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Old 04-06-2011, 06:32 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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I have discussed with my sponsor.. he is on the fence, stating exactly what you did but also thinking that I might be better off really working on some things individually. He thinks the relationship might be putting extra strain on my recovery even though that strain is basically self imposed on my behalf.

Regret is my biggest fear.
Okay. then the next phase for you is take out a sheet of paper or two, lol draw a line the long way, down the page, write PRO on one side and CON on the other.

Now you can start a Pro/Con List about this situation. this may take weeks not days to complete as you will think of more and more items to put on one side or the other.

Then when you truly believe you are done with the list, take it to your sponsor and go over it. By seeing the pros and cons in black and white is usually the best way to make a decision, as it stops all the 'stuff' swirling around in the brain.

Hope this helps you come to a solution. This process has helped myself and many others that I have worked with, when we start obsessing over a particular problem and the thoughts are bouncing all over the place in my/our heads.

Love and hugs,
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Old 04-06-2011, 06:45 PM
  # 22 (permalink)  
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Before I say anything...are you in love with her or do you at least think you are?
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Old 04-06-2011, 09:22 PM
  # 23 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by goldengirl3 View Post
Before I say anything...are you in love with her or do you at least think you are?
Well, that is a great question... I love her. The "IN" love thing is a bit more dicey. I think being IN love constitutes butterflies at some point in the relationship. It is waking up with the person and feeling like there is no place you would rather be.... never wanting that moment to end. It's going out of your way to make the person happy on more occasions than you do things to make yourself happy.

Unfortunately, I can't say that I have truly experienced any of those feelings.

I wonder whether that is due to my use and abuse... then I realize I have had those feelings before with other girlfriends and I was drinking and using then too.

I also wonder whether those times will develop in sobriety since I have such a strong bond to her and we never fight. We truly have always enjoyed doing the same things... now that I think about she has completely molded herself into a female version of me... seemingly only wanting to do what makes me happy. I want to be a good man for her... but it's just not coming naturally. I find that I have to force it.
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Old 04-06-2011, 10:07 PM
  # 24 (permalink)  
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Hi SineWave-

My therapist told me this- 'you can have great sex and not necessarily be in a relationship'. Perhaps something like a 'free' or 'friend with rights' or 'one night stands' would work better for you.

My dad is not an alcoholic but he was an airplane pilot that later divorced my mom, remarried and went to live to Indonesia. And Seoul. And several other countries.

He came in and out of my life as he saw fit. Sometimes whole months passed without a word.

Its very sad, the daughter is already learning its ok for partners to leave all the time and to be abandoned. Maybe she thinks or feels its her fault. At least that's how I felt it. I was "not good enough", because if I had been pretty, interesting, thin, he would have stayed. This is very unhealthy and at age 29 I am STILL working through the anger and sadness of these feelings that come very naturally.


From my humble point of view it sounds as if you'd be happier single and the most compassionate thing for everyone involved is to remove yourself from their lives, if you are not going to commit. Just my 2 cents.

As others have said, as long as you are honest with yourself, making tough decisions is slightly easier... at least that is what has happened to me. All the best in your recovery!
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Old 04-06-2011, 11:02 PM
  # 25 (permalink)  
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My 2 cents... you are using her! Why are you having sex with someone who you are not emotionally in love with, especially if you think she is so head over heels in love with you? Very self centered behavior if you ask me. You need time to work on you. If in the future you feel that spark and feel emotionally in love with her then think about getting back together. Meanwhile stop using her. If you feel you are great friends then treat her like a friend and not a lover.
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:20 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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I think we should cut the guy some slack.
Sine, I find your posts very genuine and humble.
I appreciate your honesty and the work you are putting in.
#1 if your sponsor says no big decisions, than TAKE IT OFF THE TABLE to choose. Just put it aside for now. One day at a time. Do the good work you are doing. Stop stressing on it. THAT'S the work. Stop your mental spinning.
#2 I don't think it makes you a bunch of negative labels (immature, user, etc) to feel mixed feelings like this. I have been there. I was in a relationship with a WONDERFUL guy, in many ways, that was a fabulous friend, and the chemistry was not there.
It took 3 years for me to "get it" and realize I just didn't feel 100% there. I eventually left and it was the best choice, but it took me time to get there! The leaving was very painful and I lost a lot of great qualities and gifts and benefits (from/in him). It may be selfish, but I had a hard time letting them go.
That's okay.
My gut response to you is you are staying out of comfort/ease and you, deep down, know it's not "it" for you. That's okay, if that's the way it is. It doesn't mean you're a jerk.
The more you do your own work, the more you will find YOU and figure out just what you need.
Just because she loves you doesn't mean she's right for you.

