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Let it Go, Let it Go…

let it goHave 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.

Let it Go, Let it Go…

John and Elaine Leadem

John and Elaine Leadem are licensed clinical social workers whose combined investment in the field of addiction treatment spans more than sixty years. Their commitment to helping recovering families has provided the core inspiration for the development of a "A Decision to Be IN Love"© which has helped many couples move from the traditional parallel model of recovery to strong united core support group. They are both certified Sex Addiction Therapist and have co-developed a model for treating couples during the crisis stage of recovery. In addition to being the co-directors of Leadem Counseling & Consulting Services, Elaine and John are seasoned therapeutic retreat leaders in working with recovering couples. As a team they have thus far co-authored three books:

In addition, John and Elaine are in the final stages of publishing their two latest masterpieces: Raising the Bottoms: A guide to training professional interventionists, and A Decision to Be IN Love: A therapist guide to treating couples recovering from addiction.

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APA Reference
Leadem, J. (2014). Let it Go, Let it Go…. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 22, 2019, from


Last updated: 14 Jul 2014
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