RCA ought never endorse, finance, or lend the RCA name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.

The purpose of RCA is to carry its message to recovering couples who still suffer. Tradition Six is an elaboration on the many possible ways a group might not stick to its primary purpose as well as, a reflection on how to avoid actions which could lead to disunity. It establishes boundaries for our fellowship, much as we set personal boundaries.

Problems of money, property and authority may easily divert us from our primary aim. Therefore, significant property, should be separately incorporated and managed,.

An RCA group, as such, should never go into business, but we need to cooperate with many other entities that have similar or supportive aims. Without this cooperation we could not let couples that suffer know of our existence and our program. But while an RCA group may cooperate with anyone, such cooperation ought never go so far as affiliation or endorsement, actual or implied. Adjuncts to RCA, such as clubs, therapists, couples counseling entities, ought to be separately incorporated and so set apart that, if necessary, they can be freely discarded by the groups. They should not use the RCA name. Their management should be the sole responsibility of those people who financially support them.

An RCA group can bind itself to no one. It has been our experience that outside organizations are attracted to RCA. They send members to us. RCA has a common bond with other 12-step programs such as AA–that of recovery, but even though we have similar aims, we should not affiliate with them.

When we adhere to the principles of Tradition Six we are able to carry the message and interact with others, knowing that we will not compromise our purpose. Some of the principles that help us observe Tradition Six include humility, integrity, faith, harmony, and anonymity.

Every RCA group should be fully self-supporting, declining outside contributions.

The principle is simple–being self-supporting is a tremendous source of strength and self-respect. This Tradition places the responsibility for supporting our group on our own shoulders. We do not accept outside contributions. We do not sell our independence. We do not owe anyone favors. We do not give anyone special treatment. As a fellowship we are responsible for our own financial survival, just as a couple or an individual we are responsible for our progress in recovery.

This tradition should govern the actions of the World Service Organization and WSO office just as it includes the individual groups in Recovering Couples Anonymous. We do not solicit funds outside our fellowship. We do not use the RCA name in connection with any allied enterprise. We believe that accepting gifts or contributions carrying any obligations is unwise. Joint ventures with outside organizations or individuals always contain downside obligations. They should be rigorously avoided.

In keeping with Tradition Seven, the membership supports the World Service Organization by group contributions, by individual donations, and the sale of approved literature and other materials from WSO. Although there are no dues or fees for membership, voluntary contributions are typically collected when each meeting “practices the Seventh Tradition” and a basket is passed.

It is a tradition of RCA to not accumulate funds in excess of that needed for basic RCA functions. If excess money were accumulated, problems could arise diverting us from our primary purpose. Funds beyond normal operating expenses and a prudent reserve should be forwarded to the WSO office. WSO should always invest in the RCA fellowship.

Recovering Couples Anonymous should remain forever non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.

Tradition Eight provides guidance for our trusted servants as well as to RCA members who may be in the helping professions, such as counselors, therapists, clergy, physicians, social workers, and other professionals. Sharing at meetings should be about personal couple recovery. No one should participate in a professional capacity or as a therapist. We help each other as equals. Our work with others is done to further our own spiritual growth – not for money or from any position of superiority. RCA committee and subcommittee work is unpaid 12-Step service work.

Service workers may be contracted to do work in our service centers. These paid service positions are not limited to those in the RCA fellowship as they normally do not involve 12-Step work. 12-Step work should never be compensated.

RCA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they serve.

RCA, like AA, is a fellowship where the power resides in the fellowship, and not the officials. The officials are just trusted servants. Some of the positions may be called secretary, chair, vice-chair, trustee, facilitator, treasurer, literature person, sponsor, or group contact couple. These positions should rotate on a regular basis so that all couples involved have a chance to share responsibility. No couple directs and no couple controls the other couples.

