Blogs


Notices

Hi...New here

Old 09-12-2010, 11:19 AM
  # 1 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 3
Hi...New here

My husband is a recovering alcoholic, sober since last January. We have been married 25 yrs., have two boys ages 19 and 16. Alcohol was an increasing issue for several yrs...we even got to a pt. where we were in marriage counseling this time last yr. He went to his first AA meeting relunctantly, only at the insistence of myself and our counselor, he did not feel he had a problem. Once there, he immediately was "hooked" and has been sober ever since. He is the type that when he does something, he does it 150%...he puts his all into it, including AA. I am grateful for the progress he has made and proud of the changes he his made in his life......however, I am struggling with the time and close bonds he has with this group, and for this I feel guilty.

In the beginning they say to do the 90/90, which I honestly was not aware of but was patient and supportive as I knew he needed this time for himself to heel. But, what I also see happening is that when you spend so much time with a group of people, sharing on such an emotional level, close bonds are formed....in some ways pulling him further away from me/family. He now goes to 3-4 meetings a wk., plus plays softball one night with a group of men from AA. He was also playing softball a 2nd night, but just ended that league. It seems he is gone almost every night. I have discussed my thoughts about this with him, and he said he would try and be more aware of this. I attended several Al-a-Non meetings and expressed my struggles with him spending so much time with AA, and feeling guilty for this...although they were supportive, not any real advice and was told this was a common complaint with spouses.

I went to my first open AA meeting last Thurs. night, it was Speaker night. My hubby thought I would benefit from seeing first hand what the meetings were like. It was interesting, but made me feel like a stranger looking in. It is like a club/fraterity of which I am not a part of and cannot relate to, and this has very much become a part of his life. It was interesting that one of the men who my hubby has gotten to know came up and introduced himself and laughingly said "I probably spend more time with your husband than you do". Eventhough he has not been there a yr. yet, it seems that they are grooming him for leadershhip. He is now in charge of the AA cell phone, which he said newcomers can all this number if they are having a hard/difficult time and need to speak to someone. Some of the people in his group have been sober for 20 yrs....yet they still attend meetings all wk....so is this now a new life-long thing in our life?

Just curious how others feel or if you deal with this. Like I said, there is also guilt on my part for feeling this way, but I do feel jealous of the time/bond with this new "family."
3jen is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to 3jen For This Useful Post:
barb dwyer (09-12-2010), DesertEyes (09-12-2010), seekingcalm (09-12-2010)
Old 09-12-2010, 12:18 PM
  # 2 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 629
Yes, this is going to be a life long thing, if you are lucky.
I have spent a great deal of time reading the AA Big Book, so that I can understand AA and its teachings, and what it means to be an alcoholic.
SR, Al Anon, and learning about this disease have been very helpful to me.
The people who love alcoholics spend so much time hoping that they will stop drinking, and get sober, and be healthy, that when they do, it's a good idea for us to find our own interests as well. How wonderful that we can "let go" and focus on ourselves.
Harder than some think, but worth it.
Best to you in your new life. May it last a lifetime.
seekingcalm is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to seekingcalm For This Useful Post:
3jen (09-12-2010), DesertEyes (09-12-2010), naive (09-12-2010), sesh (09-13-2010)
Old 09-12-2010, 12:19 PM
  # 3 (permalink)  
Member
 
DesertEyes's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Starting over all over again
Posts: 4,427
Blog Entries: 1
Hello there 3jen, and pleased to "meet" you

Originally Posted by 3jen View Post
.... My husband is a recovering alcoholic, sober since last January. We have been married 25 yrs., have two boys ages 19 and 16. ....
Wow, congratulations on the 25 years. In today's world you guys should get a medal.

Originally Posted by 3jen View Post
.... I went to my first open AA meeting last Thurs. night, it was Speaker night. My hubby thought I would benefit from seeing first hand what the meetings were like. It was interesting, but made me feel like a stranger looking in. It is like a club/fraterity of which I am not a part of and cannot relate to, and this has very much become a part of his life.....
I know that feeling. I have been dating a young lady who is very active in the program of OA, another 12 step program much like AA. I've been to their open meetings and had the opportunity to meet some of the senior leadership from back east. Very kind and giving people, but I will _never_ be able to be a part of that club.

Originally Posted by 3jen View Post
....Some of the people in his group have been sober for 20 yrs....yet they still attend meetings all wk....so is this now a new life-long thing in our life? ....
No. When people are brand new in any of the 12 step programs the usual procedure is to toss them in the deep end. Keep them busy every free moment of their time. That technique originate from some of the very first member of AA who came from the Navy, they knew that the best way to keep people out of trouble is to keep them so terribly busy they have no time, or energy, to get into trouble.

