Good relationships in recovery?

A discussion of topics about relationships in Recovery
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Postby Dallas » Wed Jan 04, 2006 4:13 am


Thanks for the words of wisdom!!! And, for how you explained them using the Steps!!! It makes it easier for me to understand and apply in my life.

This is such an important topic. If I came into this world with an instruction manual on relationships... I must have lost it on the way to getting here. And, the only way I can get a jump-start at learning from others, rather than using my "trial and error methods" is to hear from someone like you, who has successful relationships... pass on their experience strength and hope.

So... thank you, once again!


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Postby blueangel » Wed Jan 04, 2006 5:26 am

and interesting date as well. 27 years ago on this date I was on a plane headed to the military because my family didn't want the embarrasement of me going to federal prison, so off to the military I went. Actually the military and I had a great relationship for 8 years. My personal life was a disaster area but my career went well. Here I sit 27 years later in the first decent relationships I've had in my life with the people in my life, God, my daughter, now 25, and my life mate. Me and God have it easy, He's the boss, what he says goes, simple as that :D My daughter got married so when she calls whining about her toes being *not straight enough* I simply tell her I love her and to go tell her hubby about the toes issue :lol: Now for the tricky part. The mate! We met in AA rooms and he spent quite a few months thinking I was kind of looney, DUH!!! :lol: While I was on chaffee working with the Katrina evacuees I stumbled into him at a local coffee shop one day after a meeting and very rudely sat myself down at his table, for 2 reasons. 1. the other tables were all full, and 2. I didn't want to eat standing up. He's a quiet guy so I just sat and babbled at him forever and he eventually started talking too. Turned out he was a really interesting and nice guy, which kind of intriqued me since I'd never met a nice guy, I always had to run with the big dogs, shame on me! I spent the next couple months on chaffee with my evacuees and running into him at meetings, always so sweet and quiet, talk about opposite of me! :D He mysteriously started smiling when I saw him at meetings, which was odd for him and I'd always give him big hugs and we'd talk before the meetings. I was talking AA to a girl one night he walked up as I was giving her my number. I asked if he wanted my number too and he said yes. 5 minutes later he was on my phone wanting coffee. We would sit and talk hours on sobriety over coffee and slowly I found myself in this before I realized it. It's still a basically new relationship but I have discovered that I don't wait for that other shoe to drop like I always did in the past with others. pretty easy too.
1. we work our own program and still stay very active in AA.
2. we both know who's in charge...God! :D
3. He is a gentleman so I act like a lady instead of a guy with a bad sex change operation. :lol: ( I am learning to let him open doors for
4. we practice the principles in everything we do. (pretty good design for living, don't you think?
5. I talk to my sponsor several times a day and he talks to his when he can hog tie the guy for 5 minutes. he does however talk to another guy, kind of a fill in sponsor, in the program for 20 plus years every chance he can.
6. we already know each others bad qualities, we are both , so we concentrate on each others good qualities and have fun.
7. he accepts that I'm a little looney and I accept that he's not a big dog and we have learned the good qualities to both. in other words he is learning to have fun in life and I am learning why in the world do I have a porch If I can't learn to stay on it?
8. I learned to be very grateful really fast to his wife that died a couple years ago and took that smile from him, because she taught him to love so he could teach me to love. I have alot of love and gratitude for his wife, she was a great lady that was taken from this great man not by choice, and I don't try to discount or replace her. I have no problems at all holding one of his hands while she has the other.
9. we don't expect or demand of each other, we just enjoy the time we have together on this earth. There's alot to be said for living in the moment, it's pretty easy when it's on a 24 hour basis instead of the old way of thinking.

