Valerie Bertinelli is thankful for her relationship with Mike Goodnough for teaching her some valuable lessons about love. The Hot in Cleveland actress opened up about her romance with the writer in a lengthy Instagram caption on Tuesday, June 25.

“So I pretty much started my healing journey in earnest at the end of 2022,” her caption alongside a photo of Mike began. “I wanted my life to be different than it was and I wanted to be a whole and emotionally healthy human being. Being vulnerable and authentic are two things I thought I had really worked on and accomplished and I really thought I had conquered most of my demons.”

“I have heard that being in a relationship after healing from a toxic one will bring out some triggers you didn’t know were still buried,” she added.

The One Day at a Time alum went on to say that “Learning to trust again after having that trust destroyed is not an easy thing. Those demons want to protect you from being vulnerable and emotionally exposed ever again.”

But for her, Mike “is worth fighting the rest of my demons for.” Valerie, 64, called him “the most thoughtful, kind, gentle, intelligent, funny and grateful man I’ve ever met.”

Prior to dating Mike, Valerie went through a very messy divorce from Tom Vitale. Their divorce was finalized in November 2022.

“My lawyer just called. The papers are all signed. They’re about to be filed,” she said in a video posted on Instagram at the time. “On 11/22/22, I am officially f–ing divorced. Happily divorced. Finally. It’s finally over.”

Valerie Bertinelli 'Learned to Trust Again' With Mike Goodnough
Courtesy of Valerie Bertinelli/Instagram

Valerie declared she was in love with a mystery man in an April 1 interview with People. In the weeks that followed, Mike revealed his identity in a blog on his Substack called Hoarse Whisperings on April 17.

“Valerie and I are together and have been for a while now,” he penned. “I am Valerie Bertinelli’s boyfriend … and that may well be among the most surreal sentences I’ve ever pecked out. But it’s true … and nothing about our actual relationship seems surreal. It just seems … good … lucky … a gift.”

The happy couple made their red carpet debut at the 2024 Daytime Emmys earlier this month. She was nominated for Outstanding Culinary Host for Valerie’s Home Cooking. Valerie wore a white pantsuit while Mike opted for a black suit. They held hands and shared several sweet glances at each other in photos captured on the red carpet.

They also posted an adorable video on Instagram, showing their transformations while getting ready for the big night. “You look amazing Valerie, and you both look so happy,” one fan wrote in a comment underneath the post, as many others echoed the same sentiment.

“Night two of the Daytime Emmy’s was another good time,” Mike wrote in a June 9 Instagram post after the event. “Unfortunately, Valerie didn’t take home a statue, but she presented several awards and was charming and looked radiant as heck. In keeping with what is now tradition, we skipped out hastily and went home to eat pizza.”