About Helena

Imagine having a chronic illness AND an extraordinary marriage.  Sound possible?

Welcome!  My name is Helena Madsen and I’m so glad you stopped by Chronic Marriage.

I am a wife, mother, writer, and counselor who lives with Muscular Dystrophy.

Sick (no pun intended!) and tired of hearing about the dismal divorce rate in marriages where chronic illness exists, I am passionate about doing my part to lower this ridiculously high statistic.

Chronic Marriage is for “chronic couples” – those relationships in which chronic health issues are present – who desire not only to survive but thrive in their marriage despite living with chronic illness.

One of my biggest frustrations has been the lack of resources and expertise to guide me in my own chronic marriage.  On those occasions when my husband and I have hit major road blocks, we too have gone searching for answers from marriage experts.  I can’t tell you how many times we’ve been met with the “deer in headlights” look when the discussion turns to how my chronic illness may be playing a role.  Chances are you know what I’m talking about.

Thankfully, through trial and error as well as time spent investing in our relationship, my husband and I have a strong and healthy marriage today.

I don’t claim to have all the answers by any means.  Most days, I just take it one step at a time.  But I do have experiences and stories to share with you, not only from my own life, but from many clients I’ve worked with over the years.

I’m honored to be writing for such amazing readers.  More than anything, I want to impart hope.  I believe that with any kind of adversity a marriage can face, chronic illness gives us opportunity for intimacy that we wouldn’t otherwise have.

I live with my wonderful husband Jeff and our daughter Claire outside of Chicago.