Relationships are hard, especially long-term relationships.
And yet, they are also critically important in our lives.
Unfortunately, few of us are inherently equipped to address the issues that rear their ugly heads. No one ever taught us how to be in a relationship, or be a good partner, deal with our own shit, say how we feel, or ask for what we need. The result is that we end up feeling awful about ourselves and our partners when we can’t figure it out.
This feeling is intensified by our sneaking suspicion that everyone around us has it figured out. Each day we are inundated with #couplegoals and smoochy pictures on Instagram feeds. Even with our friends, we have been conditioned to offer a sanitized version of what really happens in the darker moments of our relationship lest we be judged or bombarded with problem-solving platitudes.
Let me tell you a little secret.
Your pain is real. Your issues are real. And believe it or not, your struggle is extremely normal.
When things feel messy and complicated in your relationship, you need someone who really gets it; someone who walks with you rather than sits above you in judgment and who doesn’t take themselves too seriously. I invite you to explore the resources here so that you can begin to understand why and how you got where you are, the roots of the issues, and the patterns that keep you from moving forward. Most important though, you’ll feel better about where you are now and hopeful about where you are headed.
As a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist & Licensed Professional Counselor practicing in Illinois, I help couples deal with issues in a productive and sustainable way. My training, my practice and my own relationship challenges inform my writings and public appearances.
If you have found yourself here because you are struggling in your own relationship currently or have in the past, my hope is that you will find some tidbits, stories, and research that will help put you at ease and help you to know deep in your guts that yes, relationships ARE hard…but there’s hope.