//In Sickness and In Health – Love and Chronic Illness with guest Lauren Selfridge

Hello and welcome to this episode of The Couples Expert podcast with your host Stuart Fensterheim. This is episode 162 of our show. This week Stuart welcomes Lauren Selfridge to the podcast. Lauren became interested in becoming a therapist after being a lifelong client of therapy. She wanted to be a couple’s therapist.

While in school she began to have symptoms of what she later learned was Multiple Sclerosis.

Lauren is joining us to talk about a topic that is important to a lot of people, that of having a loved one with a chronic illness. She had to learn to live with this illness while training to be a therapist.

Stuart has a personal connection with this topic as his daughter has had medical issues throughout her life and he’s been very open about talking about what living with someone who has medical issues and the impact on family and relationships.

Poem: Welcome to Holland

What you’ll learn about in today’s podcast:

  • Lauren’s journey has helped her to be a better therapist [10:56]
  • How talking about chronic illness is important in a couple’s relationship [14:07]
  • When one of you is ill and you can’t participate in activities you love [16:09]
  • It’s about the attitude and the experience [18:17]
  • Chronic illness will show you who you really are  [22:24]
  • Navigating emotions and illness in a relationship is tricky [24:22]
  • Doing the work early in the relationship makes it better when the challenges come [26:12]
  • Suggestions for couples dealing with health challenges [32:27]

It’s so important to separate the person from the illness and for each partner in the relationship to realize that there’s a lot of guilt and shame that comes if they’re feeling like they brought the illness into the relationship vs. both partners are united in battling the challenges together as a unified team. This distinction helps for couples to remain close and connected and allow them to give each other space to talk about how they’re feeling about the challenge.

Each person should be able to express how the changes affect them , the fears and concerns they have and hopefully through doing this gain a deeper insight into how each of them are feeling about what both are going through.

We want to extend our thanks to Lauren Selfridge for being on the podcast this week. You can learn more about Lauren and listen to her podcast “This is Not What I Ordered” here :

Getting The Love You Want book and workshop recommended by Lauren Selfridge  

The Couples Expert is sponsored by: The Annual Relationship Check up! There’s a way for you to do an evaluation on just where you are in your relationship right now.

Email Stuart at:

Until next time, stay connected!

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