When I first came to S-Anon, I had no understanding of the term “primary purpose” and how I could apply that in many situations to make my life more serene. After my spouse and I both started attending recovery meetings, I had visions of our relation­ship suddenly becoming what I had always hoped it would be. If we went on a trip, for example, I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to “get away together” and “grow closer.” I would become so disappointed when this did not magically happen. My sponsor patiently suggested to me that I might consider the primary purpose of the trip and focus on that. For example, when we took a trip to see our son who lived out of town, she pointed out that the primary purpose was to visit with our son. When we went to the art museum, she reminded me that the primary purpose was to see the museum’s exhibits.

I discovered that when I was able to focus on the primary pur­pose of whatever the trip or activity was, I was able to appreciate it and feel satisfied. When I unrealistically expected the activity to expand beyond its primary purpose to include mending our frac­tured relationship, I was disappointed. My sponsor’s insights on the benefits of clarifying and staying focused on the primary pur­pose have helped me to stay in reality and to enjoy the many good things in my life.

Reprinted from S-Anon Twelve Traditions, pages 63-64.

 July 24, 2023

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