Mission and Story

Relationships are important. They make us feel warm and fuzzy. They excite us. They make us feel connected and alive. They bring us joy and satisfaction. They fulfill longings and desires. They help us learn about ourselves and grow and they can even help us be physically healthier and live longer.


Relationships, especially those of the long-term, romantic variety are also REALLY hard. I know. I know. You’re probably thinking, “but if they’re good they shouldn’t be that hard!” Well, guess what—that’s a lovely idea but just often isn’t true. Yes, shitty, toxic relationships are notoriously hard. And strong, healthy, loving relationships have incredibly difficult and painful moments too.

For a really, really long time, I didn’t know this was the case. I assumed that my relationship was hard because there was something wrong with it and more often than not, I assumed it was because there was something extremely wrong with me. Because I was under the illusion that good relationships feel easy, I stayed silent about a lot of my struggles which ate away at me for years.

As you can imagine, as a “messed up” person in a marriage that often felt really tough, I never actually intended to be a couples therapist, but several years ago when I went back to school to study counseling (with the intention of working in alternative medicine) I was blown away when I learned in my first family therapy class that maybe some of what I was experiencing in my marriage was not indicative of my failings as a human and in fact, perhaps it was normal stuff! I was absolutely floored and I was hooked. I dove headfirst into learning about relationships and switched my focus to couples. Along the way, I learned A TON about myself and my marriage and it changed the entire way I viewed the world.

This stuff made me feel so much more normal, but as I talked with my friends about what I was learning I was struck by the fact that very few people had access to this info and so they, like me, were floundering around blaming themselves and their partners for the issues in their relationships, and they were doing this under cloak of darkness, not sharing with anyone for fear of being “found out” that their relationships weren’t perfect. Even in my own couples therapy experiences (and there were several), only once did someone ever acknowledge that this long-term relationship stuff is not for the faint of heart. (Actually, she just said it can be really challenging, but that was my interpretation.)

Through my blog, appearances, books, and other writing, I share stories, and research to help put you at ease and help you to know deep in your guts that yes, relationships ARE hard…but there’s hope.


Tel: ​(844) 546-6642 ​ |  10024 Skokie Blvd., Suite 207 Skokie, IL

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© 2019 by Kate Engler