Recovering Couples Anonymous is a support group based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous for partners with dysfunctional relationships. It uses a 12-step program to promote forgiveness and atonement for harmful behavior. Recovering Couples Anonymous aims to save healthy relationships and free individuals from abusive or destructive partnerships. Each independent chapter encourages members to seek help from a higher being to solve problems.
The only requirement to attend Recovering Couple Anonymous meetings is a desire to remain together and address issues that impede intimacy. The group does not charge fees and operates from member contributions in each chapter. Meetings are usually once per week in a central location at community centers, schools, or churches.
Couples involved in the program might learn to forgive each other for past misdeeds. They typically work to build trust in the relationship and create peace by shifting their focus to their partners. Some couples report selfish behavior declines and a sense of freedom prevails after attending meetings.
Founders of Recovering Couples Anonymous promote enjoyment in relationships and improving parenting skills. Couples might learn to discuss common issues and situations that make them better partners. They might identify patterns carried over from childhood that cause problems in their adult lives, especially if one or both partners were raised in dysfunctional families.
During group meetings, participants are encouraged to talk about feelings and ask that their needs be met. They learn better ways to settle conflict without resorting to aggression or silence. Large and small issues may be revealed that lead to compulsive or destructive behavior. Couples also might learn how to disagree and argue in healthier ways.
Sexual intimacy is generally encouraged, along with individual responsibility for personal happiness and the success of the partnership. Recovering Couples Anonymous might restore trust in a relationship and address insecurities and dependence issues, which are common in dysfunctional unions. The sessions might allow parents to accept their limitations and reduce guilt for past mistakes in child rearing.
Confession represents a major component of the 12-step program used in Recovering Couples Anonymous. Members are asked to admit they are unable to manage their problems alone and need to turn their difficulties over to a higher power. They use prayer or meditation to seek knowledge and solutions.
Seeking atonement for harm caused to others symbolizes another part of the confession process. Couples attending these meetings list the people who have suffered from their behavior and devise ways to make amends. Often, that means confessing wrongdoings to each other and a spiritual being.