Relationship question (Help)

A discussion of topics about relationships in Recovery
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Relationship question (Help)

Postby kingofspades » Fri May 06, 2011 3:14 pm


I would like to thank you for reading and helping me.

Here is my question

I have recently got in to a relationship with some one in the 12 step program.

She has only been in the program for 90 days we where friends before she was in the program and we ended up running in to each other one day.

I am not in recovery but I don't do drugs or drink.

She told me she can not get in to a serious relationship for 6 months and she can't have sex either which I told her that I am fine with.

The last 3 weeks we have been hanging out every day.
Over this time we have or I have grown feeling for her and care for her a lot.

We have not done anything with each other just holding hands, hugging, kiss on the cheek.

I always try to support her in here recovery.
Make sure she get to meetings.
be there for her if she need anything.

Here is my question.

Should I not do this I wouldn't want to effect her recovery?

I think here recovery is way more important then our relationship and don't want this to be the wrong thing for her is what I am doing the right thing?

Why is there a 6 month to a year waiting in the 12 step program to be in a relationship ?

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Postby Dallas » Sat May 07, 2011 4:18 pm

It isn't a rule. It's a suggestion that's backed with a lot of experience behind it.

Most people do not realize nor do they understand how sick an alcoholic or an addict gets -- and how difficult it is for them to recover. After they clean up a bit -- they look good. They sound good. They're a lot of fun to be around. From all outside appearances they appear better than ever. However, their chances at long-term and complete recovery are minuscule when its compared to recovering from other conditions. And, if they don't recover fully and continue to recover daily -- the chances are great that their condition will end as a fatality.

Alcoholism and addiction affects a person at all levels of their being -- even when it doesn't appear that it has done much harm to them. Physical. Mental. Emotional. And, spiritual. Often, the damage started when they were very young and the drinking or using of dangerous substances came on long after the initial injury. Most often, I believe, it seems from a deep seated hurting inside -- that becomes so great, that we become willing to go to any lengths at all -- even if it will take our lives -- to get over the hurting. And, that's just part of the problem. That's like the splinter that sets up to an infection. After the hurting starts and we have done all that we can to "hide" the hurt from ourselves and others -- the hurt moves to an unconscious place. We don't even remember how it started or why it started. All that we know is that it was always there for as long as we can remember.

One of my greatest hurts from my past -- I didn't even remember it until I was five years sober and I had been very active in recovery. I had another experience at 10 years sober -- that nearly landed me in a mental hospital at the time. And, I still don't know that that was all about, or what the original hurting was. Luckily, I stumbled into a solution for it and I straightened out and was able to continue with sobriety.

People -- people in general, I've discovered -- (not just alcoholics or addicts) are very fragile mentally and emotionally. Emotionally, more so than mentally. Normal people seem to have no problem in finding a healthy way to deal with it. While, the alcoholic or addict has a great deal of a harder time in trying to find a healthy way to deal with it.

Whatever you do -- and regardless of what you do -- try to remember that both of you are very fragile. Since you have a high attraction for her -- that could be a symptom of a problem for yourself -- that you are unaware of at this time. Some kind of hurting in your own past. And, unconsciously -- your mind could be calculating -- that if you can do something to "help her heal" ... it will help you to heal yourself, or someone else -- from your past. And, most of the time -- these "Unconscious Dances w/ Death" will never be revealed to us.

Best wishes for you and for her.


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Re: Relationship question (Help)

Postby merckx » Tue May 10, 2011 10:34 am

kingofspades wrote: We have not done anything with each other just holding hands, hugging, kiss on the cheek.

When I was a teenager I had a wise man tell me about the law of diminshing returns concerning intimacy in relationships. He told me that the things that sent bolts of electricity though my body at first, e.g. holding hands, would eventually stop sending out those bolts. Then I would have to progess to something more physically intimate to get that same rush. Almost like chasing the high off your first hit...

What he failed to mention was that when there is a deep level of emotional intimacy, knowing and be known by others, the law of diminishing returns is no longer valid. There are days that I see my wife and it's like I'm looking at her for the first time. She will hold my hand and I'll feel lightning shoot through my body.

Hasn't always been like that in our marraige. For a long time my selfishness and selfcenteredness kept me from truly knowing, and truly loving, my wife. Now that I love her in the way that I am supposed to love her I get to experience fireworks all the time.

My experience has been that physical intimacy always acted as counterfit emotional intimacy for me. It wasn't until I develop true emotional intimacy with someone that I could properly experience physical intimacy.

Dallas is right when he says we are fragile.

In Ingrid Michaelson's song Breakable she says, "Have you ever thought about what protects our hearts? Just a cage of rib bones and other various parts. So it's fairly simple to cut right through the mess and stop the muscle that makes us confess. We are so fragile, our cracking bones make noise. We are just breakable, breakable, breakable, girls and boys."

Proverbs 4:23 says, "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."

In all of my relationships, I try to hold true to that verse. I not only work to protect my heart but also seek to avoid acting in ways that might hurt others.

On this board I have seen many a person say ... this is my story ... am I an alcoholic? Before the thread ends, someone usually says if you have to ask, you probably are.

My experience has been that I usually need to proceed with caution when I have to ask the question, "Is this the right thing for me to do?"

