During this global pandemic, our lives feel very out of control. It’s very easy to get weighted down by the uncertainty, negativity, and anxiety associated with the difficult times-whether economic, health-related, or otherwise. Marriages can really be tested by these challenges. -Les Parrot

 

In a recent conversation with Christ Church member and Psychologist Dan Goff, he shared that right now we need to keep in mind that there are three kinds of families out there: the Bored, the Chaotic, and those on the Brink.  The bored are those who work from home a few hours and continue to get paid full time.  Those in chaos, have the added stresses of Day Care being closed, homeschooling or dealing with the sequestration of their college aged kids while trying to work from home or otherwise. Finally, there are those with who work in non-essential jobs. These families are on the brink. They are in survival mode, without means to pay bills or buy food. With them they either draw together or apart. Any of these categories of families have their challenges. In order to protect our relationships here are a few helpful resources.

Symbis

Symbis, Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott’s marriage ministry, has a blog with posts addressing healthy ways to engage as a couple during this unique time of quarantine. Please also note the other topics addressing conflict, communication and much more.

https://www.symbis.com/blog/

With the quarantine, now is the perfect time to get to know each other better than you ever have before. Deepening your relationship will pay dividends in the future, well beyond the time you’re spending at home right now.  The Symbis ministry offers a tool that can help you out. The is a quick, easy test the two of you can take to learn more about each other-and how to relate to one another better. If you want less conflict, better sex, more laughter, and deeper conversation, check out Better Love. Learn more here Better Love Assessment  -Symbis.com

Therapy

Another proactive step of care for your relationship, is to consider therapy. As Dan stated, “We therapists are considered “essential personnel” and therefore are allowed to continue “face to face” visits. That being said, many of us (myself included) have decided to do video/phone only sessions until we flatten the curve. The governor of this state and others, have issued laws that insurance providers must cover tele-health sessions similarly to those done “face to face”.  Sessions especially with couples on video have been extremely rewarding. It feels not much different than being there and saves on gas!”

You do not need to be in full crisis mode to engage a therapist. Think of it as a tune-up before trouble starts. You can save on “gas” and “repairs”. Your campus pastors have a list of recommended local faith-based counseling centers.

Relationships and Resources

Dan continued sharing about the value of Zoom as a means to connect with others. Healthy, supportive relationships are a good safety net for our marriages. Reconnect with your men’s group or women’s study. Consider starting a study or book club with other couples. We have additional online groups here. One Christ Church couple, active in investing in theirs and other’s marriages, offered some recommended resources for couples:

Reads

Devotionals for Couples

  • The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy and Kathy Keller
  • Time Together by Les and Leslie Parrott
  • Blog/lecture/inspiration by  Dr. Henry Cloud

Movies

  • Fireproof
  • War Room
Crisis

Finally, if you find yourselves on the brink please do not hesitate to reach out to your local campus pastor. Christ Church wants to pray and support you in any way we can.

In the case that stress is showing itself in domestic violence our local contact, Nancy Dunsey LPC and Director of A Safe Place in Lake County shared in a recent interview that the quarantine is revealing cracks in the foundation of relationships far earlier than couples would see them normally. The lack of distractions associated with busy lives is revealing what couples were strategically avoiding. If your spouse is exhibiting violence please reach out to A Safe Place: www.asafeplaceforhelp.org .

They have trained live staff call-on their 24/7 Help-line  # 1-800-600-SAFE (7233)