Dirty dishes and laundry pile up quickly. The vacuuming doesn’t get done because it’s no one’s official chore. Her water bottle is always empty because he drinks it before she has a chance. The toilet seat gets left up; her makeup is all over the counter.
Two personalities coexisting in harmony can seem difficult, especially as the pandemic strains relationships.
According to Legal Templates, within three weeks of quarantine, separations increased by 57%. The data also shows that 58% of couples moving forward with divorce were married within the last five years.
These numbers can seem jarring, but there are resources available to help couples continue to grow and flourish in their relationships. With 26% of BYU-I students married, students and alumni of the university share what has worked for them in their marriages.
Kamla Anand, a senior studying public policy and administration, shared the importance of meeting the other person’s needs. She makes sure her husband has food ready when he gets home, but if she is busy, he will fix food for her. They are flexible and help each other.
“Remember it is not enough to just do your own part,” Anand said. “Expect the other person to actively try and meet your needs too.”
According to Healthline, within relationships, meeting emotional needs strengthen the bond between spouses. Showing affection, acceptance and validation are a few things Healthline lists to help spouses bond. While every relationship is different, these things can be a good starting point to understanding each other’s needs.
Sydney Westbrook, a BYU-I alumna, emphasizes the importance of patience in a relationship.
“I lived with roommates who were really messy at one point and it showed me I needed to be with someone neat and tidy, who wouldn’t leave messes everywhere,” Westbrook said.
She knows people who assume everything will fall into place and work out on its own after marriage, but she explains marriage takes work. It requires patience and compromising on responsibilities.
“Be patient and talk to each other right at the beginning, and when problems or more responsibilities come up you should come together and work them out,” Westbrook said. “It’s a team effort.”
Kemish Lloyd, a junior studying computer engineering, shares the importance of being honest with your spouse.
“Listen to each other and be understanding, sometimes it’s okay to not always have your way,” Kemish said. “We are still learning new ways to compromise every day even after a few years of marriage.”
According to Psychology Today, finding a middle ground is a way to avoid deeper conflict. Neither side will love this idea, but it’s an important thing to help save the couple from deeper conflict. It also provides a path to resolution.
Danielle Lloyd, a BYU-I alumna, shares that picking battles and loving each other are important.
“Be patient and loving,” Danielle said.”How you do certain things ultimately doesn’t really matter. Your marriage is more important than the petty little fights and bickering.”
Feeling loved is an important part of life and relationships.
According to BetterHelp, “Without it, it’s very likely that a person will completely lack any drive to fully live their lives and may even experience depression and other health concerns.”
Living in harmony is important, no matter who you are living with. Advice is subjective, but generally working together, being patient, communicating and showing love will only benefit everyone in the relationship.
According to Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Great marriages are built brick by brick, day after day, over a lifetime.”
For more insights and help, here are some resources the Church has about strengthening families and marriages.