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 Post subject: Coercing your partner
PostPosted: Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:30 pm 

Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 9:45 am
Posts: 64
Caution! Do not force, coerce or pressure your partner into participating in the Couple's Workshop. This is not a process where one partner can pacify the other by going through the motions. Many of the things that each of you will be asked to do must come from the heart, not the head. And so, you will each be asked to reach areas of your awareness that only you can access. Without a sincere desire to do so--this process will simply be too much. It will become a chore, rather than a privilege. And that doesn't just threaten the relationship, it threatens the health of the individual who is actively pursuing their own healing/recovery.

I am questioning this. My bf has agreed to do the workshop. Although I know it's to please me and not because he thinks he has a problem. I am hoping he will have a lightbulb moment and something he reads will click for him. I don't know how else to help our relationship. What should we do?

PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 9:24 am 
Partner's Coach (Admin)

Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:07 pm
Posts: 5200
Since he has already agreed to do the workshop, then I would start the workshop. Just know that if he isn't motivated it is precisely for the reason you stated (he doesn't think he has a problem). In that case, it will be fruitless to you, and a complete waste of your energy, to try to push or pull him along through the workshop lessons. At any point that you find yourself that you are doing all the work (reminding him, showing him, asking him, telling him, printing off lessons for him etc.) then you need to let go and focus on your own work. Since you can't really do the couple's workshop by yourself, you can then begin the partner's healing workshop and completing the individual workshops is a part of the couple's workshop, anyway.

I can tell you that from the years that I have been participating here (as a healing member of the community and as a coach) that there are very few, if any, exceptions to the "rule". No person in recovery has ever recovered without being motivated by their own desire to transcend addiction. That is not to say that some reluctant members have not had the light bulb moment that you are hoping for; only to say that the road is much longer, much more volatile and puts you at further risk of having your values undermined or skewed. Addicts are selfish~plain and simple. At times it will seem easy, and given his "not having a problem" the ease will come out of his desire for immediate gratification~to smooth things over, to get them "back to normal" as quickly as possible. At other times it will be hell. He will fight you tooth and nail, he will manipulate and blame-shift, causing you to doubt your self, question your values and skew your perceptions, to fall in line with his, which will sometimes seem logical and understandable, but will be none the less be out of alignment with your values~and you will believe him~unless you are grounded firmly in your own sense of self, what you believe and know is true for you. This is the struggle that is trying to recover from addiction with an addict who doesn't think they have a problem. Active participation in the partner's workshop will have you create that solid foundation that will help you keep your balance and perspective, staying true to your vision and values should you continue to want to stick it out and make it work with this guy.

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom. (Viktor E. Frankl)

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