The path for the recovering addict/alcoholic and the recovering codependent in partnership involves a commitment to empowering the greatest good within you by following a daily practice. You and your partner do not have to be religious or spiritual to succeed at this, but you do have to be intentional. Being intentional just means being clear about the attitudes and behaviors you want to bring to your relationship and keeping your eye on the ball of staying consistent in using the right tools for long term success.
If you and your partner do the following, I would say that you're officially a card-carrying member in the Recovering Couples Club. If not, join today. There are no dues or fees for membership, just the desire to be wildly happy with your partner.
You have a specific seven-minute meditation that you do together. One you can count on that grounds you, helps you get present in the present, and helps you feel connected to each other in a neutral manner. (Yes, you can just stare at the ground while being aware of your breathing sitting next to each other to accomplish this.)
You pause in your day to make a sincere mental note of the things about your partner that you are grateful for. (The key word here is sincere.)
You have a list of contacts in your phone of other recovering friends that you can call in cases of emergency to bitch and moan about your relationship struggles. (These same recovering friends also have been given your permission to tell you to refer back to the gratitude list thing.)
You have at a list of contacts in your phone of recovering friends that you let bitch and moan about his or her relationship struggles to you in cases of emergency. (You have been given permission to also tell he or she when to refer back to the gratitude list thing.)
You do some sort of physical exercise together that you both love that is guaranteed to get your endorphins flowing. (Arm wrestling is included.)
You both live as physically healthy as possible by drinking lots of water, taking your vitamins, and eating fruits and veggies. (Yuck.)
You interrupt yourself when a person, place or thing in your day triggers you to go down the road of comparing your recovering relationship to others. (Welcome to the ego driven world of, "We're not enough!")
You give your recovering partner a bear hug and don't let go until he or she says, "uncle." (Or, you're just very nice and hug them hello and good-bye each day.)
Using only your eyes, you tell your recovering partner that you love him/her, and you don't stop until he or she gets it. (Oh, come on. Let them think you've lost all of your marbles!)
You apologize at the end of the day for where you know you have been out of sync with your partner, hurt his or her feelings, or have been just plain neglectful in fostering loving feelings into the atmosphere of your relationship. (Get used to the apology-thing. It's a huge part of recovery!)
By following good habits and being accountable when you haven't been, your relationship has a pretty good chance of making it through the long haul. Without these things in place, your relationship is vulnerable to ending prematurely, or just not being a very fun place to live in day-to-day. Besides, you've come this far - by abstaining from addiction and codependency - why not add large dollops of joy and happiness to the mix as well?
Upcoming events to be announced.