New Brunswick — During the COVID-19 pandemic, many couples are struggling to stay sane and stay together. Those with children are especially feeling the pressure to maintain a healthy relationship.
Local couple Darren Jeffry and his wife Janelle claim they’ve been fighting nonstop about the little things. They’ve sought counselling, however, and their therapist had an unusual — but highly practical — word of advice.
“You should try to work it out, for the sake of the kids,” said marriage counsellor Rebecca Norris. “Next time you’re on the verge of a big blowout, I’d recommend just scrolling mindlessly through some social media apps and forgetting what the fight was about in the first place.
“It’s hard to stay engaged in an argument when you’re responding to messages or liking pictures of friends’ dogs or reading movie reviews.”
The new method was put to the test just last night.
“I don’t know how much more I can take!” exclaimed Darren, when Janelle accidentally brought home the wrong kind of peanut butter from Superstore. But, remembering the therapist’s advice, he sat on the couch and got his phone out to browse Instagram. Janelle sat on the opposite end of the couch, turned the TV on, and began scrolling through Pinterest on her own phone.
Before long, the room was silent except for the sounds of an old Fresh Prince episode and the kids playing peacefully on the floor.
Norris told our reporter that, in her profession, she sees many couples who are on the brink of divorce but who want to work on their marriage for the sake of their kids.
“Parents tend to focus so much on their children that they neglect their relationship with each other,” she explained. “They find that, after all the emotional and physical energy that goes into raising kids, they’re too drained for a date night. Well, I say stop forcing it — just give in, stare at your phone, and everyone will be happy. Well, maybe not happy, but not fighting, either.”
“Time really flies when you’re looking at your phone nonstop,” confirmed Janelle. “I’m not mad at Darren anymore, because I don’t even notice him. I can easily do this until the kids are out of the house. I mean, it feels like I just started playing Candy Crush a second ago and it’s already bedtime! What’s 15 more years?”