Cupid's Pulse Article: Relationship Advice: Heidi Klum & Tom Kaulitz Survival Strategies For The Home FrontCupid's Pulse Article: Relationship Advice: Heidi Klum & Tom Kaulitz Survival Strategies For The Home Front

By Dr. Jane Greer

In many ways, it seems like the world is standing still. All non-essential businesses are closed- including bars, restaurants, and offices, and we are being told to stay home. While many of us look forward to time with our partner and family, now we are basically stuck inside with them all day and night in close quarters with cabin fever threatening to take hold of any moment. Heidi Klum and her husband Tom Kaulitz are the latest celebrities to experience a health scare as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The celebrity couple was recently tested for coronavirus after experiencing symptoms. “Like many of you, I also have been sick all week and, unfortunately, my husband who returned from his tour a couple of days ago is also feeling ill,” Klum wrote in an Instagram post. “To be safe, we are staying apart until we get the results of our Coronavirus tests.” Thankfully Tom’s results came back negative, and Heidi is still waiting to hear, so they remain in limbo. They are far from alone.

Relationship Advice: What home strategies can we learn from Heidi Klum and her husband, Tom Kaulitz’s, scare with COVID-19?

Whether you are staying in because you have the coronavirus, waiting for results from the test, or you are in because you want to avoid getting the virus, what can you do to ensure that you all get along and don’t drive each other crazy in the process? Cupid has relationship advice on three basic things to keep in mind as you navigate this unknown territory together.

The first is to realize that many people are dealing with denial, and that can show itself in many ways. We see it all around us on the news, with the college students on the crowded beaches, or people who continue to travel despite all the pleas out there asking them not to. Closer to home, your partner or family member might be saying, “It’s not that big a deal, it’s all hype.” They might be encouraging you to continue to do things that you know you shouldn’t be doing such as getting together with friends or visiting elderly parents. To understand why they are behaving this way it might help to realize that denial comes from fear.

Related Link: Celebrity News: Heidi Klum Reveals What Her Kids Think of New Husband Tom Kaulitz

To begin with, avoid reasoning with them or explaining the facts. If you try to break through their denial they will just hold their ground and reinforce it. Instead, let them believe what they will and rather than trying to change their mind, let them know how worried you are and appeal to them to change their action on your behalf. In other words, they don’t have to agree with you, but at least they can consider you by altering their intended plan because of concern. However, if they still won’t, it is important to let them know your intentions. If they refuse to reconsider you and still go ahead without any regard for your well-being, then it is essential to put your limits in place and let them know what you are going to do, whether that means not joining them or keeping your distance from them. Typically, if you can let up and give people room, self-doubt will sink in and they might think better of it and put their denial to the side themselves.

The second situation you might bump up against is if your partner takes this situation even harder than you do. You might want to find a positive spin, but your loved one, understandably, might be all doom and gloom. This can happen if they are experiencing more of a financial crisis than you are, or if they are more worried about someone getting sick. It might be your instinct to tell them it isn’t so bad and encouraging them to get over it. In reality, though, that might spike their anxiety more. When you do that you are dismissing their feelings. Instead of coming up with solutions, empathize with them, leaving room for their fears and worries, and reassure them that you will find a way through it together.

Related Link: Celebrity Parents Open Up About Their Best Parenting Advice

Finally, even before the virus landed most people were already keeping track of who did what at home and who took on the most responsibility. Now everyone is home all the time. It might have been hard enough to make sure everyone was happy when it was just a few hours at night, but now it’s 24 hours a day. With that in mind, work together to structure the way you are going to handle your time and space. Take inventory of your needs and where each person hopes to be to get that done, then come up with a plan so everyone knows where they should go and for how long. Make a chart, either daily or weekly, so everyone has a sense of how the day will go. Being able to change your expectations might also help. If, for example, you got to watch the evening news by yourself each night before everyone came home, you might not be able to do that anymore and the sooner you let that go the better you will be able to deal with this new reality. Laying out clear and organized plans will help keep everyone’s frustration down.

In the end, even if Heidi is virus-free, she and her family will most likely still stick close to home for a while. Hopefully, they will find their way with some of these tools to make the close quarters less challenging, and hopefully, you can, too.

Please tune in to the Doctor on Call radio hour on the first Wednesday of each month, at 11 AM EST, 8 AM PST; including  Shrink Wrap on Call, Pop Psych with Dr. Greer, and Let’s Talk Sex! Connect with Dr. Jane Greer on Facebook, and be sure to follow @DrJaneGreer on Twitter for her latest insights on love, relationships, sex, and intimacy. Listen to Dr. Greer’s Shrink Wrap News at 7 segments on HealthyLife.