The spirit of RCA is service. All couples are invited to volunteer their services. All local groups are encouraged to have group contact couples who facilitate communication between the groups and the board of trustees. Our WSO Board of Trustees is directly responsible to the fellowship of RCA. The WSO office is directly responsible to the WSO Board of Trustees, providing literature and information to the fellowship as well as the general public. “Hand in Hand”  is the official publication of RCA and is generally issued quarterly.

 Recovering Couples Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues: hence the RCA name ought never to be drawn into public controversy.

An RCA group should not express any opinion on outside issues, nor should couples, if they are speaking for RCA. The Recovering Couples Anonymous groups neither endorse nor oppose other organizations or their causes, particularly those concerned with controversies, politics, addiction reform, sectarian religion, or particular therapy programs. RCA couples come from all walks of life and hold diverse opinions; little binds us together except our primary purpose—to carry RCAs message to recovering couples who still suffer. If we focus on other issues, either inside or outside the group meeting, we run the risk of alienating other RCA couples or other allies in recovery and possibly shattering the fellowship.

Our public relations policy is based on attraction rather than on promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the level of press, radio, TV, and films.

Tradition Eleven is our guide whenever there is an opportunity to be public. We are reminded to preserve our anonymity emphasizing that it is RCA that is important–not the individual

Public relations is on-going in the program, For example, when we desire to “carry the message,” we may provide information or locations of meetings, using only the first names of the group contact couples. We may also leave RCA information on bulletin boards or at treatment centers to let other couples know there is hope for intimacy in their coupleships through a Twelve Step program. We also maintain RCA websites where interested people may find information about couple recovery. We feel that providing this information to the inquiring public without emphasizing end results is attraction, rather than promotion.

Our RCA public relations policy not only means providing information to the public but reaching out couple to couple. When couples in RCA practice their recovery and live in the solution, they become more healthy and attractive. This in itself can elicit an attraction to the program from people who have seen a couple struggle, and now see them with a sense of serenity and spirituality.

Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our Traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.

In RCA, as in all other 12-Step programs, the concept of personal anonymity appears as a multi-layered protection. At its most basic level, being anonymous protects us from public disclosure of our addictions and other dysfunctions. Doubtless, it was in this sense that the concept was first used in 12-Step programs. However, as the concept became a fixture of 12-Step culture, it came to be understood as having more far reaching benefits. Simply put, we tend to relapse or otherwise act out in ways that could bring the organization of RCA into disrepute. By remaining anonymous, we protect RCA from our public personal failures.

Still more important are the implications of anonymity on ourselves. No matter who we may be in the outside world, in the rooms of RCA, we are just another couple trying to heal our coupleship. Anonymity tends to focus us away from the I, and towards the We–away from personalities and towards principles–away from egotism and towards a true humility.

Anonymity is a simple concept. It doesnt preach, but leads us gently by example. We all need healing. And as we reveal ourselves to one another in these rooms, we come to understand that it is less the I than the Coupleship that is important. And the more we understand our commonality instead of our distinctiveness, the more we heal.

Thus, we of Recovering Couples Anonymous believe that the principle of anonymity has particular spiritual significance. It reminds us that we are to place principles before personalities; and that as we actually practice a genuine humility, we heal. Moved by the spirit of anonymity, we give up desire for personal distinction as members of RCA and before the general public. We believe that each of us is responsible to take part in the protection and preservation of RCA as a whole in order to grow and work in unity.

Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to other couples, and to practice these principles in all aspects of our lives, our relationship, and our families.

Step Twelve is about taking the message of couple recovery to other couples. Those who have worked the Twelve Steps have much to offer other couples. When we are able to shine the light of our own recovery experiences in such a manner that others find their own way, we are practicing the Twelfth Step.

We find spiritual awakenings seldom are sudden occurrences, but more generally, gradual shifts in perspective. These spiritual awakenings are often obtained through couples working the Steps of RCA together. We typically gain an awareness of the importance of our coupleship as a oneness and an entity, and thus reach new levels of commitment. When we learn that neither one of us is the center of the universe, we may see how we fit together and how our coupleship fits into the rest of the world. These awakenings transform us both individually and as a couple.