In the end, TRUST your HP that more will be revealed.

Your job, right now, is to listen to your sponsor and stop spinning on this.
Treat her gently (as you say you do) and work your program one day at a time.

It will all pull together in time.

Hugs (and thanks for sharing!)

peace
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:01 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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You mentioned that when you look at her, you see a replica of yourself. Could it be that because of the fact that you are just now beginning to recognize the things in your life you want/need to change and the things that you dislike about yourself, that seeing this is her is bothering you? I would say that you need to just take it one day at a time, and see as you grow and change in your recovery, whether she does as well. You've had a clouded mind for a long time. Things change. Sometimes for the good, sometimes not. All you can do is take the time to find out. I am sure that in time both of you will know what the right thing to do is.
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Old 04-07-2011, 05:53 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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Switch your focus back to YOU.
Breathe. Be in the present moment.
Your problem is not HER, your problem is YOU.
Go back to your meetings and talk about it there.
You do not know what is a healthy relationship or how to be in one, and 90 days is not long enough to know what is good for you in this regard. Make no decisions, be as kind as you can, focus on taking the right actions so that you do not hurt other people, talk to your Higher Power about it and be quiet enough to listen to the response.

Keep going back.
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Old 04-07-2011, 06:41 AM
  # 29 (permalink)  
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Go You! for being so self aware & interested in your psychological/emotional/spiritual journey.

Stop giving yourself a hard time ... you're only 90 days sober for Pete's sake. Breathe. Relax. Be.

As far as your relationship is concerned ... yeah - as others have said ... it's not about her, it's about you. My experience of recovery (I'm co-dependent) has been that EVERYTHING is about me - not him. Just give it time & you'll figure it out. You're also assuming it's your responsibility to make a decision about whether to continue/discontinue the relationship ... news flash ... the relationship is a dynamic between the 2 of you ... you're both playing out your intimacy needs/fears. Has it ever occurred to you to wonder why such a wonderful young woman would take you back after all your cheating? Most women with healthy self esteem & boundaries would have shown you the door the first time. Ditto for the wanting to get married & have more kids. She wanted to marry & have kids with an addict? Really? I reckon that most relationships are pretty well balanced ... the partners are usually about as sick & or as healthy as each other. (That's just my own pet theory.)

As for sex ... well you said that when you get back together after a break up it's pretty good for a while, & also that you're more interested in her life & listening to her talk. Well, if you can do it for a while, you can do it. It's real. But you'll have to work on it if you want it to be a permanent feature in your relationship ... after you've been together for a while it takes a little more effort to keep the spark alive. There's nothing wrong with you or her ... it's just human nature, hard wired into us to ensure genetic diversity & the survival of the species. New sex partners are easy to be sexy with ... the hormones don't get drowned with issues & routine & hum drum. But if you want the benefits of a long term committed relationship you'll have to pay the price & work on it. Not very sexy I know, but possible. As you get a bit older you might be surprised at how sexy boring old things like genuine caring, sharing, compassion & familiarity become. But it usually takes a fair bit of skin off & a sharp drop in the "me Tarzan you Jane" type hormones before some of us can experience that. It did for me anyway

Good for you for posting & for sharing so honestly. That takes a lot of courage. My therapist keeps telling me that if I can maintain transparency (complete honesty), everything will be OK. So far, it's looking like he's right.

