Below are a few characteristics and practices that Recovering Couples consider important and helpful as they work toward becoming stronger people who are creating a stronger relationship.
Recovering Couples (“RC”) surrender efforts at trying to change their partner for their personal benefit, but do seek to change the person which they can control – themselves.
RC work very hard to protect their garden (their head and their heart) from unwanted intruders whose job may be to distract, derail, discount, depress or destroy the couple’s resolve.
RC take their own personal inventory, and when wrong, promptly admit it, in order to not nurse a resentment nor a schism. This prompt response also prevents the stockpiling of hurt.
RC know they are dealing with an intimacy disorder, and they try to eliminate ways that rob them of time with one another, as well as find ways to create communication with each other.
RC don’t shy away from hard conversations and conflict, rather they embrace the opportunity to talk through their conflict & see it as an opportunity to be informed of their partner’s needs.
RC cease the practice of blaming, avoidance and other cognitive distortions, which impede reconciliation. On the other hand, RCs work collaboratively to remove these roadblocks.
RC heal because they take the necessary time to patiently listen, understand and acknowledge their partner’s views, and then make reasonable changes that indicate they “got it.”
RC understand and give room for the recovery principle of progress and not perfection. Reasonable behaviors that facilitate intimacy and demonstrate maturity become more typical.
RC realize the benefit and strength that comes from living in consultation with other couples in recovery. Such relationships provide necessary insight, guidance and support for recovery.
RC spend time with one another, and engage in opportunities to (re)create a life beyond trauma and addiction, where hope, fun, meaning, purpose, laughter and love are experienced.
RC have identified and rewritten old dysfunctional family rules and roles into new rules and roles called their “Bill of Writes,” which helps them to experience safety, serenity and hope.
RC understand and have learned the value of commitment, to their self-care, to each other, to their programs of recovery, to their family and to others whom they have given their word.
“Recovering Couples do heal” is an excerpt from Cultivating Love: When Secrets Surface by Dr. Ken McGill.
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