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Question regarding opposite sex sponsorship

Old 07-18-2010, 10:17 PM
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Question regarding opposite sex sponsorship

My husband has been involved in helping a young woman half his age for the last 3 weeks. It has negatively impacted our relationship ( in terms of him not having time + any energy for me +the family). He has taken her to AA and she reluctantly found a temp sponsor. He did not put any boundaries in place, despite my request to that effect. He says that there is nothing to their friendship( he is a friends of her father) and my discomfort and mistrust are my issues. I have been very upset, angry and sad because it feels like the "helping" has evolved into emotional infidelity. When we spoke this weekend, he agreed to not go to the same meetings(we live in a different town) however this evening he said he might go to these meetings. I said that we would have a major problem in our marraige if he goes to the same meetings, he sees it as me giving him an ultimatum. Either way I question why he would risk so much over somebody who he allegedly has no feelings for. Am I over reacting? Please: no husband bashing, just unemotional, honest feedback would be very much appreciated.
Thanks for your time.
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Old 07-18-2010, 10:44 PM
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I don't know what AA's policy is on this-I've never known anyone to have an opposite-sex sponsor, and I've known quite a few people in AA.

It would be hard for any of us to give you advice without knowing the full story. I don't know what you mean by "emotional infidelity" - what did he do that crossed the line to you?

Originally Posted by Max10 View Post
My husband has been involved in helping a young woman half his age for the last 3 weeks. It has negatively impacted our relationship ( in terms of him not having time + any energy for me +the family). He has taken her to AA and she reluctantly found a temp sponsor. He did not put any boundaries in place, despite my request to that effect. He says that there is nothing to their friendship( he is a friends of her father) and my discomfort and mistrust are my issues. I have been very upset, angry and sad because it feels like the "helping" has evolved into emotional infidelity. When we spoke this weekend, he agreed to not go to the same meetings(we live in a different town) however this evening he said he might go to these meetings. I said that we would have a major problem in our marraige if he goes to the same meetings, he sees it as me giving him an ultimatum. Either way I question why he would risk so much over somebody who he allegedly has no feelings for. Am I over reacting? Please: no husband bashing, just unemotional, honest feedback would be very much appreciated.
Thanks for your time.
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:12 AM
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I don't know much about sponsorship either, but I question the effectiveness of a sponsorship relationship where the sponsor has ties to the loved ones of the person being sponsored. It just seems like there is a lot of room for hairy situations, not even sex related, that could come up on that front.
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:18 AM
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I have read this post several times and I just keep getting the feeling that there is something between the lines that I am not seeing.

She has found herself a temporary sponsor, so he is not sponsoring her.

My gut instincts say there is a power and control dynamic?

What I can say for sure is that there are trust issues in the relationship and that needs resolved because trust is one of the most basic foundations in a marriage.

Do you go to al-anon?
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:31 AM
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Welcome to SR.....
I'm sorry this situation is happening in your family.

Here is the official AA info on sponsorship.

Alcoholics Anonymous : Questions & Answers on Sponsorship
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Old 07-19-2010, 06:24 AM
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I do not personally feel you are overreacting. I am not a party to your relationship with your husband, obviously, so I do not have all the details, but I completely understand your feelings, your perspective and your desire for him to stop doing what he is doing with this other woman. If the man in my life were doing what he is doing, I would dump him. But then, I have dumped at least eight men HAHAHAHA so maybe you don't want to listen to me LOL. (I hope that made you smile a little).

Try an Al-Anon meeting.
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:53 PM
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I am sorry but I can't really make a decision if this is inappropriate or not. So far their is not enough information. My answer would have a lot of if's in it. If he is......than......

I personally do not see anything wrong with a man helping a girl half his age to find her way around AA or try to find her a sponsor e.t.c. The opposite. If (there I go with the ifs) he is her dad's friend and has been living with alcoholism for as long as she has been alive than I would say I except him to take her under his wings. To make sure she has a sponsor, a person she knows, comfort. It would be strange to me if he wouldn't.

But then I don't know your AH story. I don't know your story and I don't know your past.

Are you going to Al-Anon?
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Old 07-19-2010, 02:44 PM
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There are good reasons that same sex sponsorship is recommended.

That being said, I have a male sponsor, and have had one for years.

He's been sober almost 29 years, and I'm coming up on 20 years.

I hail from a small town of 3000, and there are periods of years where I am the only female in the group.

I did have female sponsors early in my recovery. One passed away many years ago (she was already in her 70's when she was sponsoring me). The other one quit attending AA probably a decade ago.

My sponsor is happily married, I am friends with his wife, and he has been a rock of Gibraltar for me in seeing a consistent and balanced life in sobriety.

He does not neglect his family, and will be the first to send any new women in our group to me for sponsorship.
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Old 07-20-2010, 08:17 AM
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IMO, this situation is just asking for trouble. I also believe there is a reason for same sex sponsorships. The relationship will no doubt get close as they move through sobriety together....so therefore, there is a risk of developing other sorts of feelings there. Not worth it.
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Old 07-20-2010, 09:18 AM
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Thumbs up Opposite sex sponsorship...

Hi All.

I was told that this was not an usual course of action because it can lead to relationship problems whether married or not. There were 10 women in AA where I sobered up in a small town of 2,000 & the next town of 4,000. The first time I attended AA in the 1970's my husband was very jealous of the men in the AA Group even tho the one other woman was my Sponsor. He couldn't understand why I needed to go to a meeting every night.