Congratulations on getting off the drugs. Fantastic, brave, life changing step. Now just have a bit of a rest before you try to take the next one. Kinda like a new baby giraffe ... you try & take too may too soon you're gonna end up in a tangled heap on the floor
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:35 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by FindingPeace1 View Post
I think we should cut the guy some slack.
Sine, I find your posts very genuine and humble.
I appreciate your honesty and the work you are putting in.
#1 if your sponsor says no big decisions, than TAKE IT OFF THE TABLE to choose. Just put it aside for now. One day at a time. Do the good work you are doing. Stop stressing on it. THAT'S the work. Stop your mental spinning.
#2 I don't think it makes you a bunch of negative labels (immature, user, etc) to feel mixed feelings like this. I have been there. I was in a relationship with a WONDERFUL guy, in many ways, that was a fabulous friend, and the chemistry was not there.
It took 3 years for me to "get it" and realize I just didn't feel 100% there. I eventually left and it was the best choice, but it took me time to get there! The leaving was very painful and I lost a lot of great qualities and gifts and benefits (from/in him). It may be selfish, but I had a hard time letting them go.
That's okay.
My gut response to you is you are staying out of comfort/ease and you, deep down, know it's not "it" for you. That's okay, if that's the way it is. It doesn't mean you're a jerk.
The more you do your own work, the more you will find YOU and figure out just what you need.
Just because she loves you doesn't mean she's right for you.

In the end, TRUST your HP that more will be revealed.

Your job, right now, is to listen to your sponsor and stop spinning on this.
Treat her gently (as you say you do) and work your program one day at a time.

It will all pull together in time.

Hugs (and thanks for sharing!)

peace
Thank you for this response. It's a fair and well worded assessment and I appreciate you sharing your familiarity with what I am experiencing. What you mentioned about your WONDERFUL guy is exactly how I have felt for 3 years. Now that I am clean I finally am feeling strong enough and comfortable in my own skin to take the jump, albeit terrifying. I will not be making the decision today - I meet with my sponsor for step 5 & 6 this weekend so I will talk to him about it then. Then I will see.

Thanks again FP1
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Old 04-07-2011, 07:49 AM
  # 31 (permalink)  
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I will not be making the decision today
Heck, cut yourself some slack... you may not even make that decision tomorrow, or next week!! There's no deadline to life, and if we rush decisions because we feel we HAVE to do something... we miss an opportunity for more to be revealed!!

It's a fine line between patience and avoidance (for me anyway!)... I often worry that if I let something sit too long, I'm avoiding the problem and living in denial... but if I rush to a decision, I might not have the full clarity I need to make a good decision.

Hand it all over to your HP and let him tend to it while you focus on you More will be revealed!
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:24 AM
  # 32 (permalink)  
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Just read your posts in the other forums ...

