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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 8:48 pm 
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Hi,

I would really like some input and clarification on Lesson Seven, and what it means by 'committing to the relationship'. I know it seems straightforward, but I am struggling with understanding the full meaning of commitment to the relationship as it is described in the lesson.

I have committed to building a relationship and developing a real partnership with my boyfriend, but only, and this is a very big only, only if he recovers. I do not expect recovery overnight, but I do require a commitment to recovery and health and our relationship. I will not be stuck in a pattern of active addiction for the rest of my life. I will not even be stuck for years. There is a time limit, for me, here in this situation. One that I feel is not unreasonable-- but also one that requires he desire recovery now, and not years from now.

I do believe he is in the beginning phases of an honest recovery, and I have seen some indications of change and sincerity in the last few months-- enough for me to stop thinking and speaking in qualifiers( "if we are together in a year..."). That change in itself is frightening to me in that I feel I am purposefully putting myself in a position of vulnerability, but I think that vulnerability is healthy when it is accompanied by healthy boundaries. And my boundaries are that I am only committed to building a relationship that does not involve active addiction.

The lesson seems to indicate that the commitment to stay in the relationship and to build upon it must be absolute-- otherwise it would seem to suggest that you belong in the 'not yet decided' category. Is this true, or am I reading it wrong? Can commitment also include parameters? Or does the very existence of parameters mean that you are not really committing?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:41 am 
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Hi River,

I have also started on lesson 7 this morning (first read/need to read again stage) and for me it could not have come at a better time in my healing and where our relationship is at. My view is not unlike yours. I can also not see myself living with a forever-student stuck in perpetuating addiction cycles. And like you I have seen enough to make me want to commit any give our relationship my best shot. Recovery must be a goal and it must be wanted to be achieved. With a passion! And I need to see that effort. Not always straight forward success, but simple, honest and real effort. I think most of us have developed a pretty accurate bullshit words vs sincere action radar by now and I will be relying on mine. Some bullshitting I can accept as part of the recovery, but if it becomes a way of life again then I will choose to leave.

Further down in the reading there is the 'indecisive' section which still means we are committed. This group is where I fall into. And as soon as my partner (who sadly recently has regressed and is temporarily stuck in old way thinking) is able to communicate with me again in a more mutual and kind way I am going to discuss my clear boundaries etc with him.

Quote:
Healthy Reasons for Indecisiveness:

Your partner has openly and actively committed to changing their life, and you want to give them the opportunity to do just that before making the decision to stay or go. With clear boundaries in place, this can be a very healthy approach to take.
Though you doubt their ability/sincerity to permanently change their life, you have invested so much of yourself in the relationship that you feel it is worth the risk to find out.
You have come to the conclusion that your partner's current behavior is not worth sacrificing the entire relationship, but you know that if it expands, you will have no choice. Again, this can be healthy only when there are clear boundaries in place to define that expansion.


Healing hugs to You brave lady!

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NewDawn x
Giving up is not an option...
Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over,
she became a Butterfly!


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 10:56 am 
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Partner's Coach (Admin)

Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 3:07 pm
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Quote:
That change in itself is frightening to me in that I feel I am purposefully putting myself in a position of vulnerability, but I think that vulnerability is healthy when it is accompanied by healthy boundaries.
You are, as this is what one does when one chooses to stay with another (presently unhealthy) person from a values based perspective. And yes, vulnerability is healthy when it comes from an intentionally chosen path that is based on healthy vision and values, and protected by healthy boundaries.

Quote:
The lesson seems to indicate that the commitment to stay in the relationship and to build upon it must be absolute-- otherwise it would seem to suggest that you belong in the 'not yet decided' category. Is this true, or am I reading it wrong? Can commitment also include parameters? Or does the very existence of parameters mean that you are not really committing?


Interesting question. Personally, I do not believe commitment is an all-or-nothing state that is without boundaries. Commitment that demands you to stay in an unhealthy relationship beyond it’s obvious expiry would be stupidly stubborn at best, purely in denial, or codependent (as well as a likely sign that you don’t have healthy boundaries) at worst.

