I stood by the window, gazing at the leaves and lost in thought. How could it have ended way before it started? It has been a hell of a year and now this. How are we going to get back from this? Can our love survive this hit? These and more were the thoughts running through my head.

Adam and I had been together for six years. In a heartbeat, I can count the amount of time we have spent together under the same roof without being swamped with work but now we would have to spend a month? Two? Or even more without “work” as an excuse to escape. There is no doubt that I love my husband, but this compulsory holiday is more than I can bear.

I heard the news about the pandemic hitting certain countries some months back and I was unbothered because this is Nigeria! We go through enough daily for a mere pandemic to hit us but boy was I in for a surprise. Now, everything is on standstill. The government has imposed curfews, businesses are shutting down, everyone is indoors and I am here with Adam. How would we survive this?

During the first two weeks of the lockdown, things were tense between us. Everywhere I turned, he was there. Our home began to feel so small and suffocating. Is this how it had always been? I never really noticed.
By the third week, I was ready to risk my life just to get a breather.

Has this always been my reality? How come I never noticed this distance between us before now? How could we come out from this? What were we doing wrong? These were my constant thoughts daily. Amidst all the uncertainty and ill feelings, I knew I wanted us to work.

Shortly after the first phase of the lockdown, I decided to talk to Adam. Not just the “hello”, “hi”, “how was your night?” conversations that filled our day but a serious conversation on where we had missed it. From our discussions, I realized that we had gotten to a point where we became over-familiar with each other, nothing was exciting or surprising to look forward to, and that had put a strain on our marriage.

After the conversation, we decided to start “Operation restoration”, a conscious effort at picking the pieces and making the best out of our union. The rest of the lockdown was a mix of success and failures, trying to make a lot of changes was not an easy feat. We had to be intentional and it paid off.

If anyone had told me at the start of 2020 that all these were going to happen, I would not have believed but it sure did and we came out stronger!

Just like life, there would always be something to tip you off balance but the most important thing is how you react to it, and the lessons you learn. All in all, Be Intentional!

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