student asking question

What does the "rough patch" mean in this context? In what circumstances could I use it?

teacher

Native speaker’s answer

Rebecca

A "rough patch" refers to a difficult or troubling period; a time of hardship. Here it means that in their relationship, they were having a period of difficulty together. You can use it to refer to a difficult point of time in business, a relationship, a period of life, and so on! Ex: The business went through a rough patch, and we had to close a couple of our branches. Ex: Jill and I are going through a rough patch right now, so we're going to try couple's therapy.

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