No. of Recommendations: 5
I was told that I shouldn't date within the first year as it would serve to distract my focus away from recovery.

Of course, I didn't exactly follow directions.

However, when I met my (now) wife, I met her in the rooms. She was still in her first year of recovery. When we went out the second time, we already knew the relationship had the potential to become serious. So here's what I did:

I sat her down (I have a year more recovery time than her) and told her that she needed to do several things in order for me to keep seeing her. First she had to get a sponsor. Second, she had to tell that sponsor about me. Third she had to follow her sponsor's advice about me, even if that advice was to stop seeing me until she had her year's anniversary.

She followed my advice, the sponsor did not call for an end to the relationship, we continued to date and eventually got married. We are now in our 21st year of being happily married.

By the grace of God, the program of AA, and a continuing willingness to do what we need to stay sober, neither of us has had a lapse in our recoveries.

It wasn't easy giving her that advice knowing the potentials, but my rationale was: If I really did love her, then how would I feel if she relapsed and did so after I avoided giving the advice I believed would give her the best chance to stay in recovery?

I have enough memories of the outcomes of trying for the "easier, softer" way. In recovery I've found that what initially looks to be the tough thing to do usually ends up really being easier in the long run.

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When Life Gives You Lemons
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