If every single person that walked into an AA meeting _never_ left the program, then every single meeting would be packed to the rafters with people that had over 50 years. The newbies would be in the distinct minority.

What happens is that the majority of people stick around for a few years, get their head straightened out, and then slowly reduce their participation to where they reach a "balance" between living _in_ life and attending meetings in order to be able to deal with that life _free_ of alcohol and other such addictions. Some people need more support than others. Some people have a perfectly good life and attend meetings once in a while. Other people have a really hard time dealing with reality and need to go to lots more meetings.

Originally Posted by 3jen View Post
....Just curious how others feel or if you deal with this. ....
Go to another one of those open AA meetings. Instead of looking at all the alcoholic men who have a few years and are just begining their journey of recovery look at their wives. Walk up to them and say hello. They are feeling much the same way you are, and would love to find somebody who understands what they are going thru.

I did that with my lady. As part of her recovery from compulsive over-eating she turned to running. Many years later and she is now one of the top marathoners in the world. She belongs to a team of a dozen women that travel around the country to all these "relay" and "elite races" and who knows what else. They all have more tennis shoes in the closet that regular shoes.

oops. They're not tennis, they're "running shoes".

Anyway. She and her friends are off doing their thing _ a lot_ . And whadya know, all their husbands and boyfriends would sit at home feeling left out. So I went to some races and met some of the guys and now _we_ hang out together.

So yes, it's a strange new world that they have to live in to keep control of their addiction. I will never be a part of the OA club, but I am now a part of the "OA support" club. I don't spend as much time with my lady as I _want_ to. But if she didn't do her OA thing she would fall back into her addiction, end up dead and that would be much worse.

I'm glad you decided to join SR. I hope you find the answers you're looking for and hopefuly make some new friends.

Mike
DesertEyes is offline  
The Following 5 Users Say Thank You to DesertEyes For This Useful Post:
3jen (09-12-2010), Bernadette (09-12-2010), Learn2Live (09-12-2010), sesh (09-13-2010), wicked (09-12-2010)
Old 09-12-2010, 12:20 PM
  # 4 (permalink)  
To thine own self be true.
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 5,924
Blog Entries: 5
Hi 3jen

I understand how you must feel, although I have not gone through this myself. It seems you are in a catch-22 situation, that is, he is sober but he is practically not present in your life. Is this how you feel?

I have found that healthy life is about balance. When we spend most of our time and energy on just one thing, there are other things that get neglected. Perhaps you feel neglected? I don't think you should feel guilty about that, or about wanting a well-rounded life that includes a companion in it.

The question for you, though, IMO, is how well-rounded is your life? Do you have a place to go to during the day, such as a place of employment? Do you have friends and family who you enjoy spending time with and do you do so on a regular basis? What are you doing with your life while your spouse is at his meetings?

Have you gone to Al-Anon and learned about your self and how you are living your own life, rather than focusing your experience on what he is doing?

Please know that none of what I have said here is said in judgment. They are only questions you can ask yourself to see if they apply to you. I hope you feel better soon.

P.S. Have you thought about perhaps creating a "Date Night"?
Learn2Live is offline  
The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Learn2Live For This Useful Post:
3jen (09-12-2010), DesertEyes (09-12-2010), sesh (09-13-2010), wicked (09-12-2010)
Old 09-12-2010, 12:26 PM
  # 5 (permalink)  
A work in progress
 
LexieCat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 16,633
It will calm down in time. My first husband has been sober in AA for 30 years. He did what he had to do in the beginning, and it was a LOT. Don't discourage his involvement in AA or be resentful about it. Drinking took far more from you than AA ever will.

I had to laugh when you wrote about his being "groomed for leadership." There ARE no "leaders" in AA. All service positions are rotated. As people get solid sobriety they do have additional responsibilities in terms of working with others.

I have been around AA since my first husband got sober, have been in Al-Anon when I needed it, and am now two years sober, myself, in AA.

I hope you can find it in your heart to do a little socializing with some of the people in AA and their partners. Why not go to some of the softball games, and other social activities? It isn't required, but it might be good for your relationship and make you feel a little more comfortable about the time he needs to spend in AA activities right now.
LexieCat is offline  
The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to LexieCat For This Useful Post:
3jen (09-12-2010), seekingcalm (09-12-2010), wicked (09-12-2010)
Old 09-12-2010, 12:37 PM
  # 6 (permalink)  
same planet...different world
 
barb dwyer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Butte, America
Posts: 10,946
Blog Entries: 7
Welcome!
barb dwyer is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to barb dwyer For This Useful Post:
3jen (09-12-2010)
Old 09-12-2010, 01:29 PM
  # 7 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 3
Thanks to everyone that has responded so quickly, I appreciate the thoughts and feedback.

