We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it to our partner and to others we had harmed.
Step Ten is about continuing to take inventory of our coupleships by reviewing our behavior. A suggested way of taking this inventory is to ask: What has my partner done to help the coupleship, and what have I done to harm the coupleship? Also, What have we, as a couple, done to harm or help others? This can be done daily or weekly, privately or publicly. Much of our harmful behavior involves blaming our partner. A daily or weekly inventory tends to reverse the process of blaming. It also expresses what we like and appreciate in our partner. In first doing your Tenth Step, it may be helpful to write this inventory. By its nature Step Ten is an ongoing process, repeated daily or as often as necessary. The hope is that this new behavior will become familiar and automatic.
Ongoing practice of Step Ten maintains our honesty and humility. If we become comfortable and start believing we dont need to continue practicing Step Ten or to regularly attend meetings; we tend to become irritable, short-tempered, think negatively, and relapse. Examples of relapse behavior might include avoidance, excessive working, spending, isolation, busyness, control, manipulation, withholding feelings, and difficulty with intimacy. Nothing stays the same in our life or coupleship. We are either growing or regressing.
In your ongoing Step Ten practice, we suggest the use of three types of ongoing inventories:
- Spot-check inventory (whenever agitated or fearful you might pause and spot-check your underlying motives).
- Daily inventory (What have I done that is harmful to our coupleship? What has my partner done to support our coupleship?).
- Long-term periodic inventory (perhaps an annual spiritual retreat focused on how your coupleship has grown [or otherwise], and your role and your partners role in this growth).
Although Step Ten is ongoing and never fully complete, having demonstrated willingness to fully understand and own your own role in the dance of the coupleship, you should be ready to move on to the spirituality of Step Eleven.