Skip to main content
Tufts University School of Medicine

6 Ways Couples Can Resolve Conflict During the COVID-19 Crisis

“What we're seeing in the pandemic, with people getting sick or losing jobs, is a reshuffling of couples’ roles with each other, which causes anxiety," said AnnaMarie Vu, clinical assistant professor at Tufts University School of Medicine. Photo: Ingimage
Thursday, May 21, 2020 - 8:00pm

Living through a pandemic is extraordinarily stressful, and the stress has to go somewhere. Some of us are aiming it squarely at our partners.

“Couples are attempting to balance multiple heavy-loaded life stressors at once—financial, work, health, loss, childcare, home schooling, among others. It's truly an impossible task,” said psychologist Sarah Selden, A07, who maintains private practices in New York City and Greenwich, Connecticut, and is the co-founder of Greenwich Mental Health Group. “The cumulative weight of this can bear down on any relationship, even strong or previously tested ones.”

Communicating under stress often means having difficult conversations, and sometimes we don’t have the script to navigate them. This is where AnnaMarie Vu, a clinical assistant professor at Tufts University School of Medicine, can help. They teach medical students how to have difficult conversations, and they have studied the effects of virtual therapeutic support, or telemedicine.

Vu and Selden joined forces to provide these tips for couples who may be having difficulties getting along or communicating effectively during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read More