You Can Maintain Your Relationship
During COVID-19

Rita Clark, LMSW, therapist with The Center for Relationship and Sexual Health, was featured in an article on “Mental health and marriage: How to maintain your relationship during the COVID-19 crisis,” which was published in the May 20 issue of Michigan Chronicle.

Here is an excerpt from the article.

Confinement has made some spouses take a second look at their significant other and suddenly they don’t like what they see. Some are saying, “I really don’t know my spouse. The person I think I knew is not the same person. The things they used to like they don’t anymore.”

All is not lost.

There is a positive side to the confinement. The pandemic has enabled some couples to regain quality time and sexual intimacy – things that may have been sacrificed due to the daily demands of work and other activities before the pandemic.

Some couples have come closer together. Sometimes there are challenges that come with married couples seeking sexual intimacy. For example, married couples with children may have difficulty stealing away private moments with the kids being present. But it isn’t impossible.

It depends on the household. Where there is a will, there is a way.

But even the additional opportunity for intimacy doesn’t come to fruition automatically if problems existed prior to the pandemic. It really depends if there are unresolved issues. One of those unresolved issues may be infidelity. That is particularly challenging in a forced stay-at-home situation.

You could cover those behaviors by being mobile and busy. It’s much more difficult to do that when you’re confined. However, while the pandemic confinement may preclude a philandering spouse from engaging in an extra-marital affair, the issue becomes the proverbial elephant in the room, especially if the victimized spouse is aware of the affair. In addition, it creates more stress to an already stressful situation.

Be it infidelity or finances, overall tensions eventually lead to disputes between couples that manifest into intense discussions or sometimes arguments.

Here is one idea that may help couples heal their confinement wounds:

Write down your issues and share them with your significant other. Place the pieces of paper with each issue in a bowl and take them out one at a time. The issue you read is the issue to discuss. The objective is to enable couples to discuss openly these issues and reach a point of resolution and closure.

The bottom line is the current stay-at-home confinement can cause added stress for married couples, so seek help! Insurances are now covering telehealth appointments. If you are not comfortable seeking counseling in person, you can get the help you need from the privacy of your home and your insurance may cover the cost.

The Center for Relationship and Sexual Health has a team of specialists who can help you! Simply call 248.399.7447 or schedule an appointment through the center’s website: You can view profiles of the therapy team and choose a therapist who you feel is the best match for you.

To read the Michigan Chronicle article in its entirety, use this link (the story is on page 9):