I was stunned beyond belief to discover how PETRIFIED I was to have to get on with my own life without my alcoholic husband. I was completely & utterly clueless about what I really wanted & who I really was & how this big scary world really worked. No one would ever have guessed - especially not me! - that I wasn't Miss Wonderful ... intelligent, attractive, energetic, funny blah blah blah. Underneath the shiny facade there's a very frightened little girl who has severe abandonment issues & low self esteem along with a string of other alphabet disorders - ADD PTSD OCD & on & on. For 45 years I chose to be involved with addicts & live in complete chaos so I didn't have to focus on myself & my own issues. This was in spite of years & years of counseling & knowing intellectually that this was probably what I was doing. I had to inch my way up to the point where I was emotionally brave enough to risk facing the truth - the whole truth. (Not that I've arrived anywhere yet ... but I'm on my way )
No matter how destructive the behaviour appears to the outside world, in some weird way or another, it's preferable to facing the alternative for the addict. So for me, the constant drama & trauma of living with addicts was less scary than looking inside & dealing with the festering wounds created by my alcoholic family of origin. For you, using drugs & staying in a relationship you're not very happy in is preferable to ...? That's the million dollar question isn't it? It's scary as hell finding the answer, but on the other side of the fire lies peace & contentment.
Recovery is a journey, not an event. You can't hurry it & you can't miss any of the steps. It's just not possible to earn any sort of "free pass" or "advance 4 steps" sort of tickets. You have to take every single slow painful step yourself ... & there's a reason for that ... & it's because every steps brings new knowledge that will prepare you for the next one.
Good news is that even thought you have to walk alone - there's a really great cheer squad right here
Just walk slowly, OK?
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Old 04-07-2011, 08:47 AM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Helenlee View Post
Just read your posts in the other forums ...

I was stunned beyond belief to discover how PETRIFIED I was to have to get on with my own life without my alcoholic husband. I was completely & utterly clueless about what I really wanted & who I really was & how this big scary world really worked. No one would ever have guessed - especially not me! - that I wasn't Miss Wonderful ... intelligent, attractive, energetic, funny blah blah blah. Underneath the shiny facade there's a very frightened little girl who has severe abandonment issues & low self esteem along with a string of other alphabet disorders - ADD PTSD OCD & on & on. For 45 years I chose to be involved with addicts & live in complete chaos so I didn't have to focus on myself & my own issues. This was in spite of years & years of counseling & knowing intellectually that this was probably what I was doing. I had to inch my way up to the point where I was emotionally brave enough to risk facing the truth - the whole truth. (Not that I've arrived anywhere yet ... but I'm on my way )
No matter how destructive the behaviour appears to the outside world, in some weird way or another, it's preferable to facing the alternative for the addict. So for me, the constant drama & trauma of living with addicts was less scary than looking inside & dealing with the festering wounds created by my alcoholic family of origin. For you, using drugs & staying in a relationship you're not very happy in is preferable to ...? That's the million dollar question isn't it? It's scary as hell finding the answer, but on the other side of the fire lies peace & contentment.
Recovery is a journey, not an event. You can't hurry it & you can't miss any of the steps. It's just not possible to earn any sort of "free pass" or "advance 4 steps" sort of tickets. You have to take every single slow painful step yourself ... & there's a reason for that ... & it's because every steps brings new knowledge that will prepare you for the next one.
Good news is that even thought you have to walk alone - there's a really great cheer squad right here
Just walk slowly, OK?
Totally hear what you are saying... I have always thought that someday life would just click, light flipping on a light switch. That I would know, beyond a shadown of a doubt what I wanted to do, where I wanted to live and with whom. Well, I have learned now that it's not like that... it's ever evolving and it's important to always stay in touch with feelings and the signs that life sends your way. Burying those feelings or covering up things with substances, relationships, or changes only delays the serenity that we seek. I realize now that all I trulyt want is serenity, peace of mind, and the knowledge that I am doing the right thing today. When my body or mind is at odds that means something is out of wack. That something is very likely to be inside me at this point and not so much to do with my GF. With that said... until I take some time and space to figure out what that is I will never be able to give to someone what I feel is deserving.

Thanks for your insight... I'm very happy to have found this forum.
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:03 AM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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Sinewave,

I feel like I am acquainted with your style of "letting "relationship "happen" to you.

It is comfortable, but you feel like you are settling.

It is unfair and exploiting her love and good nature to go on if you do not have love in the same way.
I am sorry, I dont know you, and I dont know if this is a recovery issue, but it sounds to me, like you know how you feel, and you feel like she is a friend. '

The fact that you posted that you feel guilty is a major red flag.
Why are you guilty.
If you know you dont want this, then I would ask her to be your friend while you go through your early recovery.
I would get my own apartment/place, and I would get clearer.

being annoyed by people, that is early recovery,.

being unclear and confused, that is early recovery..

