Several years ago I recall working with a couple Jeff and Eileen (not their real names). In a session just prior to Father's Day, Eileen and Jeff were discussing their concerns about getting together with Jeff's parents for a family dinner to celebrate Father's Day. Jeff's sister and her husband would be there as well as his brother and partner. as well. It turns out that what happened that day changed Eileen and Jeff's relationship in a profound way, providing an impactful boost in intimacy, closeness, and trust.
Margaret and James used to have a good time together, then life and responsibilities seemed to loom larger and the fun times seemed to fade. They rarely fought during the times they had lively conversations filled with laughter and fun activities, they both saw this time as a time to bond. As less time was dedicated to spending some fun time together, not coincidentally, their relationship satisfaction dropped.
There have been many studies over the years on the impact of alcoholism on couples and on families, but nobody had ever asked the question: What is normal in family recovery processes? This research has potential implications for all families impacted by any serious mental health, behavioral, or physical disorder.
There is a difference between guilt and shame. Not knowing the difference puts at risk both individual recovery and relationship recovery.
In my last blog, My Partner Is In Denial: Part 1 The Problem, I address the impact of a partner's denial, When we care about somebody who is in denial, and that denial has an impact on our own wellness, feelings of isolation, anger, resentment, fear, and frustration typically follow. Initial steps should include a focus on self-care, letting go at least initially, of what to do about the partner. In this article, I suggest some strategies to consider in addressing your partner's denial.