A wise person I know once said, “in the darkness there is a life force at work, still”. She was referring to the way couples are persevering throughout the challenges of COVID-19. Couples can work on relationships during Covid.
Work on relationships during Covid using teletherapy
As a seasoned psychologist, I love the way sessions come alive when couples:
- explore their innermost feelings
- find their truth
- repair their collective hurt
How teletherapy can help couples during this pandemic
Some couples discover that repair is not their fate. If this is the case, I’m invested in assisting them to reach an amicable separation and help them decide if friendship is possible, with time. I want to share with you a few of the recent stories I have encountered, without any specific, identifying features so that anonymity is maintained:
Moving in together
One couple I worked with for six months decided to move in together due to COVID-19. They had been dating exclusively prior to the pandemic . They often spent time at one or the other’s place on weekends – but questioned if their cohabitation was premature. Over the next few sessions, they discovered that their intimacy had deepened. Their time together increased from two days a week to seeing each other every day. Together in their new home they were:
- learning about each other’s moods and daily habits.
The pandemic brought them closer together in proximity, and ultimately, in their relationship.
Couple in trouble PRIOR to Covid-19
COVID-19 has brought new stresses to us all and one couple in particular wondered if their relationship could handle the additional burden. They were already experiencing a void and questioning their current state of happiness and compatibility.
With the reality of COVID-19 locking them down and significantly shrinking their social life, the quality of their relationship became paramount. Therapy helped them prioritize their relationship and become better equipped to separate the global stress from their internal issues that brought them to therapy in the first place.
Pre-Marital Counseling from SEPARATE locations
A couple living in separate homes committed to pre-marital counseling prior to COVID-19 to see if they felt confident about a shared future. The rising curve of cases threatened to interrupt their treatment, however, teletherapy made it possible to continue counseling from their two separate locations. They are still assessing their “fit”, but in their opinion, COVID-19 is the catalyst for discovering how tackling a major stressor is a test of a couple’s strength, endurance, values, beliefs, and maybe even love.
Divorce talks prior to the pandemic
The last couple I’ll mention was planning to divorce. After a thirty year marriage, infidelity left a deep wound that seemed destined to erode their union. The COVID-19 quarantine, however, created a stronger need to place personal safety and well being first. They decided not to separate and instead explored and evaluated the possibility of a completely new marriage. Through the process of couples’ therapy, they eventually talked about what was missing between them and what could be restored.
Now in their 50s, with adult children living on their own, they’ve started courting each other again, blossoming new love in their long standing relationship! They realized their marriage has much more growth potential and after working through the hurt, they were willing to join me on a road of future possibilities.
I can never promise couples where the road will take us. Long, dark, and arduous as it may appear, I do have faith that if there is a light of hope, renewal, and rebirth, therapy will reveal it.
As you can see, all types of couples are finding their way through the uncharted waters of COVID-19 together. I am always happy to help couples facing infidelity, questioning cohabitation, marriage, or having children, and those supporting a partner struggling with anxiety and depression, but especially now when the world is so difficult to navigate.
As each couple is unique, bear in mind that treatment is customizable. You and your partner may wish to have a few sessions:
- for a “tune-up”
- to commit to a longer, deep dive to process long-standing issues
- to explore a new couples’ option dubbed “The Method,”where a colleague and I partner together to support you both individually and as a group for accelerated results
All services are currently available via video-based teletherapy, a medium that provides much more up-close and personal intimacy than you’d expect. In today’s challenging world, being able to access support from the comfort of our own homes is one of our greatest assets. Let me know how I can help you and/or your partner as you move through life together.
About the Writer: Dr. Barbara M. Kaplan is a clinical psychologist specializing in relationship issues, bereavement, geriatric psychology, depression and anxiety, parenting, and recovery from infidelity.
When she’s not helping individuals and couples find their most honest path, she enjoys time with family and friends and continues learning in order to improve her craft.