reopen. The highways will become busy once again. Will you stay in the habit of checking in with one another practically and emotionally? With your extended family as well?

    Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

    4. Never Stop Practicing Gratitude for Friendships that Support Your Marriage

    We’ve had very limited in-person contact with friends lately, I mean, one-family-in-two-months limited. I can’t tell you how thankful I am for those two. It’s an overwhelming gratitude. They’re friends who’ve supported us throughout the years. They’ve celebrated milestones and mourned losses with us. 

    And as many good things as I have to say about them, I’ll admit that we’ve taken our friendship for granted in our busier seasons. I think they’d say the same about us. As a matter of fact, I’m going to text an encouraging message right this minute before I type one more word. 

    Ok, done. Now it’s your turn!

    These moments of connection are fleeting. When work, or the kids’ schedules, force us back to carpools, snacks on the go, and a busier schedule, I want to continue investing in the friendships that help keep my marriage strong. Who are those people in your life? Never stop showing them how much you care. 

    Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from earnest counsel. Proverbs 27:9

    Photo Credit: ©Unsplash/DISRUPTIVO

  • couple laughing outside

    5. Never Stop Protecting Your Time

    “Huh. I’m just now realizing that I haven’t missed pro baseball at all,” my husband mentioned to me last night. “Not ESPN either. I wonder what they’re even talking about over there since everything’s shut down.”

    The ever-observant wife, I’m noticing that my husband has spent most of his time these past few months working, placating my home project ideas, and spending time with the kids and me--his entire schedule simplified. Honestly, mine has been too, but much of that is related to school, gym, and extracurricular closings. 

    Even so, our days leave no wanting in the way of to-dos. I still lay my head down at night with a number of tasks unfinished. I’ve had to let some of my expectations go too. Have you? Focusing on home and family, and being forced to manage business online, has highlighted obligations that I don’t care to return to.

    Following crises, you might feel compelled to do the same. Learning to fiercely protect your time for the most important people and responsibilities in life is freeing.

    Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21

    6. Never Take Your Gifts for Granted Again

    Witnessing the worst of the human experience has a way of shining light on the blessings in our lives...

    ...on our families and the health of those we love.

    Jobs.

    Homes.

    Transportation.

    Food. 

    A kind word.

    The warmth of sunlight on the skin, or a single bloom.

    The great slowing opens our eyes to the smallest of gifts hidden in plain sight, if only we have eyes to see. Never stop taking the gift of one another for granted, and allow God to teach you to number your days.

    I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of Your wonderful deeds. Psalm 9:1

    Photo Credit: ©Pixabay/Pexels

  • couple holding hands

    7. Never Stop Celebrating the Smallest Wins

    Are you an achiever? If so, this habit might be a difficult one to establish and keep. Some of us are wired to shoot for one big success after another, but in crisis, some of those efforts are thwarted. Couples everywhere are at risk of missing the micro-kindnesses that keep us together, yet a happy marriage is nothing but a culmination of those moments.

    When life’s challenges arise, we’re forced to learn how to celebrate the smallest of wins.

    The day isn’t without conflict, but I can appreciate my son’s decision to brush his teeth without being told.

    My body is exhausted, but a simple cuddle can melt the day away.

    We aren’t planning any major vacations, but there’s enough in the bank to provide meals again this week.

    It may not always feel like a mountain-top experience, but the enemy of good is always “better.” God is good, and His mercy endures forever. Let’s never stop celebrating the beauty that’s found in the small.

    The Lord has done great things for us; We are glad. Psalm 126:3

    8. Never Stop Giving One Another Grace

    In crisis, we make do. It doesn’t always feel fulfilling or enough, but somehow we find ways to extend grace to one another. We accept that our partners are doing the very best they can, with the wherewithal to see it through, and with the resources available at the time.

    “Did you do your best? If so, thank you. I love you. Great job. And it’s all enough for me.”

    When life returns to the hustle and bustle, it’ll be tempting to raise our expectations for the people and the world around us. But God may have a different idea about our expressions of His grace. I pray that we’ll be expectant (and willing) husbands and wives--extending compassion at every turn.

    Let's pray. 

    Father, thank you for taking the worst, most painful, and terrifying moments in life and using them for our good. I pray for unity and comfort in our marriages, along with steel resolve and a gentle spirit within the heart of every husband and wife. I thank You that You’ve seen the future, and that You go before us, preparing the way. I ask that You would give us strength to step confidently into those plans, trusting that You’ll never leave us. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.


    Meg Gemelli is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and the founder of The Making of a Marriage. Along with polishing her Crossfit participation trophies, she can be found Pinterest-failing in the kitchen, glamping with the fam, or reading a great book oceanside. However flawed, she practices faith over fear every single day.

    Photo Credit: ©Pixabay/mina6120