Enlighten: Helping Couples Prioritize Their Relationship during COVID-19

Third in a series of virtual meetings from ISU Extension and Outreach

April 24, 2020, 9:51 am | David Brown, Anthony Santiago

couple relaxes on couch at home by fizkes/stock.adobe.com.AMES, Iowa – Strong and lasting relationships are built upon the knowledge that couples have about their partner and themselves. Couples must make a constant effort to update each other on daily happenings, circumstances, and wants and needs. By doing this, couples are more likely to turn to each other, even in difficult times. That is the premise of Enlighten, the third in a series of seven virtual meetings to help couples elevate their relationship during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Rosa Gonzales, human sciences specialist with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, and Michelle Schott, family life extension educator in Polk County, will be leading the third virtual meeting Wednesday, April 29, from 12:30 to 1 p.m. CDT via Connect at https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/healthy-relationships/. During this session, they will review two simple tools that couples can immediately use to improve their relationship. The information presented will be based on ELEVATE, a relationship education curriculum developed by the National Extension Relationship and Marriage Education Network.

“COVID-19 has certainly changed our lives and many couples are feeling the stress of having to cope with social isolation and distancing. This stress impacts how we are communicating with each other,” Gonzales said.

Couples must continue to learn about each other, since social distancing can also create emotional distance when partners are under stress. In this lesson, Gonzalez and Schott will help couples to learn more about each other’s preferences, hopes and the positive experiences that influence each partner and their relationship.

“We will focus on two ways to do this: by remembering positive moments and by using love maps,” Schott said.

Join Gonzales and Schott this Wednesday, April 29 at 12:30 p.m. CDT at https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/healthy-relationships/. Please plan to join this meeting 10 minutes prior in case the application must be downloaded. The meetings continue May 6, 13, 20, and 27. Take this step to elevate your relationship.

Other resources

Iowa Concern, offered by ISU Extension and Outreach, provides confidential access to stress counselors and an attorney for legal education, as well as information and referral services for a wide variety of topics. With a toll-free phone number, live chat capabilities and a website, Iowa Concern services are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week at no charge. To reach Iowa Concern, call 800-447-1985; language interpretation services are available. Or, visit the website, https://www.extension.iastate.edu/iowaconcern/, to live chat with a stress counselor one-on-one in a secure environment. Or email an expert regarding legal, finance, stress, or crisis and disaster issues.

211 is a free, comprehensive information and referral line linking Iowa residents to health and human service programs, community services, disaster services and governmental programs. This service is collaborating with the Iowa Department of Public Health to provide confidential assistance, stress counseling, education and referral services related to COVID-19 concerns.


Photo credit: fizkes/stock.adobe.com


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