A couple watched from the rocks along the ocean to view the big waves. Photo by Chris Stone

It isn’t a secret that the pandemic may have put tension on couples. But longtime relationships expert Craig and Debbie Lambert of Carmel Valley said now is the time to strengthen those bonds.

The Lamberts, who authored “The Mindful Couple,” are hosting a couples retreat this fall with the goal of helping people rekindle their love. 

“Relationships were definitely challenged during the pandemic,” Debbie said. “Probably the most frequent stressor was dealing with children at home and trying to help them get used to online schooling. The added stress took them over the top and they lacked the skills to cope.” 

On the other hand,  “Couples who were doing pretty good prior to the pandemic saw this as an opportunity to spend more time together cleaning the house, cooking, watching shows on tv together, working on projects, etc. It created a bonding time that wasn’t available prior to the pandemic,” she said. 

The Lamberts even faced their own challenge when they had to close their office and see clients via Zoom and eventually, in their own backyard. 

“We realized we love that space and so do our clients,” Debbie said. “The fresh air, the birds, the trees, the wind, the sun, the flowers — all create a healthy environment where our clients feel they can begin to let go and heal.”

Debbie said she and Craig hope to expand that healing therapy to more couples by offering a 5-day retreat to Valle de Guadalupe where participants will be given a chance to bond. They’ll also learn new skill-sets to reinvent their relationships, Debbie said. 

For more information about Debbie and Craig Lambert or the retreat, go to lambertcouplestherapy.com.