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Both the addict and the partner suffer from the loss of time, meaning, and clarity. Connecting together through pain, shame, and helplessness (vulnerability) enables them to recreate a shared story of suffering and recovering together. Learning to grieve one's own losses is critical for individual recovery; learning to grieve shared losses is critical to relational recovery.
When the addict, in particular, learns to walk through the partner's experience there is an empathic exchange that recreates a new story in the safety of being seen, heard, and felt. Grief is clarified in that the past takes on new meaning. Both the addicted partner and the betrayed partner begin to view their history as a shared truth. As a result, they are empowered to experience growth toward an entirely new and different relationship — one that is healthy and life-giving.