How to Handle Decision-Making as a Couple in a Global Pandemic — Katie Wenger LCSW

3 min readMar 12, 2020

After the announcement that Covid-19 (coronavirus) was declared a global pandemic (maybe even before), couples are faced with making decisions for themselves and as a family on how to stay healthy in a situation they haven’t faced before.

Do we stay home from work?

Do we keep the kids home or how do we manage their schools and daycares being closed?

How much social distancing should we practice with extracurricular activities, social gatherings, etc.?

What media information do we trust?

These discussions with your partner are important and should include expressing clear opinions, sharing facts, and making a family plan. More than ever, it is time to show your partner respect, active listening, and compassion. This is a worrisome event in our world for many people. There could be emotions involved for you and your partner. Ask the questions that are on your mind and share your concerns. This is not a time for lack of communication.

Another topic of conversation for you and your partner is how to handle if someone in your extended family should become ill. There is the factor of how to protect yourself and your partner and children but possibly feel the need to care for an ill extended family member. Making a plan early as to how you will handle this as a couple can prevent later disagreements, even with the hope that this plan never needs to be used.

Then there is the change in how to function in close quarters for an extended period of time. You could find yourself at home with your partner and children and battling boredom and cabin fever. Maintaining structure in your day, getting and asking for space when you need it, and being aware of your children’s need for space, attention, structure, and comfort can help maintain everyone’s peace and mood. Remember that kids communicate their needs and feelings differently from us and being proactive to the best of your ability can help you to manage situations that could otherwise increase the stress on you and your partner.

As always, take care of yourself and your health with proper sleep, nutrition, staying hydrated, and getting exercise. And meditate…often if needed to maintain that peace with the change in routine and close quarters!

Katie Wenger is a licensed psychotherapist working with individuals and couples in the areas of personality disorders, anxiety, and unhealthy relationship patterns in her office in North Wales, PA, online and by phone. She has also expanded outside of her role as a therapist to offer Relationship Consulting services to provide information and resources to improve relationship satisfaction and individual health. She has created an assessment tool called the Love Scan where individuals can submit videos in response to selected prompts about their relationship to receive feedback.

She can be found at:

Originally published at on March 12, 2020.