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Intervention and Consultation
Employee Assistance Program

Brio EAP – March 2023 – Communicating as a couple…

Communicating as a couple… the impact of the pandemic

We have just lived a crazy couple of years! During these last 2 years we have been faced with unusual situations that we would have never expected to encounter in all of our existence. This pandemic has forced us to have to adapt and to adjust in a short amount of time. We have had to change a lot of habits, such as what we do, how we work, how we interact, and so on.

This leads me to the topic of communicating. We may have had some difficulties in this regard with friends, family, co-workers, and even our spouses. Some have had to work from home and have had to spend a lot more time with each other than usual. How have the couples dealt with the stressful situations they have never faced before? For some of the couples living together, they have experienced a closeness that has sometimes been overwhelming, whereas others have learnt to deal with the long-distance relationships. Some couples lean on each other and become more connected, whereas other couples might have experienced some tensions. Relationships are either strengthened or worsened based on the couple’s dynamic. This pandemic has caused some households to experience financial stress.  Some lost their job, were unemployed, perhaps decided to reorient their career, the list goes on. No chance to build a healthier relationship with your partner!

To stay grounded as a couple, having a good communication is key.  It’s important to take a moment, whether it’s a few minutes or more, to talk to your partner on a daily basis. When talking to you partner, it is important to use the ” I “. By doing so, your partner is more likely to be open to discussion and not feel ” under attack ” or judged by what you say. It is nice to express needs, feelings, and opinions and to share what you are feeling, and what you are going through with your partner. I know this is easier said than done, but the benefits are significant. To show concern and provide support is a good thing to keep in mind. We all handle things differently. That is why it is important to make time to really listen to one another and welcome what the other must share with you. This pandemic might have led us to deal with these situations in a way that is out of proportion and more annoying than normal.

Therefore, it is so important to be understanding of our partner and of ourselves. We must remember that couples do not have to agree on every issue. We must make time for ourselves by having activities or hobbies we enjoy. Giving each other some time and space, making time for yourself, can help to rebalance the relationship.

Be that as it may, the pandemic has brought us face to face with the expectations we have of ourselves as a couple, of how we relate to one another.  It has turned upside down our close relationships and may transform the current patterns of love.

Karyne Vaillant, coordinator Brio EAP

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