He tried going to Alanon & the one other man of course was married to the woman in AA with me. He complained that all the women did was belittle their husbands for their drinking in the meetings so he quit going.

When I sobered up in 1988 there were ten of us women & we all are still sober today. I have never seen an opposite sex Sponsorship but I have seen a lot of good solid friendships, including myself, that were formed in AA & were seen as AA friendships with a passing wave if we saw a male/female member of our AA Group downtown, at the postoffice, or driving past us on the street.

Some how, but not necessarily true, your husband's actions with this other woman reminds me of what we refer to as a person working a 13th step. This involves giving a younger woman new to AA, rides, & same AA Meetings if there are more than one a week in your area.

As the others said we do not know the full story on either side. I know the girl's Father is your husband's friend but if I were that person I would not want my Father at the same meeting as I go to if her Father happens to be an alcoholic too.

I am really surprised at the number of people that haven't heard of the men sponsor men & women sponsor women suggestion/expectation. It is in place mostly because if male to female it can lead to other things & nothing is learned about the AA Program or one or the other go off on another drunk leaving the other person feeling like they might have caused it...even though no one can cause a person to drink other than the person that picks up the first drink.
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:18 AM
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IMO, a loving and respectful spouse would stop his extra-marital relationship with the other woman simply because you indicated to him that it is hurting you and/or causing problems for your relationship.

IMO, the fact that his excuse for being unloving and disrespectful towards you and your needs, all in the name of 12-Steps, Recovery, and goodwill for his friend or whatever, is total and complete bull$hit.

IMO, it does not matter what he thinks your own "issues" are or whether or not you are issuing an ultimatum, and these accusations of his against you are just more of the same kind of BS alcoholics and addicts throw at you in defense of their own questionable behavior.

IMO, in order for there to be trust in a romantic relationship such as between a husband and wife, each person must care about how the other perceives their behavior. It does not sound like you trust your husband, and it does not sound like your husband gives a rat's a$$ that you do not trust him. I am sorry you have a husband like this.
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Old 04-20-2013, 06:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Max10 View Post
My husband has been involved in helping a young woman half his age for the last 3 weeks. It has negatively impacted our relationship ( in terms of him not having time + any energy for me +the family). He has taken her to AA and she reluctantly found a temp sponsor. He did not put any boundaries in place, despite my request to that effect. He says that there is nothing to their friendship( he is a friends of her father) and my discomfort and mistrust are my issues. I have been very upset, angry and sad because it feels like the "helping" has evolved into emotional infidelity. When we spoke this weekend, he agreed to not go to the same meetings(we live in a different town) however this evening he said he might go to these meetings. I said that we would have a major problem in our marraige if he goes to the same meetings, he sees it as me giving him an ultimatum. Either way I question why he would risk so much over somebody who he allegedly has no feelings for. Am I over reacting? Please: no husband bashing, just unemotional, honest feedback would be very much appreciated.
Thanks for your time.
I am sorry for bring up an old post - but I needed to talk to this issue. Last week one of my co-workers relapsed and reached out to me for help. Unlike your situation, I consulted my husband every step of the way and we decided since this man at work was also a friend of mine we would do everything we could to help him. He detoxed on our couch. I told him that if he was going to stay with us for any period of time what he needed to do. I took him to a meeting and he got phone numbers for men. Within the week, he was able to find somewhere else to stay.

I think I confused my husband because I thought we were having issues before my co-worker came into our house AND with him in our house and my need to make sure my marriage was strong - we increased our communication and have plans to stay courting each other...dating again.

As for the men should be with men and the women with the women - that would have killed me. I felt that I could not relate to women. I hated other women. Most of the people on my resentment list were women. If my first sponsor was not a man with a solid strong marriage I don't know if I could have gotten sober and stayed sober as long as I have. I have a woman sponsor today but as it was pointed out to me yesterday she is 73. She has been my sponsor for a year now and the idea of finding another woman to sponsor me is scary.

I have studied AA history and have not found any reference in the early days of this huge separation between the genders...a man carried this message to the first woman...other women have posted on here that they have men for sponsors...we are all alcoholics first and we are all trying to live life on life's terms...
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:11 AM
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Dear Max, basically, I echo Learn2Live's thoughts. You have my empathy on this.

Having said this, I would say --don't panic---because MORE WILL BE REVEALED. You have made your feelings very clear to him--he knows how you feel. You can't control him, however. Making a huge noise will likely cause him to blame you as a "controlling b****"
(or something similar). Trust that MORE WILL BE REVEALED.

There will be other women who have had to face similar issues in alanon--as well as others here, on SR.

sincerely, dandylion
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Old 04-20-2013, 07:19 AM
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should not be shared with a man

Originally Posted by Max10 View Post
My husband has been involved in helping a young woman half his age for the last 3 weeks.
as far as sharing with her at a meeting (just a little)
with other people around
this may be ok ?

but
any time spent with her alone is a no no in AA recovery
especially because your husband is a married man
and
many ladies are very weak (sick) in early recovery

I know
as men we do best
when we do not put ourselves into those situations
many of my own stories regarding this issue still make me sick inside

she is newly sober
the things in which she will be sharing
should not be shared with a man (bottom line)

onehigherpower
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