Category Archives: marriage counseling

Staying Connected with your Partner During COVID-19

Staying Connected with your Partner During COVID-19

In conversations with my clients I have heard one of two things, either COVID-19 has made them feel closer than ever to their partner, or it has put a tremendous strain on their relationship. Maybe you and your partner are learning to balance working from home and homeschooling your children. Perhaps you are an extravert, who is now relying solely on your introverted partner to meet your need for social connection. It could be that you are used to going to the gym after work to decompress before returning home to your spouse, and you have noticed that you are more irritable. Whatever your circumstances, it is certain that your relationship has changed as a result of COVID-19. Here are some tips to help you and your partner stay connected amid these changes.

Do not ignore problems!

If issues arise in your relationship during social distancing, it may be tempting to avoid talking about them as to not rock the boat. However, avoiding difficult conversations can result in resentment, bitterness, and disconnection. Furthermore, it may be easy to blame your relationship issues on the extenuating circumstances of COVID-19. You may be hopeful that your relationship issues will disappear when social distancing guidelines relax. Take a moment to be honest with yourself! Were these issues present in your relationship prior to COVID-19? Are these issues simply exacerbated by being in close quarters? If you answered yes to these questions, it is likely that your relationship issues will remain when life returns to normal. Feeling stuck? Remember, many therapist are offering confidential online therapy sessions that can be done from the comfort (and safety) of your home.

boring marriageMore Time does not mean Quality Time

Yes, you and your partner have PLENTY of time together. But, are you using that time to connect and nurture emotional intimacy? Make time to get to know your partner’s world by remaining curious about them. You may assume that you know most of what happened throughout their day, but that is likely not the case. How are they coping with social distancing? What do they miss most about working from the office? What have they want to take away from the experience of COVID-19? If you and your partner struggle with more intimate conversations, apps such as Gottman Card Decks can help you dig deeper and learn something new about your partner.

Proactive Communication

Let’s face it, your partner can’t read your mind no matter how much as you might want them to. If you are not used to working from home, it is likely that your partner does not know the ins and outs of your workday. They may not know what times of day are most stressful for you or when you take breaks throughout the day to stay centered. In order to effectively make this transition, it may be helpful to communicate proactively. Try having a short meeting with your partner each morning, sharing your agendas for the day how you can best support each other. Try to be as clear as possible to avoid frustration or disappointment.

Westminster marriage counselor Michaela StandhartAbout the Author:

Michaela Standhart is a Marriage and Family Therapist Candidate. She specializes in couples therapy, betrayal trauma, and works with adolescent as young as 12 years old. Michaela stays sane while practicing social distancing by reminding herself how happy her dog is.

Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore in Your Marriage

Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore in Your Marriage

We see it in the clinic all the time: couples come in for marriage counseling shocked that something happened in their marriage. Of course they didn’t see it coming. If they would have saw it coming they would have done something to prevent it. They would have intervened somehow. But they didn’t see it. And… Continue Reading

Does my therapist know if we will make it? 

Does my therapist know if we will make it? 

So, you are in couples therapy and you get the feeling that your therapist may know whether or not your relationship will make it. But.. they will not tell you. The therapist has seen your arguments and they know the troubles that led you to therapy. The therapist was trained to recognize signs of a… Continue Reading

Mental Health and Your Child Part 2: Questions to Ask Your Future Therapist

Mental Health and Your Child Part 2: Questions to Ask Your Future Therapist

Making the decision to take your child to counseling can be overwhelming. In part 1 of this series, we talked about how and where to find a good therapist. Now, let’s narrow it down to finding a good fit for you, your child, and your family. When starting out on your search one of the… Continue Reading

Stop Damaging Your Relationship: 3 Options Instead of an Ultimatum

Stop Damaging Your Relationship: 3 Options Instead of an Ultimatum

In your relationship, whether past or present, you may have found yourself overly frustrated and exhausted by your partners behaviors, feeling you only have one option: the ultimatum.  For instance, if your partner does not stop abusing drugs or alcohol, start helping around the house or with the children, or end a relationship that is… Continue Reading

She Cheated on Her Ex With Me. Can We Make It Work?

Dear Rachel & Aaron,I’ve been having problems with my fiance. We met online while she was having a really bad time with her now ex husband. The relationship they had was abusive to say the least. And when we first met we… well you know the story. Anyway, it’s been nearly 3 years now and she… Continue Reading

Your Marriage Counselor Actually IS on Your Spouse’s Side

Your Marriage Counselor Actually IS on Your Spouse’s Side

When couples come to me for marriage counseling it’s not usually a hasty decision. Usually, couples have argued back and forth for at least a year or more before they finally decide they need to see a marriage counselor. So when a couple comes to me there’s usually a year’s worth of anger and resentment… Continue Reading