But you do not sound unclear. you sound comfortable.
Thanks for posting, keep coming back!
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Old 04-07-2011, 09:10 AM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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I think this is a great thread for all of us as codies or whatever.

The experience of "something's off" is an important one for us to notice.
That's it. Just notice.

We (all of us "addicts") tend to avoid, deny, obsess, etc. rather than notice.I'd say the next step is to neutrally and gently inquire within as to what that "something's off" message is telling us.

We tend to go outward and try to get the answer.

The GREAT thing about SR (I think) is there are many voices redirecting us back IN. Reminding us to calm down. Reminding us that more will be revealed, one day at a time, and just breathe. Aren't those the messages all humans need?

Deciphering our own internal message system ("something's off") may take time. We may need to put it aside. We may realize we are avoiding it (as our very wise Getting By mentioned!). We may realize we are frightened (undoubtedly we will!!) (as the wonderful HelenLee talked about).

What I notice for myself is when I "feel" out my various choices, eg. leav my husband, stay and detach, etc., none of them FEEL good!! I just want to fix and change him. THAT would feel safe. Maybe for you, the only thing that would feel good is you decide you are madly, hotly in love with her. Only THAT would feel good!

And yet, we don't get that box to check on the form, do we? Then what?

We have a limited set of options. That's what makes us who we are and that's why we are here to grow.

For me, I realized that the next step, if I am to make a change from the status quo, will not look like an option that feels good. I am going to have to make a choice that other people, farther along in their recovery, point to as a healthy choice.

I am divorcing my husband. It doesn't feel good. For you, the choice might be staying OR going. I don't know! But don't expect it to feel good. It is a matter of trust for us to see people in recovery and believe that they know something we don't.

I think they do. I am taking it slow.

I already have more peace in my life.

I love my AH greatly and I wish him the best.

The other thing I know is, there isn't a "perfect" choice in my scenario. It doesn't feel good to stay. It doesn't feel good to leave. I am stuck when I look for the "right" thing that feels good. Now, those feelings, for me, are born from a stewpot of fears and hopes and beliefs, not all of them self-supportive! It's such a muck, I can't see it all clearly.

For you, it doesn't feel right to stay. It doesn't feel right to leave. You may need to let go of finding something that feels good or safe and accept you need to listen to those in recovery at this point.

And what they are asking you to do is slow down and continue to learn about you.
That's what they are recommending to me, too! NICE! I can do that.

Hugs, peace
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Old 04-07-2011, 12:12 PM
  # 36 (permalink)  
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(((((Sine)))))

I am going to share something with you that I have never shared on these boards, another insight into me but I believe it may help you tremendously.

I have been married and divorced twice. I have had several long term relationships that I 'thought' were love. Then I moved here to NM, over 20 years ago. Shortly after moving here I meet a gentleman, and I do mean gentleman that 'seemed' very nice.

He was a professor at the university here and was only going to work a few more years and retire. He had lost his wife to ovarian cancer 5 years previous to me and I was only the second woman he had dated since that.

We had fun together. We enjoyed each others company. We did some really nice things together and some crazy things together. Slowly we got closer and more 'comfortable'. I had told him my whole story, my history, hadn't left anything out. He knew I was a recovering A and what I had been through.

I still looked on it as a great friendship. Yes we were intimate, but there were no fireworks, shooting stars or rockets.

One night at a bit over 4 years into the relationship we were doing some really 'heavy' talking. I had just told Marcus that I hoped he wouldn't take offense at what I was about to say, but that I felt so comfortable with him. That our relationship felt like an 'old shoe' that fit so well, or that old robe with a few cigarette burns in it, but felt SO GOOD when I put it on, etc. His response to me was:

"My dear, don't you realize that is what love is. You and I have achieved what I had with my wife, and I thought I would never have again. We have become more than computable, we are great friends, we worked together to find what each other liked in our intimacy moments, and yes it is like and old shoe or slipper. Laurie that is WHAT LOVE IS. No fireworks, no shooting stars, no rockets, that is lust."