My question for you is, where does this question come from? If it is an argument within your relationship (as it was, at one point, in mine) —take it as a sign that you should proceed with caution. This is something to monitor, because it could possibly mean that his survival mechanism is looking for a source of weakness. One thing that I learned (the hard way) is to always stand by my values. Always. If there is ever a time for all-or-nothing commitments, this level of commitment should be to yourself, your values, and your vision for your life. The thing with the partner with healthy values is that the values they hold often leave open spaces for the less than sincere to try to take advantage. For example, if you value autonomy you will support your partner to develop autonomously, but this doesn't mean that he will but an insincere person could very well lead you on you if only to keep you with him, which is a way to control their environment. Another example is when a partner values trust, they are likely to work hard at trusting their partner, even when the signs may not favour doing so; etc.

If the question of commitment is coming from your own lack of having a working definition of commitment, then this is a good area for you to develop—What does commitment mean to you? What does it mean in your relationship with your romantic partner? With other people (family, friends, coworkers, etc.)? What does it mean in other areas of your life? How do you prioritize your commitments (i.e. what areas of your life are you more committed to)?

That said, for the purpose of the lesson, if your status with your partner is contingent on his recovery, then you are (technically speaking) in the “wait and see” category. But, this does not mean that you are not committed to the relationship. Just as a person who decides to "commit" by staying in the relationship for healthy, values based reasons is not necessarily "committed", although they are (which I have experienced through my own relationship--in the earlier days, I truly believed I was committed, but I was attached. I thought that my choices were based on my values, but they were based on unconsciously held beliefs about myself. It took a lot of work to get to a place where I could see that. And honestly, I still work on this this because the unconscious beliefs (that I have since learned to identify and generate awareness for) do still creep in and try to take over my behaviour. When I am caught unaware, I am reactive, volatile, angry, bitter, etc. All this is to say is don't take yourself too seriously. Give yourself some space as you are still learning and practicing. There is no one correct path to healing, as such a linear process negates the individual who is going through the process. And, if you are in doubt of your own commitment, I would say to you that your commitment is actually quite apparent, otherwise you wouldn't have made this inquiry.

Be well

_________________
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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PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 2:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 10, 2013 3:34 pm
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I always had an issue with this too. For me, I think it was an all or nothing thinking: I thought that 'commitment' was a all in, body, mind and soul commitment. I struggled with it. I knew that it wasn't safe or smart for me to be 'all in', obviously, therefore, I wasn't 'committed', I wasn't 'all in' so I wasn't fulfilled, to me, it wasn't a real relationship, as I view it. I was using hope, wishing and self-delusion to fuel this 'commitment' and got let down, and heart-broken by every 'bad sign' (and there were many). I was committed to the outcome, needing the proof that recovery was or was not possible or likely in order to truly be 'all in' or to leave. Not very healthy or realistic for either of us, I think.

I don't know exactly what that lesson actually meant, either, in a functional way. A fulfilling romantic relationship is trust, honesty, vulnerability, respect and more. Take away some of these things and for me, it is no longer a fulfilling relationship, it feels more like two people who don't trust each other, don't like each other pretending to be married. Who could commit to that? I wanted it to be real. I needed it to be real to be able to look towards the future without crippling anxiety. I am not adding any clarity to this discussion, I fear. Perhaps somebody else can add some, lol. Sorry, I'm not much help, just sharing my experience.

Is it possible to be committed to loving him and supporting his healthy recovery (which is conditional, it must be healthy and there must be boundaries) without being committed to the relationship (as far as into the future goes)? Or is that a grave contradiction?


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2015 6:48 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:20 am
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Jacki3030, you are clearer than you think you are!!! I am on RN only a month and still surfing through the posts and ponderings........what you said resonated with my middle of the night worries! Just reading how others view and question the lessons helps me to also better 'understand' !!!!!

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It is always OK in the end...if it's not OK, it's not the end!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2015 9:54 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2014 12:20 am
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Love says: I have seen the ugly parts of you, and I am staying.......

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It is always OK in the end...if it's not OK, it's not the end!


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