Oh well I have rambled on forever, and probably everyone has stopped readind so I may as well quite writing :lol: :lol: :lol: Everyone have a great day and God Bless you all, Kay a.k.a. hummy dammit :lol: :lol:

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Postby niteporter » Wed Jan 04, 2006 2:43 pm

Eric here. I am just 34 days clean, with a longterm relationship- 20 years with a non-alkie spouse, three kids. My wife told me a million times that I had a problem, but you know the deal- no one can tell you that your an alcoholic, you need to get there yourself. Bless her, she is sticking so far, even with the number of bombs I've had to drop as part of my steps- lies, deceit, hidden financial problems. She may not stay when all is said and done, but so far....

I sometimes think that I need her to leave and give me space to clear my head, and I am honestly not afraid of her leaving, even tho I love her very much. I just think sometimes that it would be easier to not have the day to day relationship stuff to deal with on top of the financial worries, tanking business, creditors etc. She has hit the end of the rope, but feels like she is trapped- no career (left the working world when the kids were litte to be an at home mom), possibly no house to stay in, no close family. So maybe it is a bit of a bind she feels like she has to stay. We have had a very strained relationship as a result of the years of drinking, grown apart in a lot of ways. But she says she will work through it with me, and get try to get back to a happy place, so to speak. Thebottom line is this- I have no idea if this is going to work, but I HAVE to stay the course of sobriety no matter what happens. I need to be there for my kids, regardless of whether I have a stay at home relationship with them or not. If I don't, I'm dead, plain and simple- then I am of no use to anyone. So, come what may- together, apart, friends, married- I need to focus on recovery for my sake and theres. I can't predict or dwell on the future. If I did I would do what I have always done- DRINK.

Rusty Zipper
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Postby Rusty Zipper » Wed Jan 04, 2006 7:45 pm

thanks you guys for all the reminders... i'm walking on Egg-Shells right now... boundries, shmoundries... reality rules, the truth rules, and God rules... any one single and in CT... just rule#62 it, need to... ttya's...xo RZ

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Postby Sam » Wed Jan 04, 2006 9:31 pm

Wow - some nice stuff there...

blueangel (Kay) - I loved what you said about your man's ex-wife. My wife's ex is still alive and well and in our lives to a certain degree - our son loves him. A miracle of recovery for me is that I not only tolerate this, I actually like it. It's been a long hard road though (9 years this 2nd time around for me in recovery) with a lot of work on .... not sure what the work was on specifically .... but my self esteem has improved radically from working the steps.

I also liked what you said about accepting (and thereby respecting) each other. I have spent my whole life trying to change people (let's get honest and call it manipulation!) and it just does not work (or more likely it back fires!)

niteporter (Eric) - sounds like you're heading along a good path and taking it one day at a time! Stay around long enough for the miracles to happen! I've found that the unexpected and sometimes even the unwanted turns out to be better than I could possibly have planned. One day the world seems like doom and gloom and then something shifts (in me or another person) and a miracle happens.

What I was and still am told to do is:
* pray (or think good thoughts, or imagine miraculous outcomes, or whatever it is you're comfortable with);
* talk to people in recovery who have what I want (and over time I found that what I wanted changed, and therefore the people I talked to, changed - one day at a time);
* go to as many meetings as possible (and you don't have to want to go - that's fine - just go anyway);
* listen to your gut (not your head) - but as mentioned in the 12 and 12 somewhere - this skill develops over time - so rely more on bouncing ideas off your sponsor to start with _before_ you to action;
* don't pick up the first drink no matter what!

In the first few years particularly, I felt like I was totally out of control, which spun me out even more, and then slowly I realised:
1) that I really was out of control;
2) that a power greater than myself was in control (call that power what you will - or don't call it anything - just feel it)!

As I've heard in meetings "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans!"

Some of us have tried to hold on to our old ideas and the result was nil until we let go absolutely.

. . . . . . and I might add that that quote holds true for me today and every day not just in the early days.

Even the ideas and lessons I learn in recovery need to held onto loosely - if they're worth keeping God will make sure I still have them available.

