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Resources for couples going through a tough time

From bushfires and pandemics to self-isolation and working from home, 2020 thrown massive challenges at all of us. The uncertainty surrounding these unprecedented times has caused anxiety and stress and, unsurprisingly, many couples are struggling.

If your relationship is suffering because of Covid, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the end. If you live in the Hunter Region, there are paths and resources available to help get you back on track.

Be prepared to make adjustments

 

Our lives have changed rapidly since 2020 began. When unexpected change happens, it can be difficult to adjust. Try implementing some of the following measures to regain some normalcy in your relationship.

  • Set boundaries: if your living and working arrangements have changed through working from home or unemployment, you need to set new boundaries around that. This could mean not disturbing each other during working hours or coming up with a fair division of household chores.
  • Communicate: check in with each other regularly. If you’re feeling stressed, anxious or isolated, there’s a fair chance your partner is too. Be honest and listen to each other so you can understand each other’s feelings and find common ground.
  • Give each other space: finding yourselves suddenly spending extra time together may not be ideal. Allow each other time to be alone and to get some headspace.
  • Examine your finances: your financial arrangements may have changed since the start of the year. Money is one of the largest stressors on any relationship, so assessing your financial situation and making new budgeting arrangements could help ease some of the stress.

There are times, when you need to take extra steps to make sure your relationship is healthy.

Start online

 

Although face-to-face help is often the most beneficial option for many couples, it can be a daunting step.

There are lots of online resources available to help couples who are going through a rough patch, such as Relationships Australia. This site has free help sheets with ideas to help you get back on track, as well as information about paid services you can use too.

Seek marriage or couples counselling

 

You may choose to seek counselling to help establish the root causes of your relationship problems. Having a professional counsellor assist you in discovering why things aren’t going well in your relationship at the moment can go a long way towards repairing it.

We often seek professional help in other aspects of our lives – for instance, if our car breaks down we take it to a mechanic – and it can be just as necessary to employ a professional to help with one of the most important aspects of our lives: our relationships.

A counsellor can give you techniques to help you build a stronger relationship. None of us are taught how to be in a couple, so getting help can give us the skills we need for success.

There are plenty of counselling services available around Newcastle. If you’re a member of a church, you may find that this type of help is available where you worship.

One good source for help is Interrelate. This organisation offers a range of services for struggling couples. As well as counselling, Interrelate has programs to help with parenting, communication and other common areas that cause strife in relationships.

Undergo mediation

 

Mediation is a tool used for dispute resolution. It involves a neutral mediator facilitating a discussion between opposing parties. The mediator will help identify issues and present options to the opposed parties. They will then help reach an agreement which satisfies everyone involved.

Mediation can be used to resolve disputes around parenting arrangements, property division, contracts, and disputes about deceased estates or wills. In the case of a couple divorcing or separating it can be used to divide assets and make arrangements around their children.

Mediation is a private and cost-effective alternative to attending court and can help you resolve your issues while maintaining control over your own affairs.

Both Relationships Australia and Interrelate offer mediation services.

What to do if this is it

 

If you’ve come to a point where you’ve found irreconcilable issues for you and your partner, and you find yourselves unable to repair your relationship, you may find happiness by taking different paths. Separations are always difficult, but we are here to help. Download our free property settlement ebook to find out about the next steps to take or call our office on 1300 735 947.

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