AA speaker Dr. Mike presents a Big Book study podcast and thoughts on recovery

Thoughts on Recovery – No. 45 – Step 4 – Sex and Relationship Inventory – Pages 68-70 – Go to Episodes and scroll down to tags sex inventory for podcasts on this topic

To complete the fourth step the last manifestation of self we inventory is our actions that produced our shame and guilt. This is our sex or conduct inventory. They say we are not trying to be the arbiter or judge of anyone’s sex conduct. They look at initially our sex or romantic relationships but the questions can apply to other relationships. This process helps me see who I have harmed even if they were not on my resentment and fear inventory. I have already started my harms list and now we add some other names and look specifically how I harmed them. The purpose is not only to help my amend process but to look at my behavior so I can see what I need to have God change in my personality in steps six and seven. Then I won’t continue to harm people. I needed to look at this with another person and in prayer to God so I can see the truth.
The first instruction is to review my conduct in the past. Then they ask a series of questions. Some limit it to romantic relationships but others look at other relationships as well.
Where had I been selfish, dishonest, or inconsiderate? Notice in previous inventories they did not include inconsiderate as one of the questions. I have found this word applied to me and was one of my worst character defects. I use the past tense because I have learned to pause whenever someone bothers me and stop and ask God to make me considerate. Just this simple process has given me so much freedom. So just answering those questions helps answer the next instruction which is whom did I hurt. These 3 character defects caused me a lot of harm and harm to others.
The next question looks at did I unjustifiably arouse jealousy, suspicion, or bitterness. An honest appraisal of these questions will help me see how I hurt people in addition to being selfish, dishonest or inconsiderate. If I do this I can see my mistakes and see what I should have done instead.
Now that this is on paper I can look at it in black and white. So you can start with the name and then answer the questions for each name. The purpose of starting with the sex inventory is to shape a sane and sound ideal for our future sex life always seeking God’s guidance and direction. If in a relationship use this info to shape how I should be and then act now to change my behavior. Doing this process will improve your present relationships immensely. Then can shape a sane ideal on how I act in all relationships.
One instruction is to always look at my behavior in a relationship and ask myself is it selfish or not. I ask God each day to show me the way of love, patience, tolerance, kindness, compassion, and consideration in all my relationships. When I talk to my buddies and we have a situation we just say to each other lptkcc. Amazing how that changes the way I see things.
You hear a lot of nonsense at meetings about how long you should wait to have a relationship. Usually it is one year. I can’t find that anywhere in the big book. I always ask what about the 3rd step decision to begin a new relationship with God.
My only suggestion would be that anyone I work with finish their fourth step, especially the sex inventory, before considering a new romantic relationship. Write out their sane and sound sex ideal. One observation of mine is that romantic or sex relationships cause many of the “relapses”. Another suggestion is that if considering a relationship with another alcoholic they find out if the other person has done a fourth step according to the instructions in the big book and written their sex ideal.
There is a lot of important information in these pages and every time I study them I see more how I can improve my behavior with God’s help.
My next thought will complete my looking at the fourth step and the results and promises on pages 70-71. Welcome any comments mhurwitz50@gmail.com

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2 Comments

  1. Clancy on February 25, 2018 at 3:47 am

    My inconsiderate behavior over time in my primary long term relationship has taken the form of being largely “shut down”. I thought I was tough. Increasingly clear to me I was just scared. I am taking steps to avoid sarcasm and indifference, which I’ve used as weapons. Lots of amends are due this person downrange, I think. But I actually am starting to look forward to that. Might not afterward.

  2. Anonymous on January 3, 2019 at 1:46 am

    Jones said help with the sex list 4th step AS

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