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Relationships Under Pressure

I don’t think any of us are in any doubt that Covid-19 has had a huge impact on all of us, it has certainly made me reflect on the things that I have taken for granted, from the freedom to go out whenever and wherever I want, to seeing those who I love and care about and not thinking twice about giving them a hug!

So on the one hand we are separated from some of those we are close to and on the other hand we are being asked to spend the very vast majority of our time in our own home with whoever we live with. This can be quite a challenge.

I don’t know the statistics, but just thinking about my own family and friend’s lifestyles the amount of time they actually spent together in close proximity was certainly a lot less than the time that they spent apart. Now couples and families are experiencing the reverse of this situation and I am wondering how long it takes for the novelty of this situation to wear off.

In a recent TV interview that I watched, a GP describe human beings as “pack animals”, meaning most of us are naturally social creatures, getting a lot of pleasure and affirmation from our interactions with others, so when that opportunity to socialise is taken from us, it means that we will turn to those who are available to us to meet our needs.

If we are in a loving, supportive relationship, we can hope that our partner will do their best to be there for us, listen, respond, empathise, encourage and help us problem solve when necessary, but even in the most positive of relationships having to occupy that role can feel somewhat arduous. Luckily for us in today’s society we have the means to contact each other via technology, thus offering the opportunity to socially interact with others, relieving our partner from all of the responsibility of meeting our ‘pack animal’ needs. Happy days!

However, for those whose relationships are not so positive and who have been struggling with their relationships prior to the pressures Covid-19 has brought to us, the effects of having to socially isolate with a partner can be devastating. So if you have a friend or relative who has confided that their relationship is maybe going through a dip, please spare them a thought and make contact with them checking they are ok. The opportunity to access professional relationship support and advice may be more limited currently, making a friendly, listening ear even more important.

For further information and advice check our website or email me at elizabethheadley@brethertons.co.uk

Stay safe and well.