Couples Recovery Workshop

To get to this point in your recovery/healing, you must have both completed Stage One of the Couple's Workshop along with your individual workshops. Well, the Recovery Workshop up to Lesson 60; the Partner's Workshop through Stage Seven (with Stage Six optional). To have successfully reached this stage of healing required an extraordinary investment of time, energy and sustained motivation. Neither you, nor your partner could have 'faked it' for this long. That's not to say that problems don't still exist. Of course they do — which is the point of the remaining stages of the couple's program: to guide you through the management of those problems. But before doing so, set aside some time to celebrate.

What you are celebrating is complex. One, you are celebrating the lasting commitment you both have made towards building a healthy, intimate partnership. Two, you are celebrating an end to the crisis stage of recovery/healing and the beginning stage of 'building a healthy partnership'. And finally, you are celebrating a shift from focusing on 'the past' to working towards 'the future'. You are celebrating a 'letting go' of that addiction and in many ways, the recovery process as well. No longer will you two be seeing this addiction from different corners of the mat. Instead, all processing will be done as a team. All threats will be managed as a team. All development will be sought as a team. This doesn't mean that individual responsibility and effort won't be required — life demands such a thing. Nor does it mean that further discussion relating to the past, addiction or recovery is now off-limits. But it does mean that you two no longer have to fear each other. That the threats you face from this point forward will be external, not internal. That the threat of addiction is no longer present — and won't be without palpable complacency and/or a major shift in emotional balance.

A Meaningful Ceremony

To properly celebrate such a milestone, there needs to be some kind of ceremonial gesture made that signifies your commitment to developing deep and lasting intimacy. That you, as the person recovering from addiction, have reached a point where you are no longer going to allow the selfishness of immediate gratification or the illusion of compulsion to threaten those that you love. That you, as a partner in healing, have reached a point where you have separated the addiction from your partner. That you are now willing and able to join your partner in helping to monitor and manage all threats to your partnership. This ceremony may be a written contract that you both sign; it may be a deep, self-initiated conversation; heck, it could even be a cruise to the Bahamas. Somehow, you have to signify the death of the addiction and the rebirth of your pledge for partnership.

Ideally, this gesture would be grand. A restatement of vows — in front of family and friends. A gesture that accurately reflects your shared commitment to each other. But this is not required. Some meaningful gesture, Also required is the need for you both to embrace the ceremonial gesture. This is not, cannot be a situation where one of you 'surprises the other' with some grand gesture. Nor can it be something that one of you settles for. Work together to determine a gesture that accurately represents your commitment to each other as life partners.

Complete this gesture BEFORE moving on to Stage Three of the Couple's Workshop. This is important because of the work that will be done in Stages Three through Six. Work that will require mutual collaboration and exploration. Share what this gesture consisted of in your couple's thread and BOTH of you share whether or not you fully engaged in the ceremony. If that is not feasible: for instance, you want to hold a renewing of you vows ceremony and so, need to make reservations, invite guests, etc.; then simply share in your thread what you have both decided to do and when.

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