Recovery – No One Should Be Left Behind
“Ohana means Family. Family means no one gets left behind.”— Lilo, Lilo & Stitch
What does it mean that no one gets left behind? Does that mean that we have to wait for our spouse to catch up to us? Does it suggest that we have to make sure everything works out? Does it mean we are supposed to stick with our spouse?
Of course, it does not imply that you are or should be stuck in a relationship, it does indicate, however, that regardless of what happens, everyone should be given the tools to move forward and grow.
These tools can be different for each. The tools I need are different from what my wife needs, but when we use our tools together, we can progress in our relationship. Likewise, if a couple has decided that going their separate ways is the best decision for the growth and movement for their family, the couple should use their tools to lift each other up and make sure that the trauma of the situation has the least effect on the children.
Support, Encourage and Love
Couples should never use their tools and experiences to put the children against a parent or to try and gain leverage over their spouse.
If parents are working with their children towards an end goal, like overcoming a compulsion; we should not assume the children know what we are expecting of them.
Making sure the children do not get left behind means we are with them every step of the way through their recovery. While parents should be very clear with their children about expectations, part of not leaving them behind means that we are there emotionally for them.
The last thing a child needs, who is in a recovery process, is shame or guilt, especially from their parents.
What your children need is compassion, love, understanding, and patience. These are tools that the parents can use to help increase and strengthen the child’s toolset. Making sure no one gets left behind will ensure a healthy cohesive family unit, regardless of what that particular family unit looks like.