ATTACHED EX PARTNERS – Stopping all contact

The comments below were given by various members of the Conference Steps, Traditions, and Concepts Committee and do not represent a group conscience of the entire committee. The opinions expressed here are solely that of the person giving them. Take what you like and leave the rest.

The Question:
I have an S.L.A.A. member who is also an ex girlfriend of mine currently cyber stalking me and refusing repeated requests to stop contact.   I’m wondering if there are any recommended ways with dealing with an S.L.A.A. member to lessen their attachment/ get them to stop all contact.

Response #1:
There is no easy answer. No one in S.L.A.A. can tell another S.L.A.A. member what to do. If safety is a concern then it is best to call the appropriate civil authorities for help. Our program is all about relationships. We have the Steps and the Traditions to guide us. We can practice no contact, but we cannot force someone else to do the same.

Hopefully you will find a solution and share it with the rest of our fellowship.

Response #2:
Step one of the S.L.A.A. Twelve Steps says that we admitted we were powerless over sex and love addiction and that our lives had become unmanageable. For me, this includes being powerless over other people’s sex and love addiction. Sitting in the rooms of S.L.A.A., I often find myself surrounded by sex and love addicts who are not doing their recovery the way I think they should. However, when someone else’s sex and love addiction is making my life unmanageable, I can work the Twelve Steps of S.L.A.A. to help me put my focus back on myself. When I am focused on what someone else is doing or not doing, I can forget that I do have choices. So I say the serenity prayer, asking for the wisdom to know the difference between those things I can control and those I can’t. As I work the steps, I learn that the only person I can control is me. This opens my eyes to see the choices that I do have. For example, I may need to stop responding when someone ignores my request for no contact. I may need to change my phone number or block someone online. Depending on the severity of the situation, I may even need a restraining order. The Twelve Steps have shown me that I get to do what I need to do in order to take care of myself.

Response #3:
Unfortunately, there is not always a Step or Tradition to directly address a difficult situation. But, there is general guidance for this situation found in Step Eleven. Through prayer and meditation, we can seek God’s will for how best to handle the situation, and then the power to carry that out.

I had a nearly identical situation happen a number of years ago, and found that it was a test of my willingness to work the program and reach out to my Higher Power. An ex-girlfriend was physically stalking me, and I had to go to the police, change the locks on my doors, and block every phone number she called me from. Those were actions that my Higher Power made clear I needed to take if I wanted sobriety and sanity. It was a hard-earned lesson in humility and grace that has been one of the biggest gifts my Higher Power ever gave me.

What do you think?
The CSTCC is a group of volunteers, some of whom were ABM delegates, and others who volunteered out of interest. We do not represent a group conscience of S.L.A.A., but are committed to bringing thoughtful discussion and study of 12 Step Fellowship literature and experience to the questions that are brought to us. We offer this summary as the results of our discussions. We present the major points of concern in the hopes that wider discussion in the Fellowship will help us evolve our customs and practice of the S.L.A.A. program of recovery to better represent the loving guidance of a Higher Power. Always, we affirm the autonomy of each group and the need for each individual to follow her/his own conscience. No decision of this group, or any other, is ever forced upon another, even when we believe a practice is clearly in conflict with the Steps, Traditions, or Concepts.