What to do if you get in a massive fight with your partner during lockdown

couple fighting in lockdown
Fighting isn't ideal at the best of times...but in lockdown it can be even more fraught. Photo credit: Getty.

We're in the third week of Aotearoa's COVID-19 alert level 4 lockdown, which means tensions with your bubble buddies might be starting to show.

This is especially true if it's just you and your partner. Many Kiwi couples who weren't living together before the lockdown have moved in together for the self-isolation period - which means they're firmly in the adjustment period of this new relationship phase. 

Speaking to Metro, dating and relationships expert Natasha Briefel says it's important to remember "that it is completely normal to have disagreements". 

"What's abnormal is to be permanently locked in one space together, so it doesn't mean that you're not doing well if you're having a tiff every now and then."

While a big blowout fight whilst being trapped in the same house isn't ideal, it might be expected. If it happens, Briefel says you should stop and take stock of the situation.

"See if your partner is receptive to talk," she says. "If not, give each other some space. Go and have a bubble bath. Do some yoga or go for a run."

The best time to talk, she says, isn't when either of you is hungry, tired or drunk. 

"This is not a win or lose situation. You are team players on the same team. Focus on a win-win."

Couples' counsellor Pam Custers offers a unique tip - never argue standing up. 

"Arguing standing up can easily escalate," she says. "Remember to listen to your partner and not interrupt. If your partner leaves the room in the middle of an argument, don't follow. It is their way of trying to cool off. 

"Give them space and suggest you talk about it later when you have both calmed down."

Remember, we have at least a few more weeks to go - so be careful when picking your battles.