Does anyone else feel like marriage is a tricky thing during COVID-19?

I say that only sort of jokingly. My husband and I had a conversation the other day about how different our daily interactions are with each other. Normally, as a college basketball coach, Saul is on the road recruiting or heading to away games. I spend a lot of time traveling for my ministry. When we get downtime, we have all kinds of stories to tell each other.

The stories have run out. Luckily, the kindness hasn’t. As the woman who sent in the following story explains, it may be the secret to a successful marriage.

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"I’ve been married for 30 years, most of them have been good, but I’d be lying if I said they were all good. We have had our share of good times over the years; having babies, buying a house, exotic vacations, in-laws, puppies, etc. And we have had our share of trying times over the years, as well; having babies, buying a house, exotic vacations, in-laws, puppies, etc. Pretty much like every other married couple. Right?!

"Well, the last several weeks would fall under the category of trying times. I have been dealing with some lower back pain due to a health condition. Getting comfortable in bed at night can be a real chore.

"I had struggled several nights in a row at this point with restlessness, and finally after multiple nights of no sleep, I was able to fall asleep in my recliner in the living room.

"When I woke up, I realized it was the middle of the night. Someone had covered me up with my favorite blanket, taken my glasses off and placed them on the table, and plugged in my cellphone, too.

"I laid there for a moment thinking how sweet it was of my family to leave me in the chair as I had finally found sleep. They had even cared enough to take my glasses off and plug in my phone so I’d have a full charge in the morning.

"Then I looked over past the other side of the end table. There was my husband sound asleep in the other recliner. My eyes filled to the rim with tears and they start running down my cheeks.

"He could have just left me in my recliner and gone off to bed to get a good night of rest without his tossing and turning wife next to him. But, nope! There he was in his recliner 3 feet away from me, just so he could be close if I needed him.

"That is real kindness."

Instead of worrying about the latest COVID numbers or wondering what will happen with schools this fall, let’s spend that energy infusing a little extra kindness into our relationships.

Sensitivity and preference to the needs of others sees couples through the ups and downs of life, whether there are new workday stories to tell each other or not.

ARCHIVE: Read more of Nicole J. Phillips' Kindness is Contagious columns

Please continue to share your stories of kindness with me at info@nicolejphillips.com.

Nicole J. Phillips, a former Fargo television anchor, is a speaker, author and host of The Kindness Podcast. She lives in Aberdeen, S.D., with her three children and her husband, Saul Phillips, the head men's basketball coach at Northern State University. You can visit Nicole at nicolejphillips.com.