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New relationship in his 9th Step

Postby BarbaraM » Mon May 30, 2011 10:28 am

I met someone about a month ago. We were attracted to one another and enjoyed eachother's witty personalities. It was an instant connection. We were not intimate and he soon began to push himself away from our growing friendship.
I understood his need to focus on the program. I respected him for all the progress he has made. So, I gave him space. I recently contacted him and we went to a movie. He had missed me as much as I missed him. We discussed a possible relationship, but his sponsor quickly reminded him it was not a good idea at this point. I am fine with just a friendship, but it's all or none for him. Since a relationship is not good, neither is a friendship.
He is in a place of his life where he has to be careful of who he's around. I understand that whole-heartedly. My life is clean. I am drug and alcohol free. My circle of friends are too. I am genuinely wanting to spend time with this fun-loving man who shares similar interests with me.
He has no family close by. His friends are AA friends and all male.
Is backing off the best thing to do at this time?
Would attending Alanon meetings help me understand him more to support his recovery?
It's been a couple days since we have last spoken and I just miss his laughter and random deep, thoughtful conversation.

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Postby Dallas » Mon May 30, 2011 11:25 am

Speaking strictly for myself -- my mind has a tendency to travel --
to scenarios in life -- both, good and bad, rather than to see things and fully experience things the way that they actually are in the moment. It's almost as if I'm an actor on a stage in my mind -- living out a play -- with other actors -- when none of it is actually happening in real life. It's as if -- I'm living in my imagination of "how things could be" rather than how things are.

And it seems that something in my head especially wants the thing or things that I don't have -- more than it wants the things that I have. Then, when I get what I thought I wanted -- it sits unused in a closet or under the bed -- while I'm thinking about something else that I don't have. :lol:

Yeah, I know. I'm different. :lol:

I don't know if I could be much help, as to offering suggestions about this. So, I should wait and see what someone else has to say about it. :wink:

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Postby BarbaraM » Mon May 30, 2011 11:33 am

I get what you're saying. I have reflected on that notion as well. Only time will tell.

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Postby Dallas » Mon May 30, 2011 5:15 pm

I'd try to relax and take it easy. Remember Rule #62. Not take it too serious. Pause. Stay happy. Stay sober. And, not make a decision about it -- unless there was a significant reason to make a decision. I would also continue to see other people, go out w/ other people -- and not let the possibility of a future something -- that may or may not ever materialize -- keep me from moving forward enjoying the road to happy destiny.

How often do you go out socializing and meeting other people?

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i socialize

Postby BarbaraM » Mon May 30, 2011 5:25 pm

I do socialize. He just seems genuine about life. It's refreshing to meet someone with an optimistic outlook on life like myself. Not too many people understand my sense of humor and he does. Well, life has a plan. Thanks for everything. I have enjoyed reading the threads to understand the 12 step commitment. keep up the great advice:)

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I have issues with this

Postby coffeewithmetoday » Mon Jun 13, 2011 11:28 am

I have seen this "no relationships" rule be very harmful to recovery in some situations and i have seen it have the most nasty backfire of anything told newcomers so many times and so many ways. I just had to log on to point out what i have seen happen over the last 20 years.

One of the worst things i have seen is newcomers who were so harshly guilt tripped and shamed for having sex with someone in the group or wanting to have sex with someone in the group in their first year that they left and never returned. That is a fact i have seen happen many times.

Another really bad thing i see happen again and again is people that are shamed and guilt tripped and pretty much forced or not allowed to date in the rooms. Do you think they don't seek a relationship? Right. They turned to people outside the rooms or even worse old using boyfriends and girlfriends that take them out again and again. You would think their sponsor would get it but not so.

I have seen dating start up and then the sponsors and or gossip crew in the group just runs the couple out with constant meddling. It is really awful what damage ego maniac self righteous controlling alcoholics and addicts can do to someone even in recovery. If you want to see their full force insanity just go to a business meeting when a hot topic is up for a vote. I think everyone should see their sponsor in that situation before they commit to sponsor rules. It is really crazy people.

Sad thing is that some have never returned. Some may have died. I think every thing applied is on a case by case bases and guilt and shame and these canvasing controlling RULES should never be a part of working steps and suggestions. Someone might need to cool it for 6 weeks or a few months to get their feet under them. Some might need to stay out of a relationship for a year but to lump everyone into that category is just wrong.

Most of the time it is best to let people date in the rooms and learn from others in recovery. At least they will feel safe and learn from mistakes if they are not listening to suggesting and by suggestions i mean suggestions not RULES. These rules are so damaging.

You can make suggestions to a newcomer that it is a good idea not to get into serious relationships for awhile but make it a suggestion and not a hard guilt shame based rule. And support them if they do get in a relationship instead of condemning them. They need unconditional love and regard not a judgmental group of people taking over their life. How many times i have seen some seriously upset people that had their relationships torn apart by the controlling factions of a group i can't count. It is truly sad to see people happy and then so sad and confused and their relationships destroyed. They stay to torture others or disappear and never come back. Not good!

The most important thing is that they make their recovery the top priority. DON'T DRINK OR DRUG no matter what. Let go you control freaks. Think about it. And to top it off i started thinking the other day of all the people i know from 20 years in the program that never had a relationship in their first year and i only remember two sharing that they indeed stayed out of a relationship the first year. 20 years of daily meetings and i know many people with over 10 years and not one of them stayed out of a relationship. There is not one mention in the big book that says to stay out of a relationships for any amount of time. Out of all their hard thought out seriously well covered book on recovery they didn't include one passage about staying out of relationships. I wonder why?

i seriously think we run off more newcomers than we keep with this selfish "rule" that is guilt imposed on the men and women. I know this. You are not going to learn to have relationships by not having relationships and you can bet the newcomers are going to have relationships. Like it or not. come on. really.

Don't drink or drug one day at a time.

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Postby Dallas » Mon Jun 13, 2011 3:41 pm

Have you had personal experience with it that you'd like to share? I mean, like you personally, dating or relationship, etcetera?

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