Have you ever been told to just “let it go”? Many of us hear that from well meaning friends or family members trying to calm us down when we are upset or concerned. Heck, they may even sing you a song about it! We have often wondered what “let it go” really means (yes, we were wondering about this expression even before the song came out).
In a romantic relationship, partners often interpret “letting go” to mean that they should ignore or avoid addressing the problems that they are seeing in each other. We think otherwise. We do not believe it is beneficial to our own emotional wellbeing, nor for the good of our relationship be turning a blind eye to the problems that we see loved ones struggling with.
On the contrary, we strongly encourage couples to bring concerns that they have for each other to the foreground – provided of course that the other partner has agreed to receive input.
What then does it mean to “let it go”? It is the outcome and the consequences of bringing out your concerns to each other over which we have no control. We do not have any control over whether or not our input will be heard. We certainly have no power over whether or not our partner will take any action towards change.
So if we are correct then the appropriate way to hear our friends or family members urge to “just let it go” is really an encouragement to let go of the outcome of your sincere attempt at addressing the concerns you have in your relationship. But absolutely address your concerns with your partner. That is how change occurs!
Once you have addressed your concerns and given your input, your partner may refuse to receive your input – LET IT GO. Your partner may not react to your concern in a way that you feel is appropriate or timely – LET IT GO. You may not feel the personal relief that you were hoping you would feel when you originally decided to reach out to your partner – LET IT GO. And perhaps worst of all, your partner may hear from a friend the same input you delivered several weeks ago and find the friend’s input most valuable – LET IT GO.
Let Go of the outcome …but not of your partner.
This blog was written by John and Elaine Leadem.