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12 step husband is leaving me/kids..how do I cope w/ my anger?

Old 02-05-2011, 07:25 AM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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sing/yell it very loudly in the car
I agree!! It's like exercise without alll that exercise! LOL
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Old 02-05-2011, 07:32 AM
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I am so sorry you are going through all of this...but you never said if you are going to AL ANON?...i sure hope you are...you need this for yourself..go as much as you can...LET GO AND LET GOD HE knows what he is doing...and breathe....
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:28 AM
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Dear BWITW,
I feel for you. The exact same thing happened to me. I don't believe it's that uncommon. While AA does have some merit, I think that the priorities with regard to marriage are a little upside down. It puts marriage further down on the list than sobriety, helping other alcoholics, and serving the fellowship. Now drunkeness is certainly not good for a marriage but AA is not the only way.

I have processed this alot, because my ex's life revolved around aa to the exclusion of me, and then the exclusion of the children. He has no relationship with any of us anymore, it's very sad.

There are other programs such as Life Ring, Smart Recovery and the Sinclair method that help a person achieve sobriety without making them pledge allegiance to the fellowship instead of their spouse. The lack of placing the marriage as one of the top priorities is what makes a marriage crumble.

I'm not sure that you, Chelle and Jamaica don't have a lot of Mid Life Crisis in the mix too. Have you read Vicki Stark's book Runaway Husbands? She also has a terrific discussion group on her site. Just make sure you scroll to the last page, that's where the most active discussions are. Here is the link Runaway Husbands - Community Bulletin Board
Hugs!
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:35 AM
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I disagree with FO's assessment of AA's "priorities", though I certainly defend her right to her opinion.

AA doesn't require anyone to "pledge allegiance to the Fellowship". Sobriety MUST be the priority or there will be no healthy marriage. To the extent (and only to the extent) that working with others helps to maintain healthy sobriety, that must also be a priority, but not to the exclusion of spending time with one's family and attending to their needs. If an alcoholic is doing that beyond the initial phases of recovery (when a certain amount of familial "neglect" is sometimes necessary), then he or she is not living a healthy sober life.

Certainly some alcoholics screw it up and use AA as an excuse to neglect their families. That is WRONG, and unless they get address it, they are likely to drink again.
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:14 AM
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my ex's life revolved around aa to the exclusion of me, and then the exclusion of the children. He has no relationship with any of us anymore, it's very sad.
People often drop one obsession and just pick up another. It's nothing to do with AA or any other 12-step program. From what you describe your ex sounds just like any alcoholic except now the obsession is AA and not alcohol.

Like I said in another post, IMO everything you encounter in life is whatever you make it. You can shun it, love it, be obsessive about it, hate it, complain about it, whatever you want to do with whatever "it" is.

Take college for instance. I went to college to LEARN. A lot of people go to college to get a degree. To me, the degree was secondary to the actual education. Those that go just for the degree are rather easy to identify. As are those who go just to party.
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Old 02-05-2011, 09:28 AM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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Lexiscat is right...

...without sobriety there is no marriage. think about it. there is no anything. and, as hard as this is for us codependent enablers to accept, sometimes it's absolutely true that our alcoholics can't recover with us, especially when we aren't working a program of our own.

it's easy to get righteous about this. it hurts and it isn't fair. but it is the ways it is.

take what you want and leave the rest.

Cyranoak

Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
I disagree with FO's assessment of AA's "priorities", though I certainly defend her right to her opinion.

AA doesn't require anyone to "pledge allegiance to the Fellowship". Sobriety MUST be the priority or there will be no healthy marriage. To the extent (and only to the extent) that working with others helps to maintain healthy sobriety, that must also be a priority, but not to the exclusion of spending time with one's family and attending to their needs. If an alcoholic is doing that beyond the initial phases of recovery (when a certain amount of familial "neglect" is sometimes necessary), then he or she is not living a healthy sober life.

Certainly some alcoholics screw it up and use AA as an excuse to neglect their families. That is WRONG, and unless they get address it, they are likely to drink again.
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:06 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
AA doesn't require anyone to "pledge allegiance to the Fellowship".
Actually Step 12 and Tradition 1 imply that. The importance of the group is referred to but the importance of fixing your real life is not mentioned at all. Therefore the group is held up as having more importance.

Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
Sobriety MUST be the priority or there will be no healthy marriage.
Originally Posted by Cyranoak View Post
...without sobriety there is no marriage. think about it. there is no anything.
But the AA is just one of many, many, many ways to recover. Many of which have much higher success rates. And repeatedly wide ranging studies have shown that the number one most common factor in recovery is a supportive spouse. Anything that distances people from their real life support systems is more likely to impair than help.
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:45 AM
  # 28 (permalink)  
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repeatedly wide ranging studies have shown that the number one most common factor in recovery is a supportive spouse.
I'd be curious to know what studies? Because I am in successful recovery from alcoholism and I have never even HAD a spouse. I'm not buying it. You don't need a spouse to recover from anything.
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by KittyP View Post
Actually Step 12 and Tradition 1 imply that.
Actually, they don't. Step Twelve merely calls for us to carry the message to other alcoholics and to practice the principles in all our affairs--which includes our relationships. Nothing about neglecting family responsibilities--which would, in fact, be something for which one would have to make an amends. Tradition One talks about unity in AA groups--IOW, my "right" to recover as I see fit should not step on the rights of other AA members to recover using the Twelve Steps. "Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity." It has to do with cohesion in the group--it says nothing about neglecting your family, your employer, or anyone else who isn't part of the group.
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:51 AM
  # 30 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Learn2Live View Post
I'd be curious to know what studies? Because I am in successful recovery from alcoholism and I have never even HAD a spouse. I'm not buying it. You don't need a spouse to recover from anything.
Actually, I would think the only hindrance to recovery MIGHT be an unsupportive spouse. I found it positively helpful to my recovery that I didn't have to worry about the needs of a partner while I was getting my own sh*t together.
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Old 02-05-2011, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by LexieCat View Post
Actually, they don't. Step Twelve merely calls for us to carry the message to other alcoholics and to practice the principles in all our affairs--which includes our relationships. Nothing about neglecting family responsibilities--which would, in fact, be something for which one would have to make an amends. Tradition One talks about unity in AA groups--IOW, my "right" to recover as I see fit should not step on the rights of other AA members to recover using the Twelve Steps. "Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery depends upon A.A. unity." It has to do with cohesion in the group--it says nothing about neglecting your family, your employer, or anyone else who isn't part of the group.
My point is that the steps, promises and traditions are about how to live your life. And people are told that the steps are necessary to live their life. Yet nothing in the steps tells people that they must learn how to have healthy relationships and that real life needs to be prioritised. An awful lot of marriages end when the addict joins AA. As high as 25%. Certainly some marriages will end naturally with sobriety. A person may get sober and realise that their marriage was not right for them. But no other recovery method results in anything like as high an amount of failed marriages.

Originally Posted by Learn2Live
I'd be curious to know what studies? Because I am in successful recovery from alcoholism and I have never even HAD a spouse. I'm not buying it. You don't need a spouse to recover from anything.
Nobody said you needed a successful spouse just that having a supportive spouse is the most common factor of recovered and recovering alcoholics, please don't twist what I'm saying.

The importance of a supportive spouse in recovery was a big part of the conclusion of a wide-ranging study carried out by scientists at one of the world's of the most preeminent centre's of medical science, Harvard Medical School.
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Old 02-05-2011, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Learn2Live View Post
I'd be curious to know what studies? Because I am in successful recovery from alcoholism and I have never even HAD a spouse. I'm not buying it. You don't need a spouse to recover from anything.
i would have to say my spouse was unsupportive, actually both of them.
cause things would change.
couldnt handle the change.
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Old 02-05-2011, 02:30 PM
  # 33 (permalink)  
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Where are you getting this?

Good God Kitty,

Except for your first two sentences, none of what you are saying is remotely consistent with the message of Al-Anon, AA, or the 12-Steps. This is truly remarkable. What happened to you that you have such a huge axe to grind?

AA and Al-Anon are not the cause of these marriages demise. Alcoholism and Co-Dependency are the cause.

One Harvard study means nothing, you are extrapolating meaning based on a very clear bias, and 78.2 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.

Unless you personally have participated in Al-Anon or AA for any significant period of time, you are speaking out of turn about both.

12-Step recovery does not work for everyone, and that's ok. However, the idea that it promotes divorce, or promotes not being supportive of your spouse is ignorant and laughable. Especially when "studies" and "statistics" are used to justify it.

It also doesn't talk overtly about being a good parent-- does that mean it is against being a good parent? What it really promotes is taking care of yourself first, so you can take care of the things that are important to you, whatever those things or people are.

My wife and I are together today, after 13 years, because of AA and Al-Anon. I can say definitively that we would not be together if we were not working our 12-Step programs, and if we did not leave her work to her, and my work to me.

With all due respect, it is impossible for you to be more wrong about AA, Al-Anon, and the 12-Steps in the context of marriage, and your bias against it is crystal clear.







Originally Posted by KittyP View Post
My point is that the steps, promises and traditions are about how to live your life. And people are told that the steps are necessary to live their life. Yet nothing in the steps tells people that they must learn how to have healthy relationships and that real life needs to be prioritised. An awful lot of marriages end when the addict joins AA. As high as 25%. Certainly some marriages will end naturally with sobriety. A person may get sober and realise that their marriage was not right for them. But no other recovery method results in anything like as high an amount of failed marriages.



Nobody said you needed a successful spouse just that having a supportive spouse is the most common factor of recovered and recovering alcoholics, please don't twist what I'm saying.

The importance of a supportive spouse in recovery was a big part of the conclusion of a wide-ranging study carried out by scientists at one of the world's of the most preeminent centre's of medical science, Harvard Medical School.
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Old 02-05-2011, 03:30 PM
  # 34 (permalink)  
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Cyranoak.

