A solid, committed, romantic relationship does not get there all on its own. Nor does it remain solid and committed by simply existing. Great relationships take work! If we are going to enjoy an enduring partnership, we must be willing to examine it and take inventory on a regular basis.

An effective way to inventory our relationship is to use the Prayer of St. Francis as your guide. This prayer is found on page 99 of The Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions (AA World Services, 1952). It reads:

“Lord, make me a channel of thy peace – that where there is hatred, I may bring love – that where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness – that where there is discord, I may bring harmony – that where there is error, I may bring truth – that where there is doubt, I may bring faith – that where there is despair, I may bring hope – that where there are shadows, I may bring light – that where there is sadness, I may bring joy.

“Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort than to be comforted; to understand, than to be understood; to love, than to be loved. For it is by self-forgetting that one finds. It is by forgiving that one is forgiven. It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life. Amen.”

Our suggestion is to sit together and move slowly through this prayer with your partner. As you do, you will be able to gauge how well your relationship is really working. You will be able to gauge how much you and your partner are being of service to each other and to others.

True love is possible. Unfortunately, many of us believe the “hype” that there is no such thing as true love because of our terrible experiences in the past, so we avoid love and commitment all together. Others of us once loved and lost, and believe that we only get one chance at love. Through our willingness to take this leap of faith however, we have come to see true love all around us.

It takes great courage to enter a romantic relationship and promise to be completely open and honest with each other. Many of us have never experienced that type of intimate relationship before. To declare ourselves ready for such a bond takes a great leap of faith to trust that we will have the spiritual fortitude to endure in a completely honest relationship.


This article is part two in a multiple part series on using Step Eleven in romantic relationships. It was written by John & Elaine Leadem, senior supervisors of the Leadem Counseling & Consulting offices in Toms River, NJ and East Brunswick, NJ. The content of this article is based on their book  “One in the Spirit: Meditation Course for Recovering Couples“. Next week we will follow up our introduction of the “Prayer of St. Francis”  by slowing down and analyzing the various components found in the prayer of Saint Francis. Happy New Year once again, and until next week, we are One with you in the Spirit!




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From Psych Central's website:
“…Rather to Comfort than to be Comforted…” | Couples in Recovery (February 19, 2013)

    Last reviewed: 5 Nov 2013

APA Reference
Leadem, J. (2013). Do You Believe in “True Love”?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 26, 2015, from http://blogs.psychcentral.com/couples/2013/01/do-you-believe-in-true-love/


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Elaine Leadem, MSW, LCSW & John Leadem, MSW, LCSW are authors of many books, including One in Spirit & An Ounce of Prevention.
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