The question for you, though, IMO, is how well-rounded is your life? Do you have a place to go to during the day, such as a place of employment? Do you have friends and family who you enjoy spending time with and do you do so on a regular basis? What are you doing with your life while your spouse is at his meetings?

To answer that I will give you alittle background. For the past 19 years I have been a stay-at-home mom to our boys, but rarely at home, lol! I have been very involved the past 10+ years in non-profit volunteer management, primarily within the PTA organization. I was very involved, a leader at the local, regional and State level...the past two yrs. I was Council PTA President in our school district, overseeing all 37 PTAs in our district. It really became a job, but I loved it and the involvement within our school district. At times hubby resented the time that PTA took. I also served as a volunteer in other organizations, have many friends and family lives here. My hubby was also very involved in the community. We both realized that we were spending too much time in outside activities and needed to cut back to spend more quality time together. So...I "retired" from PTA, and am currently trying to reenter the workforce. Ironically, I interviewed this wk with the MADD organization in our area as a Volunteer Coordinator. While my hubby is at meetings, I am usually at home with our boys. He works from our home, leaves most nights around 5-5:30...works out at gym and then goes to 7 p.m. meetings, usually getting home around 8:30-9. Part of my feelings may be due to the fact that we both said we needed to cut back, which I have, and now he is gone most nights.
3jen is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to 3jen For This Useful Post:
Learn2Live (09-12-2010)
Old 09-12-2010, 01:34 PM
  # 8 (permalink)  
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: ft. lauderdale florida
Posts: 275
Hello, Welcome, you just hit pay dirt THIS PLACE just saved my life.
wow1323 is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to wow1323 For This Useful Post:
3jen (09-12-2010)
Old 09-12-2010, 01:39 PM
  # 9 (permalink)  
To thine own self be true.
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 5,924
Blog Entries: 5
It sounds like you have a really good plan to get more busy. You sound like you have a really good head on your shoulders. Perhaps you are just worried that life with him will always be this way? If so, try to stay in the Present Moment. (((hugs)))
Learn2Live is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to Learn2Live For This Useful Post:
3jen (09-12-2010)
Old 09-12-2010, 01:52 PM
  # 10 (permalink)  
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Texas
Posts: 3
Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
I had to laugh when you wrote about his being "groomed for leadership." There ARE no "leaders" in AA. All service positions are rotated. As people get solid sobriety they do have additional responsibilities in terms of working with others.
What I mean by that is just from what I have observed, I'm still learning about the process. About 3-4 wks ago he showed me this cell phone, and explained that it was the AA phone..that they had given him the responsibility of having the phone. His sponsor was the person in charge of it, but he had to leave town and gave it to my hubby to oversee. He still has it now, so it does not seem to rotate? Also, hubby told me about some of the veteran members asking him to meet with one of the new people and speaking to him about his experience. Hubby stated to me that he still considered himself pretty new and was kind of surprised that they asked him....

Last edited by DesertEyes; 09-12-2010 at 03:14 PM. Reason: fixed broken quote
3jen is offline  
The Following User Says Thank You to 3jen For This Useful Post:
Learn2Live (09-12-2010)
Old 09-12-2010, 02:34 PM
  # 11 (permalink)  
A work in progress
 
LexieCat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 16,633
Originally Posted by 3jen View Post
What I mean by that is just from what I have observed, I'm still learning about the process. About 3-4 wks ago he showed me this cell phone, and explained that it was the AA phone..that they had given him the responsibility of having the phone. His sponsor was the person in charge of it, but he had to leave town and gave it to my hubby to oversee. He still has it now, so it does not seem to rotate? Also, hubby told me about some of the veteran members asking him to meet with one of the new people and speaking to him about his experience. Hubby stated to me that he still considered himself pretty new and was kind of surprised that they asked him....
Nope, that's all pretty normal. I've not heard of a "group cell phone", but it isn't a bad idea--I guess when someone needs to contact the group that's a way to do it. Each group has its own way of doing things. My groups generally have "elections" for chairperson, secretary, treasurer, GSR, etc., once a year, and the other positions like greeter, anniversary person, literature person, coffee maker, Intergroup rep., etc., rotate kinda when we feel like it. Somebody is tired of the job or we want to get new people involved. And in my groups, as soon as someone has 90 days of sobriety we have them sharing their stories with the group, at rehabs, etc.

In AA, people are as involved as they want to be, and it's usually good for sobriety to stay that way. Not to mention the obligation we feel to make sure the meeting is there for whoever needs AA.
LexieCat is offline  

Currently Active Users Viewing this Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off




All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:20 PM.