Rebuilding relationships impacted by pandemic

A RECENT survey from Relationships Australia revealed that a large percentage of people felt their romantic relationships were negatively impacted by coronavirus.

Story by Cassandra Glover

9 June, 2020.

Retrieved from The Chronicle

Subscriber only

Psychology and counselling lecturer at the University of Southern Queensland Raquel Peel said the survey showed 55 per cent of people felt their relationships had been challenged by the impacts of coronavirus, and 42 per cent of people felt their relationship had been negatively impacted.

“We have been under lockdown and stuck at home so our routines have changed. For a lot of us that means working from home with our partners or being at home without work and spending a lot time together,” Mrs Peel said.

“The majority of people have experienced challenges, but 20 per cent of respondents were able to experience positive changes.

“The alarming number was that 90 per cent said they didn’t experience any changes to their non-romantic relationships, which confirms the changes in their relationships are intimate.”

Mrs Peel said while relationships have been based in such close quarters, issues may have been harder to ignore. However, she said most couples could work to resolve their issues.

“There are cases that can’t be solved, but it’s about setting some time apart to look at the relationship,” Mrs Peel said.

“I think it’s important to sit back and gather some insight into what we’re doing to influence these changes.

“We also need to manage our expectations, given the situation we can’t expect too much of our partners or ourselves.”

Now that coronavirus restrictions are easing, Mrs Peel said it was the perfect time for couples to get out and spend quality time together.

“Now that we can actually go out and have picnics, why not? Sit down and have a picnic with your partner and have a discussion around how your routine needs to change to adapt to different needs.

“Create moments of intimacy, whether it be snuggled up on the couch or going out for a picnic.”

“We forget the value of those small conversations.”

Mrs Peel said the easing restrictions might also be an opportunity for couples to have some space.

“If your partner is getting on your nerves go for a walk or a run, go and catch up with a friend,” she said.

“We do also need those moments of separation.”

Mrs Peel said the most important thing to do was communicate.

“A lot of times we’re in our own heads thinking the relationship is doomed,” she said.

“But if we sit down and listen to our partner we often realise we’re making things way bigger than it is.”

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