How do you go about the responsibility of being of service to your partner while also practicing letting go of control? There would seem to be a bit of contradiction in the two. What should I address with my partner and what should I ignore?
John and Elaine Leadem are licensed clinical social workers whose combined investment in the field of addiction treatment spans more than sixty years. Their commitment to helping recovering families has provided the core inspiration for the development of a "A Decision to Be IN Love"© which has helped many couples move from the traditional parallel model of recovery to strong united core support group. They are both certified Sex Addiction Therapist and have co-developed a model for treating couples during the crisis stage of recovery.
Editor: Muhammad Talha
Every day these, and many similar questions, are presented to our staff by couples working to rebuild a romance that has been shaken by addiction. In their therapy “home-work” we ask our clients to borrow some of the wisdom of the Serenity Prayer were they will see that each of them can only really change himself or herself. We encourage them to consider the idea that being of service to his or her partner cannot be designed to change him or her.
Romantic partners often interpret the recovery slogan, “Let Go and Let God” to mean that he or she should ignore or avoid addressing the problems that they see in the other. We think otherwise. We do not believe that the slogan suggests that we should turn a blind eye to the problems that we see loved ones struggling with. We encourage couples to bring concerns that they have for each other to the foreground – provided that the other partner has agreed to receive input.
It is the consequences of bringing out your concerns to each other over which you have no control. You have no control over whether or not you will be heard and certainly have no power over whether or not your partner takes actions of change.
So if we are correct (and we believe we are) then the slogan “Let Go and Let God” is encouraging you to let go of the outcome of your sincere attempt at addressing the concerns you have in the relationship.
Your partner may refuse to receive your input – LET GO.
Your partner may not act in a way that you feel is appropriate or timely – LET GO.
You may not feel the personal relief that you sought when you decided to reach out to your partner – LET GO.
Your partner may hear from a friend the same input you delivered several weeks ago and find the friend’s input most valuable – LET GO.
Once you have served up your concerns – LET GOD love your partner in ways that you are not capable.
Let Go of the outcome but not of your partner.