Jump, Jive, & Wail

Posted on April 4, 2013


Books have been published on misunderstood pop and rock music lyrics.  There are some that are among my favorites that have not made it into any of the books I have seen.  My childhood playmate’s cousin thought that Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” was “Slow Cousin Walter.”  I had a coworker back in my Taco Bell days that thought that the lyric from Squeeze’s “Is That Love?” was “Beat me up with your lettuce” (the lyric was actually, “Beat me up with your letters”).  Speaking for myself, the first time I heard Brian Setzer’s “Jump, Jive, and Wail” I thought the refrain was “You got a drunk driver in your way.”  The real lyric was “You gotta jump, jive, and then you wail.”  Like the titles to Death Cab For Cutie (e.g. License and Registration) or Jimmy Eat World (e.g. Bleed American) songs, the title of this post has little to do with the post.  I do want to talk about that “drunk driver” but only metaphorically.

In my practice, I work with sex addicts.  Unless I am doing couples work, I work with the male sex addicts and one of my female colleagues works with the female sex addicts.  One of the things I frequently find with the partners of sex addicts is a focus on the healing and sobriety of the addict at the expense of their own healing.  Here is where the drunk driver comes in.  If your partner is a sex addict, you did not cause it; you can’t control it; and you can’t cure it.  It is not your fault, but you do have a responsibility to get help.  If you were hit by a drunk driver, the accident is not your fault, but you have a responsibility to seek treatment for your injuries.  You cannot control the addict, and you will only make yourself crazy by trying to monitor the addict’s recovery.  You are lying there bleeding and broken and you are trying to make sure the drunk driver gets treatment and doesn’t drive drunk anymore.   The best thing you can do for both yourself and the addict is to focus on your own healing.