The beginning of Covid-19 also meant the beginning of new ways of being for everyone. Social
gatherings became smaller or non-existent, homes functioned as offices and schools, and some
began feeling anxious about their own safety and the safety of their loved ones. The topic of
Covid became increasingly prevalent amongst my couples during our sessions and we continue
to discuss its impact on their relationships.
Ideally, couples would be reveling in the opportunity to connect more as they take advantage of
their quality time together; however, some couples are finding that their hobbies, social circles,
and long commutes to work were convenient escapes from relationship challenges. It appears
that more time at home leaves us with 3 choices: face longstanding and current obstacles
head-on, fall into a dynamic of criticism and defensiveness, or avoid through minimal
What helps some couples see their glass as half-full? Here are 5 things the Covid pros have
1. They avoid criticism
The pros have learned that if they are critical of one another, they are less likely to feel
heard and will most likely get a defensive response. Behind every criticism is an unmet
need, so skip the fighting and go straight to statements like “I feel…” and “I need…”.
2. They reflect before replying
If you are in a long-term relationship, by now you have noticed that you and your partner
don’t interpret every situation the same way. When we assume, we fall into a web of
misunderstandings. Try reflecting back on what you heard your partner say about their
experience before sharing yours.
3. They acknowledge pain on BOTH sides
When misunderstandings occur, the pros can validate one another’s pain. They trust that
they both will get a chance to feel validated for what they are feeling, regardless of who
shares first. Most importantly, they do not compare the severity of one another’s pain.
4. They express appreciation
It has been a tough year with added responsibilities and less freedom. The pros look out
for opportunities to express gratitude towards one another for the contributions they
each make to keep life going.
5. They make each other a priority
Although quality time may look different in 2020, the pros take advantage of the time
they get to spend together by getting creative. Despite the restrictions, your relationship
still needs TLC and part of that is maintaining those weekly date nights.
Covid has compelled couples to hold a mirror up to their relationship, to reflect on their strengths
and weaknesses, and to strive for something better.
As always, if you have attempted to communicate your concerns with your partner and are struggling to make progress, schedule an
appointment with a couples therapist to begin improving your relationship.
Written by Yasman Karimi, MA, LMFT, CST-Candidate
Disclaimer: this is not meant to act as or replace therapy in any way.
To schedule a therapy session, please call Houston Relationship Therapy at 1-800-913-9613.