Ask Leslie: Is it fair to judge my partner during a time of crisis?


I’ve been with my partner for 4 years, however, we’ve never argued more than we do now. It’s led me to rethink if I want to continue the relationship. Is it fair to judge my partner during a time of crisis?

– Quarantina…

Dear Quarantina…,

Is it fair to judge your partner? People are not themselves during a time of panic and uncertainty, which leads to anxiety for many. Is it fair to judge them by their actions or, do we judge them because we believe that we find out who they really are during unprecedented times?

It is so important to recognize that no matter the circumstances surrounding your relationship or the stage you are in at the time, the only behavior that you can control is your own. How you act or react to the people in your life, especially your significant other, is up to you. Recognizing that your partner does not cope well under certain conditions gives you the ability to adjust to how you respond to their behavior. While destructive, rude, or mean behavior under any condition is not acceptable, it is how you choose to react that can make the difference.

Perhaps under CO-VID, you have learned something new about your partner – something that you would never have known (at least for a long time) otherwise. How you choose to treat your partner at this time can either strengthen your relationship or destroy it.

Ultimately it is not easy to maintain control over our behavior when the one we love changes theirs for better or for worse. If you love the person you are with, including yourself, the decision to behave in a particular manner (even when you are the one adjusting) will lead to strengthening your relationship and a deeper understanding between both of you. Ultimately, each partner needs to take responsibility for their own behavior.

Taking time to pause before reacting or lashing back out at your partner allows you to recognize that their behavior speaks more to their own issues and is not actually directed at you or your relationship.

Image: Chelsea Culmann

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