The pandemic has impacted nearly every area of our lives, including our intimate relationships. Looking back at the past few months, it’s easy to recognize the challenges: Disruptions in routine. Lack of social connections outside the home. Childcare shutdowns. New precautions for elderly parents. Virtual school. Virtual work. Health concerns related to the virus.

Ongoing stress is known for exacerbating existing problems and triggering new ones. Even the strongest and healthiest relationships are not immune to the impact of COVID-19.

To help you and your partner navigate these challenges, we encourage you to consider the following advice:

  • Be proactive. If you’ve noticed new issues emerging or a distance growing between yourself and your partner, this could be a good time to confront your concerns and get support. Challenges within a relationship are best addressed before they become a crisis.
  • Be honest with your partner about your needs and feelings. During times of stress and crisis, it’s normal for couples to have difficulties communicating and that’s OK. Give each other some slack but keep the lines of communication open. Be open and honest. That’s the only way to be effective. Recognize that it’s hard to support one another when you’re emotionally spent.
  • Take time for yourself and your interests. Maintain those habits that make you happy and bring fulfillment. Many couples are spending more time together due to working from home and colder weather. It’s totally normal to feel like you need time for yourself—without the distractions of kids or house work. Whether it’s going for a walk alone or finding time to enjoy your morning coffee or your favorite show after a busy day, it’s important to make time for yourself.
  • Remain social. Family and friends are a vital support system. Stay connected with them through socially distanced gatherings or virtual hangouts. Try to schedule these events so they become a priority.
  • Take advantage of your EAP. The pandemic has put everyone’s relationships to the test as we deal with countless issues we’ve never faced before. To help our relationships thrive during these extraordinary times, it’s helpful to reach out for support.

Did you know the FEI EAP includes couples counseling? During these sessions, the counselor is a neutral, supportive professional who can help partners identify concerns, establish goals and find solutions for strengthening relationships. Their training and objectivity can help each partner communicate their concerns and come together in resolving differences.

Whether you’ve been dating your partner for six months or have been married for 30 years, couples counseling can help you strengthen your relationship, mend old wounds and become more resilient against future stress. To remain safe from the pandemic, most counselors offer telehealth options.

To learn more about the FEI EAP and its many benefits, please visit our website.