Can you read your partner’s mind? Of course not! Neither can your partner read your mind.
But this is what you may have come to expect of each other if you grew up in a movie script hearing phrases like: “love is never having to say you are sorry” or if you learned as a child that “you should not have to tell someone what you are feeling or what you need if they love you.”
Feelings, expectations, fears, and dreams go unsaid because we believe our partner should know these things. Our partner cannot respond to or help us unless they know what we need. Honest and direct communication is vital to the recovery process and to the success of your partnership, even though it may bring pain.
Ask your Higher Power for the patience to move slowly through the learning process and the willingness to work with your partner in honest and genuine ways will promote change. That change may seem slow when we compare it to the openness we feel with others.
We have all been there: sharing our story at a meeting, relating the details of our darkest moments, and feeling the empathy and support emanate from the listeners. Why, then, is it so difficult to share these same details with our loved ones?
What separates our partner from the rest of the world is the emotional tie we have with our partner based on our shared vulnerability. If I tell her my story, will she still love me? Am I at risk of losing him if he really knows who I am? Your past is a part of who you are, and you owe it to your partner to reveal all of who you are. Ask for God’s assistance to not let the fear block you from helping your partner to know all of you and for you to get to know him or her.
This article 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.”
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Last reviewed: 14 Mar 2013