Peacemaking in Relationships Amidst Health Challenges

KUNM Airdate:
July 28, 2023
National Airdate:
Week of Sep 17, 2023
Half-hour Program
Hour Program

On this edition of PEACE TALKS RADIO, we explore what the sudden onset or revelation of an illness or disorder means for a relationship, be it familial, friendship or romantic. This change can be incredibly frightening, bringing with it emotions like fear, anger, guilt and deep sorrow. These are all valid emotions. Individuals in such situations may have to make a choice either to stay through the sudden change, or to leave a relationship that is no longer serving them or the other. But it is how we communicate these thoughts and feelings that is crucial in ensuring moving forward in a non-violent, respectful way. This applies both communication with oneself, and with others. If you do not know what you want, why you want it, or even really understand how you feel - how will you know how to choose or explain a choice to those around you? Correspondent Julia Joubert talks with Adrian and Claudine de Villiers, a couple who have been navigating the introduction of addiction and Bipolar into their 17-year marriage. Also she visits with Dani van Zyl, a woman living with POTS and other chronic illnesses who is reckoning with the isolation that her illnesses bring. And we talk with Emonie Carter-Hale, a systemic and family psychotherapist, specializing in trauma, boundaries, family conflict and coping skills.


Claudine de Villiers: We are very private people in that I’m very close to my parents and I have one sister who I share everything with. At this point, I have realized that I’m not doing this alone. I called his family and my family and told them what’s happening because I thought I’m not going to hide. I must say that it’s actually good to check in every month with a therapist.

Adrian and Claudine de Villiers
a couple navigating behavioral health issues into their 17-year marriage
Listen to complete interview

Accept that your life has changed and it’s going to look different. Changes are going to be made for yourself and for the people in your life and you need to allow them the choice; do they want to continue in your life or not? If they choose not to continue to be a part of your life, remember that it is not a reflection of yourself.

Emonie Carter-Hale
family psychotherapist
Listen to complete interview

I’ve seen how communication and lack thereof affects so many people’s lives. I think people are scared to communicate their true feelings or what they are going through because they don’t want to look like failures in their partner’s eyes, in their family’s eyes. When you’re trying to communicate what you’re dealing with, when you talk about it, you can’t hide your emotions.

Dani van Zyl
woman living with POTS and other chronic illnesses
Listen to complete interview
Episode Transcript