Proud partner, Commonwealth Bank. Always consider your personal circumstances before acting on financial advice.
Isolating with your partner can be emotionally taxing, no matter what stage of the
relationship you're in. Amidst the Netflix binge-watching sessions and banana bread-baking, some of those once-adorable quirks have the potential to turn into irritating distractions, chore responsibilities may start to slip, and the pressure of interacting with each other 24/7 could start to take a toll.
While some of these bad habits and behaviours can be curbed with a simple conversation, there are a variety of more serious patterns that may arise as you spend more time together, that could point to deeper issues in the relationship.
Picking up on "red flags" early is important — with limited access to friends, family and our regular support networks right now, letting problems brew could potentially lead to unsafe situations.
Confronting your relationship's faults can be difficult, but being transparent about how you're coping during this time is integral to your mental and emotional health.
Here are a few things to look out for to ensure you
maintain a healthy relationship with your SO during these unprecedented times.
Your Partner Is Controlling the Money — and Keeping Bills and Other Financial Documents From You
Amplified financial stress is unfortunately one of the most widespread impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some couples have found themselves in a situation in which one party now makes the majority of income due to job loss or work hour reductions. This can shift the way a couple manages their money.
Regardless of your situation or circumstance, it's important for you to maintain a healthy approach to managing money together. Taking the time to have a conversation with your partner about money, will ensure that financial decisions and responsibilities are shared and both partners have an equal voice in all financial decisions.
Sometimes healthy financial relationships can turn into something more sinister, especially in times like this. Many of us know domestic and family abuse is an urgent and widespread problem, but most don't know that domestic abuse is closely tied with financial abuse. Financial abuse occurs when one partner uses money as a means to control or exploit their partner and limit their financial independence.
The best defence is to be aware of the warning signs and stay vigilant. It can be difficult to recognise financial abuse because it can occur in many different ways. To make it easier, CommBank has put together this helpful
fact sheet of the many different forms financial abuse can take.
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Your Partner Has Started to Restrict or Control Your Actions
Whilst in quarantine, staying connected to the outside world through activities like Facetiming loved ones, joining in on your favourite artists' Instagram live-stream or taking part in a Zoom yoga class are all simple, yet effective ways to maintain and strengthen our mental health.
It is particularly harmful if your partner is restricting these activities.
More extreme instances of this could also involve being denied access to money, or requiring having to ask for money for basic expenses for yourself or your children — controlling behaviours are never okay, and when they pertain to money, the reverberating impacts could lead to long-term damage.
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You're Starting to Take on Majority (if Not All) of the Household Responsibilities
Self-isolating with a partner may mean new boundaries and expectations for each party need to be set. Whilst there's no right or wrong way to manage tasks in a relationship, taking responsibility for your load is essential in maintaining balance and trust.
If one side is showing total despondence to small responsibilities like clearing their clutter, to larger responsibilities like paying their share of the rent, it may be time to re-evaluate and openly discuss these issues.
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Your Partner Receives Emotional Support From You, But Rarely Gives it Back
Complete transparency across all topics is the best way to maintain all relationships.
Some are experiencing heightening anxiety right now — the state of the world, prevailing worry about family members and job security are all so front of mind right now, so it's important to be open and honest about how you're feeling.
If your partner expects constant emotional support and provides none in return, this should be of concern — having regular, open and respectful conversations is a key pillar to maintaining all aspects of a relationship.
If you or someone you know is affected by domestic violence, please call 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732). In an emergency, call 000.
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