When people’s mental health suffers it doesn’t just impact the individual, it impacts their whole system and especially intimate relationships. A study from the CDC found that the percentage of adults with symptoms of an anxiety or depressive disorder increased from 36.4% to 41.5% from August 2020 to February 2021, and those rates haven’t gone down in 2022. There are several reasons the pandemic could have impacted our mental health negatively, but the other piece is that couples who were already experiencing struggles or tension often lost their social resilience buffers that took away some of their relationship tensions. When people have extra tension and conflict in their relationships and lose resources for dealing with those tensions (like other social connections, hobbies, etc.), this also has a negative impact on their overall mental health and can increase symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Here’s 3 important ways you and your partner could benefit from marriage counseling in 2022:
1. Learning how to cope with and navigate the extra anxiety and conflict created from living life together without resiliency factors and the natural anxieties of the uncertainty during and post pandemic.
2. Genereally learning how to better communicate and set healthy boundaries (which is something most couples benefit from) and unlearning unhealthy relationship patterns learned in childhood.
3. Working on your own mental health and know how to healthfully respond to your partner’s symptoms of mental health without it hurting you or your relationship.
Ultimately, going to marriage or couples therapy is way that you commit to working on your own mental health and your relationship health with your partner. Due to concerns and the uncertainty of the pandemic, it’s important that we all take the time to “heal and deal”, so we can recover from the systemic trauma of couples and families during the pandemic as well.