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Hello. My name is Greg Cooper. I’m a Licensed Marriage And Family Therapist with Thriveworks in Marietta, Georgia. The question is, “how can I strengthen my relationship during Covid-19?” It’s important to understand that this Covid-19 has created a lot of changes in our way that we are experiencing in our lives. One of which is that we’re brought together and at home more often than we usually are.

Many couples sometimes tell me they just don’t have a lot of time together. Well, with the new rules in regards to staying at home in quarantine has created an opportunity for people to spend a lot of time together.

Now spending time together can be a positive thing. Not necessarily the way that we wanted to spend time together, but let’s take advantage. One of the things I like to strive with couples is using emotional language, talking about the things that are going on in their lives emotionally. How I feel and experiencing some emotion is not right or wrong. It just is. And it’s important for us to communicate as emotions are telling our spouse or our partner how we feel, whether we feel stressed, whether we feel scared, whether we feel anxious, even if we feel connected and feel alone. It’s important to communicate that back and forth.

When we’re together in this time of quarantine we need to set a schedule, continue to do things like you normally do when you go to work: get up, take a shower, and get ready to go to work. So it’s separate space apart. It’s set for work, but also remember that that space is for work and it shouldn’t extend out throughout the house. Make sure that that time at the house is set for relational time cooking meals together, spending time together, doing things that we normally don’t get a chance to do regularly. Having lunch with your spouse on a daily basis can be a lot of fun cooking meals together and doing things that we normally wouldn’t do.

Since we’re at home, we’re also experiencing a lot more time in the house where it’s getting messy. Coming up with the time to clean things up a little bit together. Working together is important. It’s trying to live your life in a more productive way in this environment It isn’t ideal, but also remember that the emotional component and the stresses that are there. Listen to what your spouse has to say. Listen to what your partner has to say. Don’t necessarily try to fix the problems that they have. Just listen and acknowledge that they have issues.

Try to walk together outside, get outside. Discuss things that you normally wouldn’t. If you do get into an argument, make sure that you take a break if you need it. And then determine what time you’re gonna come back. These are all important components and normally will help strengthen relationship anywhere.

Check in with each other. Do some of those little things that you normally wouldn’t. For what? Well, I want somebody to pour them a glass of orange juice. Get them something to drink or eat while they’re working. Also, another spouse just might want to have somebody sit with them while they’re working or if they’re feeling defeated.

Remember, this is a time that you can work on your relationship, can talk about things, but doing it in a structured way. And remember to stay safe together and support each other. I hope this was helpful. You have a good day.