Sheltering at Home Marriage Advice Series

By Heather Drabinsky
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family sheltering at home needing marriage advice
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During the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, various marriage authors and experts shared advice for the new sheltering-at-home transition.

As the world navigated through the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, work and home life shifted dramatically. Married couples quickly needed to learn how to adjust to different schedules and rhythms of life. Here are some responses of marriage advice we collected from marriage authors, counselors and experts to help marriages stay strong during the unprecedented time.

How to Keep Your Marriage Strong During a Crisis

Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley

When couples are together 24/7 —stressing between work and children home from school — becoming annoyed with each other can happen all too easily. Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley provide marriage advice to grow closer and connect to your spouse during a crisis, as well as setting boundaries for individual space for the health of your marriage.

Providing Emotional Support for Your Spouse During a Crisis

Jim and Jean Daly

Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, and his wife, Jean, share how they’ve given emotional support to each other during the changes and transitions of the coronavirus lockdown.

For couples with children out of school, adjustments can be difficult. Jim and Jean talk about how they’ve helped each other take on the new schedule of homeschooling and living out the balance of work and play.

Supporting Your Spouse During a Crisis

Kathi and Roger Lipp

Kathi Lipp, speaker and author, and her husband, Roger, discuss how they’ve encouraged and served each other during the pandemic lockdown. Each of them have used different strengths to help keep their marriage strong.

Kathi and Roger also share about allowing each other to have “down days” when they’re needing space to cope with the stress and change. Kathi is the author of several books, including Ready for Anything: Preparing your heart and home for any crisis big or small.

Give Grace to Your Spouse

Jill and Mark Savage

Mark and Jill Savage, authors of No More Perfect Marriages, encourage couples to consistently give grace in marriage, especially throughout the coronavirus lockdown. They share a personal example of giving grace and mention that couples should remember their spouse is human and will make mistakes often.

Jill and Mark tell married couples to remember that when minor irritations arise, extending grace to their spouse is the best decision.

Love in Transition

Bill and Pam Farrel

Bill and Pam Farrel, bestselling authors and co-directors of Love-Wise, share marriage advice on how to love each other in the midst of transition. Because of their parents’ health complications and the unforeseen coronavirus outbreak, they had to move into an RV in Bill’s parents’ backyard.

In this change of events, Bill and Pam have learned to love each other even in a 300-square-foot space. They emphasize that life’s changes can either make you bitter or better — you get to choose.

Stuck at home?

Check out these fun at-home date night ideas.

Finding Structure for New Home-life Structures

Dr. Juli Slattery

Dr. Juli Slattery, clinical psychologist, author and speaker, encourages couples to implement healthy structures in home-life schedules. When an environment becomes more organized, she says, life can become more manageable.

Dr. Slattery also encourages couples not to worry about tomorrow and to simply handle what is in front of them right now. As Matthew 6:34 says, “Tomorrow will be anxious for itself.” She suggests that married couples pray together daily to strengthen themselves spiritually.

How to Stay Close as a Couple During a Crisis

Dr. David E. Clarke

Dr. David E. Clarke, Christian psychologist and author of several books including I Don’t Love You Anymore, gives marriage advice on how to stay close as a couple during the coronavirus pandemic.

One way to stay close is to have “coronavirus couple time” every day for 30 minutes. Dr. Clarke encourages couples to connect emotionally, spiritually and physically after the kids go to bed every night.

Clarifying Marriage Expectations While Sheltering at Home

Dr. Joshua Straub

Joshua Straub, Ph.D., president of Famous at Home, shares about clarifying marriage expectations and planning ahead with his wife, Christi, to know timing and schedules for each week while sheltering at home. He encourages married couples to do the same to prevent unmet expectations and potential resentment.

© 2020 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. Originally published on

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
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