Recovering Couples Anonymous Helped To Save Our Relationship


Two and a half years ago, my husband and I were about to separate. Well, actually, I suggested that we “separate” and he heard it as “divorce.” Either way, the words got our attention. We were working the 12 steps in a program called, Recovering Couples Anonymous (RCA). My husband and I would work on a step, then we would share what we’d done with another couple. We tended to work the steps more quickly than the other couple, so by the time we shared some of the work we’d done when we thought we were going to separate, we realized that we were no longer thinking along those lines. We had talked enough, shared enough, listened enough, cared enough and loved enough to be committed to our staying together and continue to work on improving our relationship through RCA. We decided not to throw in the towel.


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Recovering Couples Anonymous helped us to make friends with other couples who also wanted to work on improving their relationship. We met some really great and diverse people through RCA. For example, the couple we shared our step work with belonged to a different religion than we did. We met at their house and after we shared our work, we had a meal together. We got to know them as individuals and as a couple. We got to know ourselves and what we thought and valued in ourselves and each other. We got to know how our coupleship was important and could be healing for us and others.


When we moved to Asheville about a year and a half ago, we found there were good, supportive 12 step groups for our individual recoveries, but there was no Recovering Couples Anonymous. Given that challenge, last September, we started two RCA groups in the Asheville area. We wanted to bring RCA here so that we could continue to grow in our communication, caring and commitment with each other. Even though we mentored the groups at first, we needed the program as much as everyone who came. We knew how much it helped us and we wanted to make that available for other couples. We had four or five couples come to the both the Monday and the Saturday meeting; but eventually no one was coming to the Saturday group, so it was discontinued. Now we have a small, stable group of people who are coming to the Monday meeting.


Recovering Couples Anonymous works best when each member of the couple is working an individual 12 step recovery program while also coming to RCA. We meet every Monday from 6:00-7:00 p.m. at The Foster Seventh Day Adventist Church, 375 Hendersonville Rd., 28803. For more information, please call 971-344-1680 or e-mail:



Melinda moved from Portland, OR about a year and a half ago. She and her husband love their new home in the mountains. For more information about the local meetings please e-mail For more information about RCA go to their web site at


Sandi Tomlin-Sutker
Written by Sandi Tomlin-Sutker