We are currently witnessing history in the making in the form of the coronavirus. Industries, sectors and societies are being affected around the world. With entire countries in lockdown, people being advised to work from home, and the start of a prolonged recession, the family dynamic is set for some challenging times ahead.
As such, the need for couples to understand and communicate with each other is more critical than ever. Therefore, couples who are under a lot of personal, career, or financial stress need to reach out for help to weather this storm. Those who know they can’t do it alone and are willing to talk and seek the advice of professionals will survive.
An experienced marriage counsellor understands the challenges that couples will face during the oncoming 6 – 12 months. In this post, we will look at the key challenges ahead and how marriage counselling can help you during this time.
Financial stress inside your marriage
According to several research studies and divorce statistics, one of the main reasons for divorce is money-related. Whether it be financial stress, a lack of financial compatibility or ill-judgment with money, it plays a significant role in marriage… and divorce.
Everything from differing money habits and financial goals to one partner making more money than the other. Financial health can strain a marriage to breaking point. For many couples, money and stress simply go hand in hand.
The global economy is taking a massive hit, and we are entering a recession. Small to medium businesses are getting hit the hardest, with many forced to close up shop. The federal government just announced strict new social distancing measures with many pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes forced to shut.
As jobs are lost and small businesses and sole traders go under, millions of Aussies are struggling to pay their rent, utility bills and mortgages. Families and couples are going to experience immense financial stress over the coming year.
Throw on top of that self-isolating, working from home and lockdown, the extra time spent together could take a severe toll on a relationship. And if the schools are forced to close, and the kids are around 24/7, we could have a pressure cooker on our hands.
Dealing with cabin fever during this pandemic
As cases of the novel coronavirus continue to rise, more people are either working from home or self-isolating. As someone who works from home myself, I know first-hand how real cabin fever is. As such, I make it a priority to get out, exercise and socialise regularly. However, with social distancing measures in place, getting out and staying connected will prove challenging.
Yes, you may have your spouse or family to spend quality time with, but even then it can be healthy to hang with others outside of the family unit. This will also be a challenge for many couples. If you don’t believe me then just look at China’s divorce rate which has risen dramatically since lockdown was enforced.
Have you ever travelled with a partner and a point comes along on the trip where you need some space? Well, imagine that, but instead of cruising the Amalfi Coast, you are stuck inside your home. Together. 24/7. For months on end.
If you find yourself in this situation, then it’s critical that you communicate in a constructive manner. Sometimes, this means talking to an outsider—ideally, a professional counsellor or therapist.
Why engage in couples therapy?
Many marriages would not end in divorce if couples were to seek therapy. Most relationship issues are not talked about – instead, they are bottled up and released in the form of passive aggression, emotional or physical abuse. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Having a third party, especially an experienced relationship counsellor, listen to your issues can give you an outside perspective on your problems, which often can be incredibly revealing. And such a revelation creates empathy for your partner. From this understanding, mutually beneficial solutions can be sought.
Engaging in counselling can help a couple to:
- Understand how they feel about each other and the relationship they are in
- Go back to their roots and discover why they were attracted to each other in the first place
- Consider how each party contributes to the relationship
- Learn and find out what they want in their relationship and from each other
- Identify the next steps in preparation to making the relationship work
During this time, counselling may matter more than ever
These are trying and testing times not just for couples, but the entire human race. Unlike panic shopping and toilet-paper hoarding, we, as a collective, need to band together and demonstrate the best of human nature.
For many couples, the need to stay healthy and united will be tested over the coming months. You will need every tool at your disposal to help you through these challenging times.
If you are already feeling the stress on your relationship or marriage, or simply have any questions regarding couples therapy, please reach out to me here anytime. Please note, that for your safety as well as our own, all couples therapy sessions have moved online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Remember, be kind, take care and stay healthy.