He blew me away. And I realized he was correct, it wasn't about a 'light switch' that turned on, it was an ongoing compatibility and comfort. It was love and we had good years together.

Fast forward to 2000 when he had a massive heart attack (3 months after a complete physical and clean bill of health) and died. I was devastated. But at least I had finally had 'real love.'

I could be in my very old loose comfy sweat pants and sloppy pants, and he in his favorite pants with numerous holes in them and a t-shirt, also with holes, but some great memories for him, curled up together on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and ice tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or whatever, watching a movie or Fox News and have a great debate ( we were not totally on the same page politically, lol) and it was WONDERFUL.

So, slowly I got through my grief and went back to living alone, swearing that was it, no more relationships for me.

Fast forward again to early January 2010. Out of the blue I got a phone call from my 'first love.' Our parents had separated us by manipulation and I had not seen nor heard from him in over 44 years. Now I had tried to find him over the years but never happened.

My mind said, hmmmmm with what I learned with Marcus maybe I do have one more chance. He paid for my airfare and I flew to where he was, was suppose to stay 2 weeks and extended it to 3. Yes, there were fireworks, sky rockets, and rockets. Little did I know that he was on his 'good' behavior.

He would have a drink every few days with dinner, and a beer on a hot afternoon. No biggie. On my next trip he seemed to be drinking a wee bit more, but I was in DENIAL. For some reason I never did share my whole life with him (maybe my own survival mechanism kicking in). We would talk, but everything, every subject would quickly get turned back to 'him'. By my last trip, I had the blinders off. I watched and listened, didn't say much, the fireworks, etc had subsided.

The light switch came on ......................... he was a PRACTICING NARCISSISTIC AZZHOLE ALCOHOLIC! I left after telling him that I could not have nor abide toxic people in my life, and if he ever decided to get sober, work on himself, get rid of his demons, we might talk.

That was 6 months ago. He still calls, it's down to about once a week now and I do not answer.

My point of this is to say that thanks to my lovely time with Marcus I have realized that the fireworks, shooting stars and rockets which really only should be in 'romance novels' are LUST. Marcus taught me what real love is, and that took years. There were times that I talked and talked and talked and I am sure he 'tuned' me out. But when I would finally wind down, he would say ............. "feel better now? got it out of your system?" and then he would laugh. I am sure I drove him crazy sometimes but he knew that I needed those times. He had great patience, was a loving partner and taught me so much.

I share this to say to you Sine, dont be hasty, don't make this decision too soon. Re evaluate what you really want. Do you want lust, or do you want someone who loves you no matter what. Do you want beauty or do you want someone who accepts you with all your flaws, is comfortable to curl up with (without the fireworks)?

Be very very careful, this is a 'life long decision' you are about to make. Please do that Pro/Con list. Please also feel free to share my posts with your sponsor. You are still in 'early' recovery and I would hate to see you make a decision that you may regret for the rest of your life.

BTW the original saying around AA is "No major changes the first year." It is no where in the BB as it was not a part of the BB. It started appearing in AA about 35 years ago from 'treatment center (rehab) folks coming into AA. However, it made a lot of sense and thus has been adopted by various meetings and sponsors around the country. There is nothing in the BB about 90 days either.

There is a lot involved here in this decision and a lot of it is about you not her. Your 'perception of love/lust.' Your 'perception of what a relationship is or should be. Your own ego. Your wants and needs. How much you are willing to compromise with another person, etc and to date I do not believe you have done the 'inner work' required to get those answers.

Therefore, please do your pro/con list, then put this whole thing on the shelf and CONTINUE with your step work. Your step work will give you the answers.

J M H O

Love and hugs,
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