We were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character, communication and caring.

Step Six has a clear message—get ready for some changes! The first three Steps showed us we couldn’t change on our own, but that we could find the power needed to change. Then Step Four helped us
recognize our defects. Step Five allowed us to get rid of much of our shame. With Step Six we become willing to have our Higher Power remove these defects. We don’t have to let go of behaviors. We just
need willingness to allow our defects to be removed. The more we work the RCA program, the more willing we become.

Every recovering couple has dysfunctional patterns of behavior. These patterns typically occur at times of stress, over-extension, or depletion. Often these happen during an opportunity for intimacy. One or both partners elect to avoid closeness by going to their old patterns. Recovering couples need to recognize these patterns.

Here are some warning signs that old patterns are resurfacing:
  • Arguing repetitively
  • Falling into frequent periods of denial
  • Communicating non-productively
  • Suffering extreme over-extension or depletion
  • Making statements we do not really mean
  • Taking actions we regret
  • Fighting about issues that are not important
  • Stating “You always. . .” or “You never. . .

We suggest listing your dysfunctional patterns. Make these lists together and pick a time to talk when you are both feeling balanced. You are now ready. Enjoy the process. See the humor.

Open up to healing in your coupleship. Always start by reading the Safety Guidelines aloud. Take your piece of paper and gather more information for your coupleship by answering the following questions:
  1. What are your dysfunctional patterns of relating?
  2. What are your dysfunctional patterns of communicating?
  3. What are your dysfunctional patterns of caretaking?
  4. What are your dysfunctional patterns of nurturing each other?
  5. What are your dysfunctional patterns of being sexual?
  6. What are your dysfunctional patterns of fighting?

If, as a couple, we don’t work on our relationship, similar issues will likely surface with subsequent partners. This means that we should practice couple recovery with our partner now. Our couple
issues in this relationship are probably the same as they were in previous relationships.