Tools of Recovery
1. Attending and sharing at meetings
We attend RCA meetings to learn how the program works, and to share our experience, strength, and hope with other couples.
In meetings we learn that our struggles and troubles are not unique, and we gain a hope and assurance that our own coupleship can recover and grow. Meetings often bring partners closer and engage communication. Being honest and vulnerable in front of our partner is frightening but worth it. Many of us believe that our coupleships recover in direct proportion to our willingness to share at meetings.
2. Calling a meeting of two
Either partner can call a meeting of two anytime, anywhere. If the other partner agrees, what follows is a typical RCA meeting format even though there are only two people participating. A structure of opening and closing with the serenity prayer, and following the safety guidelines guarantees being heard and often helps us regain our sense of humor.
3. Calling a moratorium or time-out
When the communications break down, a prior agreement to call a time-out, also called a moratorium, for 15 minutes, an hour, or a day can interrupt destructive interaction. We can walk away from each other without walking away from the coupleship. By stating specifically when we will be available to continue discussion, we are showing that we are not abandoning the coupleship or our partner.
4. Conflict resolution contracts and written agreements
We are learning to practice fair fighting by developing our own conflict resolution contract. We establish respectful conflict guidelines and boundaries that allow the healthy expression of feelings, and we work for resolution over common problems and concerns.
5. Developing a support system within and outside of RCA
To help build balance in our coupleship each day we remember to develop personal relationships with other people than just our partner. Each day we remember to nourish our spiritual growth together our creativity and our playful attitudes. Reaching out to other couples outside of meetings allows us to get other perspectives on our problems.
6. I statements
We use I statements such as “I feel hurt,” or “I am sad,” rather then you statements, such as “you did,” “you are,”” you said,” to help each of us take individual responsibility for our feelings and thoughts, and to avoid blaming others. We do not globalize a conflict, as in “you always” or “you never“ and we keep the focus on current issues not past issues.
7. Listening and communicating
We set aside a time each day for hearing each other’s comments, feelings, and gratitude. Before accepting any major couple commitments, we consult and listen to our higher power for guidance.
8. Reading and working the steps
Recovering-couples anonymous is first and foremost a 12 step program. The principles and techniques that helped restore our lives to sanity and bring a measure of serenity to us as individuals can work for us as couples.
9. Reading recovery literature
Just as daily reading of literature can help keep the focus on our individual recovery, reflecting on our RCA literature can help us focus on our couple recovery. If our partner is in an individual recovery program, reading that recovery literature can help others grow in understanding and compassion for the challenges that they face.
We readily extend help to other couples, knowing that assistance to others adds to the quality of our own relationship recovery. We seek out and accept joint service positions in RCA. We find that doing service together builds our sins of joint participation in our relationship and in its recovery. We get this program when we give it away. Step 12 is about carrying the message, and the message we carry is a liberating one meant for a lifetime. The spiritual experiences that result affect all of our relationships, and, if we have children, we will be breaking the chains of addiction that have bound our families for generations.
As part of the surrender process, we admit our weaknesses as individuals and as a couple. We ask others for help, especially our RCA sponsors, and other members in the RCA program. Acting as sponsors helps bring our coupleship closer. Helping others focus on their relationships can give us perspective on our own coupleship.
12. Using the safety guidelines
By adhering to the safety guidelines in our meetings and in our couple communication, we receive and provide the safe environment and nurturing our coupleships need to grow and endure. We affirm our personal rights and agree to act and speak respectfully to others.
RCA Tools of Recovery from pages 106-112-"Recovering Couples Anonymous: A Twelve Step Program For Couples 4th edition of the basic text" 2011.