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WCIA News 3 Motivational Monday with R.J. McNicholl : Growing Closer, Not Apart

R.J. McNicholl, LCSW with The Rock Counseling Group of Champaign, IL and Mahomet, IL visited Christie Battista of WCIA News 3 via video interview session during COVID-19 pandemic. They discussed how to grow together with your partner during isolation instead of growing apart.


(Click here to watch the pre-recorded Motivational Monday segment.)

Growing Closer, Not Apart
With Your Marriage Or Relationship While Sheltering In-Place

 
At this time many are spending more time than ever with their partners than ever. Whether you’ll be at home for two weeks or two months, your attitude and approach can make all the difference. 
 
• Ask Yourself Will this time be filled with frustration and tension, or will you use the time to strengthen your marriage?
• You will annoy each other, so give loads of grace. Keep asking yourself if the issue is a ‘big deal’ or a ‘little deal.’. Let go of the little annoyances, but it is recommended that couples address bigger issues so that they don’t build into resentment.
 

Make A Plan

  • How much alone time would you like each day, and what does that look like for you?
  • What would you like us to do together?
  • What are your expectations for times you’re working from home?
  • How can we use this time to build our marriage?

Balance The Load

  • Some additional household chores may be part of the quarantine routine, and dividing chores in a way that’s a win for both of you is important. 
  • Choose the chores most important to yourself that way you know they will get done and the way you want them to get done to reduce potential conflict.
  • Grieve change and loss.
  • Your spouse may be experiencing more than just frustration, fear or exhaustion. They might also be grieving.
  • To support each other through this time, you first need to understand what your spouse is feeling. You could ask your spouse, for example, “What do you miss most during this crisis?” Make your goal to care about how the coronavirus crisis is impacting your spouse (and yourself).

Final Point

• If you use this extra time together well, you could come out of the crisis with a stronger, healthier marriage. 
• Stepping away from news and social media updates would be a good place to start. That will give you an opportunity to have some meaningful conversations with your spouse — instead of just the exchange of information when you’re running from one event to another.
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