Value: Helping Couples Care about Each Other and Appreciate the Positives

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

May 1, 2020, 11:00 am | David Brown, Anthony Santiago

Middle aged couple at home by, Iowa – When couples practice the “Golden Rule,” they treat each other in the way they, themselves, want to be treated. They demonstrate kindness and caring to show support, respect and appreciation for each other. Sometimes the kindness and caring may not be reciprocated, but it’s important to continue being kind and caring anyway. These actions show that couples value their partner and their relationship. That is the premise of Value, the fourth in a series of seven virtual meetings to help couples elevate their relationship during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brenda Schmitt and Joy Rouse, both human sciences specialists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, will be leading the fourth virtual meeting Wednesday, May 6, from 12:30 to 1 p.m. CDT via Connect. During this session, they will review some tools 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 daily realities at home. Many couples are experiencing stress and when they are stressed it can be difficult for them to show that they care for each other,” Schmitt said.

“Fortunately, in spite of the stressors surrounding couples these days, there are many ways to show care for each other. Some ways to show caring are easy, while other ways may require more effort,” Rouse said.

Stressors relating to the pandemic may make it difficult for couples to show they care about each other, so they need to be intentional about making the effort. In this lesson, Schmitt and Rouse will help couples learn ways to show value to each other through caring acts. They will focus on helping couples identify and name the ways they can care about each other, Rouse said.

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,, 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.


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