Seven Years (not the itch kind)

A gambling disorder and infidelity have similar characteristics. They are easier hidden than substance use, they are betrayals, they are selfish behaviors, they harm nuclear and extended family systems, they harm wider systems…They also can be healed with accountability, acceptance, compassion, hard work, forgiveness…

In my training as a marriage and family therapist, as a friend to couples/individuals in a 12-step group for people who had experienced infidelity in their relationship and as twice divorced person with a gambling disorder, I heard a common theme of forgiveness as a process that moved differently for both partners. I had heard that the forgiveness process along with a rebuilding of trust takes seven years give or take. I think the path is probably similar in couples who have experienced gambler disorder in their system. I also think that the process to forgiveness and trust is just that, a process. It is not a on/off switch. I have been honored to know couples who have done the work to stay together and awed by their honesty and grace. I also have been honored and awed by those who have made difficult decisions in taking their work in another direction. The principles stand whether we are talking about romantic dyads or the many other forms of relationships.

The article linked above is about another form of relationship. As an American, and if I was another nationality, I would not trust our form of government or my fellow citizens just yet. How can we expect those making treaties and trade deals with us to trust us to not vote in another would-be autocrat/traitor. My sense is that it will take a few presidential elections before we can be trusted again to honor our values and our word…seven years give or take.

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