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Postby rainy » Wed Feb 01, 2006 1:28 am

:D Hi I thought I'd join in with this topic. I had been seperated six months from my husband of 10yrs when I came into this wonderful fellowship. My main concern then was to get the marriage back, reluctantly I followed the suggestions made to me,and after 12months of not drinking,and trying to learn about this programme, we got back together, I had to try it sober ( my will again!!)
Needless to say it didn't work. Insanity...doing the same thing again expecting a different outcome!! We lasted 7 miserable years together.I kept trying and trying ACCEPTANCE of him and his infidelities, because I had heard that Acceptance was the answer to all my problems. Just like the drink I had to eventually give in and accept that I could not change him. it was a very painful experience, but by staying close to my sponsor and fellowship friends I grew through it. My recovery really started, cause I only had me to look at.
I concentrated on my meetings and working this programme and I started to get better.
I didn't look for any other relationships, I got on with building a new life for myself and my children. Five years down the line I had just lost my mum I was grieving and was hitting the meetings more than usual, when I met a Scotsman at a meeting, he had just moved down to live in Wales, I remember thinking "he was nice " and then thought no more about him. A couple of months later we met again, he came to my homegroup, very slowly we got to know each other after a couple more months we met for coffee.Our friendship grew, this was six years ago, and today we have been married for two years. It is the best relationship I have ever had. He is my best friend.
I have my life, and he has his life and we have our life together. We talk, we respect each other, and we love each other. We keep out of each other's recovery, my recovery is mine with the help of my sponsor, as is his for him. I have ACCEPTANCE in a relationship at last, it works both ways, him of me and me of him, we don't try to change each other, and it's amazing. We have disagreements but we talk and work things through together.
And as for my first husband, we are now better friends than we ever were when we were maried.
It is so true that when we work this programme it works for us.
It's good to share, thank you for allowing me to.
God Bless xx

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Postby ATL-Male » Wed Feb 01, 2006 2:00 am

I love the way you brits type. ;0)

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Postby Sam » Wed Feb 01, 2006 2:02 am

rainy wrote:We have disagreements but we talk and work things through together.

We do too - and they are sometimes classic big time fallings out. I can get more angry / upset than ever I did when I was "out there".

When one of the biggies happens (eg. yesterday!), it feels like the end of the relationship (usually for at least about half an hour or so), I am amazed (even while "in it") how bad and completely finished it feels even though my experience tells me it is not the end...

We muddle through - go into different rooms if that's possible, I take a mini-inventory and make amends - or at least get clearer about what it was I was trying to say and say it a bit more clearly - and better acknowledge what has been said to me (if I can see it).

We have an agreement that we never go out for a drive or walk at these times - not until at least there is some resolution. Someone once said "Never go to sleep on an arguement" - it's kind of the same thing. I can get some space without the need to get too much physical distance - yet another joy of recovery.

Thanks for sharing rainy.

PS. Despite our "differences of opinion" and the power that sometimes accompanies the clashing of these differences (or misunderstandings as they often prove to be), this is without any shadow of doubt the best relationship I have ever been in - or could envision.

Rusty Zipper
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Postby Rusty Zipper » Wed Feb 22, 2006 1:41 am

Scheeesh!... coming up on three years in relationships with others, myself and two years with the Pots'a... my looney, coo-coo, smart, beautiful and thought provoking sweetie...for us, there have been way many good times... and a few not so good. and one Bomb. "Ka-Boom!"... the thing that works for us big time is to stay out of each others recovery if not asked... disasociate oneself from the others problem... but to be there for suport, encouragement and understanding... no, and no judgement. no demands. just respect and compassion. for we our both just two people trying to weed out the past. trying to live and deal with

the now, and hopefully, for the grace of God. have a tommorow. we get our growth each in our own way. and at times through each other strengths. and at times from each others weeknesses. i always have said, God put us together for a reason. have seen a few of those reasons. and am looking foward to some more. good, bad or indifferent. this is how i see the two of us for today... i love you Pots'a... ya always be the best... xo Pattee :wink:

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