We acquire new depth and understanding of the wisdom of the Twelve Steps. As we watch those couples around us being transformed, we witness the spiritual nature of the program in action. We come to believe in miracles.

Just as in our individual programs, in the RCA fellowship the message is carried in many ways including:

  1. Sharing as a couple in RCA meetings.
  2. Seeking and accepting service positions.
  3. Being sponsors and temporary sponsors.
  4. Carrying the message of hope to others:
  • at retreats
  • in our individual program meetings: (for example) by posting flyers and ads, as well as talking to people who have couple issues about RCA,
  • informing the helping community (spiritual, medical, legal, and counseling),
  • and by making a schedule of RCA meetings available.
  1. Supporting the national convention through participation, voting as a group delegate couple, and making financial contributions.
  2. Serving on the World Service Organization Board of Trustees, or on a WSO Service Committee or volunteering.
  3. Writing our couple story and sharing it with others (especially by having it published in the RCA Blue Book).

Having worked these Twelve Steps, it is important to remember the Step work is meant for a lifetime. As we practice these steps we have a better understanding of our history, our lives, our coupleships and our Higher Powers. As we share our experience, strength and hope, we see the positive effects on our relationships, and if we have children we can break the chains that have bound families for generations. We learn from those couples who have gone before. The message we carry is a liberating one. Working with newcomers is not only a rewarding experience, it shows where we have been and where we need to go.

We sought through our common prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.

In Step Eleven we have an opportunity to develop a deeper relationship with our Higher Power. This Step is about our spiritual awakening. We improve conscious contact with our Higher Power through prayer and meditation. Appropriate prayer is sincere, humble, and not for our own selfish gain. We pray for Higher Power’s will and our willingness to act on it. Meditation is an ancient art of quieting the mind. You may find it difficult to sit quietly and relax or quiet your racing mind, but this becomes easier with continued practice.

Couples achieving some progress with this Step, may develop a greater sense of gratitude. You can expect to feel a sense of being connected, guided and sustained as you work together as a couple.

It is beneficial to spend daily intimate time together. You will find that intimacy with your partner depends not only on connecting emotionally, but also spiritually. As we develop more trust in our Higher Power we can become more vulnerable and find a deeper acceptance of each other. At this point you may want to revisit your spiritual quest in Step Three to review what you want to add or change.

If you have difficulty praying or lack experience with prayer and meditation, it is suggested that you use the Serenity Prayer:

God grant us the serenity

To accept the things we cannot change

Courage to change the things we can

And wisdom to know the difference


God grant us the serenity

Serenity means that no longer recoiling from the past, no longer living in fear because of our present behavior, nor worrying about the future. To maintain serenity it is helpful to regularly seek healthier behaviors, and avoid depletion, which tends to make us vulnerable to despair and old, self-destructive patterns.

To accept the things we cannot change

Acceptance means acknowledging that there are situations over which we have no control. By changing our behavior we avoid suffering, occasioned by clinging to that which no longer exists.

Courage to change the things we can

Courage to Change– involves remembering that to give up attempts to control outcomes does not require that we give up our boundaries or best efforts. It does mean an honest appraisal of the limits, and abilities of what we can change.

And wisdom to know the difference

Wisdom in RCA often derives from painful experiences in which we tried to control situations that frightened us, only to discover that we could not. Wisdom is our ability to evaluate our past experiences, learn from them and let them go. Wisdom is critical in determining which are the things we can change, and which are those we can’t. Once you arrive at a degree of acceptance and begin to let go, you should find a new energy and enthusiasm for life.

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:

  1. Spot-check inventory (whenever agitated or fearful you might pause and spot-check your underlying motives).
  2. Daily inventory (What have I done that is harmful to our coupleship? What has my partner done to support our coupleship?).
  3. 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.