Why does depression suck the life out of the bedroom?
Why does PTSD make it hard to be vulnerable with my partner?
Why do I disappear into a screen rather than gaze into my lover’s eyes?
Why was it so much easier when we were drinking?
Why do I feel disconnected from my own body and why is it so hard to feel anything good?
These are just some of the questions that bubble up for me when I think about real talk about real marriage. Real talk breaks the silence about mental illness and marriage. Real marriage happens when real people get real about what’s really going on.
In real marriages like mine, mixed in with the love we have for each other is mental illness. With nearly half the population experiencing symptoms of anxiety and depression because of the pandemic, plus ongoing racial and political turmoil, our marital relationships are feeling the impact of our individual and collective experiences.
One of the hardest parts of living with a mental health challenge is the stigma and shame. We want to belong, we want to be accepted and we don’t want to be judged or viewed as broken or less than whole. Making time for real talk makes stigma and shame go running. Stigma and shame hate it when we talk about them. They like being the silent secret in the room.
As part of the release of my new book Blessed Union: Breaking The Silence About Mental Illness And Marriage, I’m partnering with Chalice Press to host an evening of real talk about real marriage. This free online event will open up this conversation in healing ways, ensuring us all that we are not alone.
That’s the biggest lie of stigma, the idea that you are alone in whatever you are facing. The truth is, there’s millions of us out here experiencing mental health conditions and we know it impacts our most intimate relationships with those we love.
I invite you to join me and my friends Rev. Dr. Monica Coleman, Rev. David Finnegan-Hosey, Rev. Dr. Rachael Keefe, Karl Shallowhorn, and Rev. Dr. Christina Davis for a conversation among friends having real talk about real marriage, Tuesday, February 9 at 8:00pm eastern. Here’s the link to register for this free webinar: Real Talk About Real Marriage Webinar.
Sharing this blog post “Real Talk About Real Marriage” and inviting others to come to the webinar February 9 helps to normalize these conversations and helps to break down the stigma and shame of mental illness. Make the evening of February 9 a special time of self-care or date night or girls night or whatever you need night. The webinar will be recorded, too, so you can watch it again and share it with those you love.
Let’s have some real talk about the things that really matter. I’m ready.