To the couple who sees all the pretty red hearts and chocolates and Valentine’s Day messages, and you feel angry, sad, hopeless, or resentful.
To the couple who is so stressed and tired and overwhelmed with life.
To the couple who stopped saying “I love you” to each other.
To the couple who is trying to figure out what marriage really means.
To the couple who feels more like roommates than friends or lovers.
To the couple who is dealing with depression or anxiety.
To the couple currently in couples therapy and fighting to save their relationship.
To the couple who is drowning under the weight of betrayal.
To the couple who is struggling financially and can’t seem to catch a break.
To the couple with dreams of holding a sweet baby and is currently trying to conceive yet with each month that passes, your heart breaks a little bit more.
To the couple who hasn’t been on vacation in a long time…if ever.
To the couple wrestling with balancing work, parenting, and household needs.
To the couple who feels like finding time for each other seems like just another thing on the list that you can’t get to.
To the couple who are first time parents struggling with sleep deprivation, new arguments, and new routines.
To the couple who are parenting a special needs child or a child with a major medical issue.
To the couple who is caring for an elderly parent.
To the couple who is desperately trying to merge a blended family and feeling frustrated in the process.
To the couple dealing with a health crisis.
To the couple who has experienced a recent loss.
To the couple that just moved cities and is trying to adjust to all the things that are new while missing all the things that are familiar.
To the couple who is struggling with their sex life and feeling like romance and desire has dimmed.
To the couple who feels lost and broken and in deep pain.
To the couple who can’t seem to break out of an unhealthy conflict cycle.
To the couple who is considering divorce.
To the couple who feels like they are the only ones in their friend group that is “failing”.
To the couple who is wondering if marriage therapy is worth it and maybe one of you is on the fence and the other is feeling super discouraged while waiting.
To the couple who just ended things.
To the couple…
We see you. This is so hard. Life can be so dang difficult. Carrying this pain is exhausting. Sometimes, we just can’t seem to figure it out and we can feel so lonely and upended in the struggle. Life and love can feel like a puzzle with lost or missing pieces.
A phrase we say to our couples all the time is “you are not a robot”. We have difficult thoughts and feelings. Sadness, anger, longing, disappointment, confusion, loneliness, grief, and hopelessness are all very real and challenging emotions. We are not perfect. We can’t always be “shiny happy people holding hands”. It can totally hurt when life gets hard.
And, if you’re in a hard season, we want to honor you and take a moment to cheer you on. Not in a toxic positivity kind of way- more in the let’s sit a minute and be still and honor your pain kind of way. To collectively unite and be part of the breeze that blows you upright when you feel knocked down. When you’re ready, we want to remind you of your strengths and of new or different possibilities. We want to encourage you. We’re taking a deep breath with you and holding space for your pain. We’re reminding you of compassion and tenderness and gentleness and going slow. We’re sending messages of hope even if all you can do is take another deep inhale of oxygen. Sometimes that’s all we can do- breathe into the next moment and then breathe out. We unite as part of a community of resources and hope that you find the support you need to get you to your next step. Whether it be pausing in the sunshine, taking a nap, savoring a cup of coffee, or speaking to a therapist.
From one couple to another- we see you; we encourage you, we breathe with you, we pray for you, and we hope for you. We understand love isn’t always a box of Valentine’s Day chocolates. And, while we believe life and love can be so sweet, we also understand it can be so hard. We hope you find your version of sweet again. Until then, we see you.