My Coast Guard

What the pandemic is revealing about your relationships

By Keisha Reynolds, MyCG Writer

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Whether quarantining in close quarters or social-distancing through digital devices, many of us have felt the impact of the pandemic on our relationships and so practicing healthy behaviors within them is challenging. 

Explaining how to develop sound connections within our relationships, Chaplain Kimberly Cain from the Coast Guard Academy and Leslie Cardona, an employee assistance program coordinator from the First Coast Guard District, will join today’s Wellness Wednesday discussion to offer insights today from 3 to 4 p.m., Eastern Standard Time CVR Teams.

“Under the COVID curtain, we have been forced to look into our relationships and reimagine them,” said Cain. “We have the opportunity to give them attention, realize what we have taken for granted and breathe new life and light into them.” 

The insights and resources that Cain and Cardona will offer covers the relationship spectrum and can be applied in a variety of ways and within many different kinds of relationships. 

“I’m thinking of friendships, partnerships and sacred relationships, like spouses,” said Cain about her definition. “For example, some cadets have been together since Swab Summer (freshman year) or Sea Cadets (youth program supported by Coast Guard and Navy), and they have built a beautiful bond that’s full of dignity and they are mutually respectful of one another.”

It is when respect is one-sided, or our interactions are strained or imbalanced because of different communication styles or misaligned reasons as to why we initially connected, that our bonds can become toxic and unhealthy. Cain and Cardona will also provide examples to help you identify when a relationship is failing.

Cardona added, “Healthy relationships are really a cornerstone in the meaning of life and COVID-19 has illustrated this point.  If you are nurturing yourself and your relationship with loved ones, your physical body will also respond well and your emotional well-being becomes noticeable to others.”

Cain commented that she enjoys these types of discussions because of the engagement from the listeners. “It gives them permission to look at their relationships, have a heart–to-heart about them and do some honest work.”

If you want guidance or need assistance finding resources, contact CGSUPRT, a chaplain, or your employee assistance program coordinator (EAPC). 

Relationship Resources:

  • “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman
  • “His Need, Her Needs: Building a Marriage that Lasts” by Willard F. Harley
  • “Attached: The Science of Adult Attachment and How it Can Help You Find--and keep—Love” by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller
  • “The Third Gender: Hope and Prey Book One” by Micah Ackerman
  • “Saving Your Marriage Before it Starts: Seven Questions to Ask Before and After You Marry” by Les Parrott
  • “Getting Ready for Marriage: A Practical Road Map for Your Journey Together” by Jim Burns
  • “Things I wish I’d known Before We Got Married” by Gary Chapman
  • “Before “I do”: Complete Pre-Marital counseling Workbook for Heterosexual, LGBTQ, & Polyamorous Couples” by Olivia L. Baylor 
  • “I Love You But I Don’t Trust You: The Complete guide to Restoring Trust in Your Relationship” by Mira Kirshenbaum
  • “The Seven Principles for Making marriage Work:  A Practical Guide from the Country’s Foremost Relationship Expert” by John M. Gottman
  • “Lies at the Altar” by Robin Smith

Click this link to attend Wellness Wednesday from your Coast Guard computer, personal computer or mobile device. You may also call (571) 388-3904; Conference ID 453 387 852#. If you have questions or suggestions, you may e-mail us at wellnesswednesday@uscg.mil.