Navigating Relationship Challenges with Therapy

Wednesday, February 7, 2024 @ 4:12 PM

The voyage of love and partnership is one of life's most profound adventures, filled with the potential for great joy and significant challenges. As I stand today, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and a Certified Integrative Mental Health Professional, I trace back the roots of my expertise not only to my professional endeavors but also to my personal life story, which is rich with lessons and growth.

In 1995, a young woman of 22, grappling with deep-seated daddy issues, I entered into a relationship that was destined to redefine my life. Jim, a man who had weathered the storm of a previous marriage and was navigating the complexities of being a father to three children, became my partner in this unpredictable journey of life.

As Jim's second wife, I stepped into a role that was entirely new to me. With an Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education in my toolkit, I was grateful for the knowledge it provided, for it allowed me to avoid some pitfalls in my role as a bonus mom – a role I embraced wholeheartedly despite the steep learning curve and lack of healthy relationship models in my own upbringing.

Growing up, my notions of love and relationships were shaped by street wisdom and the fictional happily-ever-afters portrayed on television. In hindsight, I can see how Disney's portrayals, while magical, also set many of us up for disappointment by creating expectations that real-life relationships rarely meet. I won't even talk about the steady diet of telenovelas that I was exposed to at a very young age and my own addiction to daytime soaps in high school.

My marriage with Jim, which has now spanned over two decades, stands as a testament to the power of commitment, the potential for transformation through therapy, and the guiding light of faith. It's a story that has unfolded with its share of trials and triumphs, teaching us both the value of hard work, understanding, and unwavering dedication to one another. I also know that at any minute that can change walking through valleys of broken relationships with loved ones and clients. We each have our own narratives that have shaped the way we see our relationships.

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