Life is full of transitions. Some are bigger than others, but when you’re in the middle of a major shift it can throw you off balance. Moving from one role to another can feel jarring and like there is no solid ground, even if it’s a positive change. Whether it’s natural aging, family transitions like having a baby or empty nesting, or illness, these shifts take a lot of energy and focus. They can overwhelm you create serious problems such as depression, anxiety, relationship difficulties, and feeling like you’ve lost yourself. Add to this, the cultural expectation that you can handle these seemingly ordinary changes on your own and you have a recipe for shame, overwhelm, and feeling like you’re failing. As we make aging and family transitions, we naturally also shift our personal roles. When you have a child, you transition to the role of parent, which is a complete mindset shift. You shift again when children are grown and move into adulthood on their own. The hardest part of it all is that we are just expected to know how to handle these changes and the feelings that come along with them. Our society doesn’t really give these changes the attention they warrant. It feels like a big deal because it IS a big deal!
We think of couples transitioning in these natural family spaces (like having a baby) but we often don’t acknowledge that our love lives make transitions too. We all know that you don’t stay madly, desperately, butterflies-in-your-stomach in love. At some point, you change to companions. This can mean a transition in your sex life too, which can be worrisome. Most people don’t realize that our sex lives make natural transitions too. However, this doesn’t have to mean that the romance dies. In fact, in many ways, it can get even better and with a little guidance you can get back to where you’d like to be.
One of the more difficult life transitions that I’m interested in working with is individuals who have been diagnosed with a serious illness. This is a major identity shift and it can be so lonely and difficult to sort out what that personal diagnosis means for you in the many areas of life. Many people underestimate just how deeply something like this can affect them. Most people don’t realize that it affects couples too. Navigating your sex life as a couple with an illness involved can be daunting. Depression, medications, decreased self esteem, fatigue. . . all of these things affect the individual and the couple. You don’t have to go it alone. Even better: I’ve been there myself, so I’m uniquely equipped to really, truly understand what you’re going through.
Personal identity shifts aren’t the only ways we experience life transitions. It could also be the death of a loved one, a new job or career, or something else that may seem unrelated on the surface. Whatever shift you’re experiencing, I hope you’ll consider that you don’t have to do it alone. We can work together to make navigating this phase a bit easier on you. If you’re ready to make an appointment, you can click HERE and we can get started.