I've just deleted a reply which addressed your comments point by point in just about the same tone as yours as I don't think it was at all helpful to the OP, if she ever comes back to this thread.

I'm genuinely delighted that things with you and your wife are in a good place right now and I really do hope that your journey continues well for the rest of your lives. However that doesn't change the fact that an awful lot of people who work AA are not so lucky. You can choose not to believe that all you like, in fact you may need to, but it doesn't make it not so.

However denigrating "studies" and "science" by accusing people of bias, lack of experience or with silly fake statistics isn't a proper argument or discussion. Incidentally however, I do have plenty of experience with the 12 Steps. They went against my instincts but I followed them and the Al-Anon advice, while my husband began AA. This period of my life coincided with the very worst time of my marriage and my husband's drinking. Eventually I began to study addiction, psychologically and scientifically. I decided to follow my instincts which were to be more supportive and with 3 months my husband was doing fantastically. So, while I don't put huge stock in isolated anecdotes, I followed a path consistent with the conclusions from Harvard and not looked back.

My view isn't consistent with AA/Al-Anon/12 Steps. Simply because my view is that addiction is far, far too complex to be helped by only one treatment. Some people will be helped by it certainly, because it's a good fit for them. But if it is not a good fit for you, it can be destructive. This may well be true of other treatment options too. I've not aware of any studies which examine the effect of SMART, Rational, private psychiatry, medication, etc on marriages. If you know of any point me their way and I'll happily read them. If I have a bias that is only because of conclusions I've drawn from long study.

That study is fluid and open-minded. I'm the type who's always learning and willing to be proved wrong. (It's how I've managed to keep my portfolio profitable in the last 10 years.)
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Old 02-05-2011, 03:48 PM
  # 35 (permalink)  
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Just wanted to say that I am grateful for Alanon as it helps me to not feel so isolated and I am so hoping that my AH finds an AA group that he likes.

We are both doing several activities for recovery but for me Alanon/AA adds another dimension that I don't see getting anywhere else and overcoming the effects of this disease of alcoholism needs everything it can get.

Everytime I go to Alanon, the message "take what you want and leave the rest" is loud and clear.

Whatever hope I have is not going to hang on any scientific study or statistics as my AH might hang his hat on something like that and find one more reason to not be responsible for his disease.
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Old 02-05-2011, 04:10 PM
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Kitty, I wasn't twisting your words, I just don't agree with your logic and stated my reason. Sorry you interpreted my response that way. Take care.
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Old 02-05-2011, 04:20 PM
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Hire an attorney. Hire a PI or an anon friend, one that he doesn't know, to follow him to these meetings and support socials with the 12 step people. You might be surprised what you learn. See if allowing him primary custody of the kids while you are in school would be advisable. The attorney will tell you. The reason why his taking on the kids might be good for you is that it would give you more free time to focus on your studies so you can create a good life for your kids, time for you to get in shape, develop a support group of friends because divorce can be tough and basically give you more time to be the very best person and mom that you can be. His taking on the kids five days a week might also slow him down from making bad mistakes, like moving in with some rebound relationship or dating. If he is really is serious about recovery, he should not even consider being in a relationship (outside of yours) for a couple of years. Don't do what a lot of women do and hold on to those kids so you are assured of their love when your d*ck of man bails. Alot depends on the laws of the state in which you live. Men don't tend to leave one boat unless they have another boat lined up. Meet with a good attorney immediately take one steps are necessary to protect you and your kids. Your man is out of control and a d*ck. Be amazing (not generous) and in turn he will regret his dumba** choices. By the way, your man is a jerk royal. Wish the filter on these posts would allow me to use profanity because I would use words that would make your hair curl when describing your idiot man.
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Old 02-05-2011, 05:08 PM
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This is the study I think that Kitty is referring to: It is a famous Harvard study on alcoholism. But it actually supports AA as a means to successful recovery.

Medicine: New Insights into Alcoholism - TIME

I read the entire study sometime ago and it mentioned that those who had supportive partners tended to fare better long term than those who didn't.

But it isn't mutually exclusive from AA. A supportive partner alone isn't going to make the difference in anyone's recovery if they arent doing other things (like AA, therapy, etc).

The study doesn't even come close to saying that all you need is a supportive partner. It wasn't even the final conclusion of the study. It just noted that those who did better long term did have healthy partnerships, among other support systems in place (like AA).

No treatment is going to be 100% effective, or be right for everyone. But citing studies is only good if you aren't going to cherry pick facts. Otherwise it distorts the findings.

Signed, a nerd.
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Old 02-05-2011, 05:30 PM
  # 39 (permalink)  
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just noted that those who did better long term did have healthy partnerships, among other support systems in place (like AA).
Yeah well duh. It doesn't take a Harvard scientist to figure out that good social supports increase health status. Thanks for taking the time to share that BabyBlue
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Old 02-05-2011, 05:38 PM
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Signed, a nerd.
Thank you.
I wonder if my dog would be my supportive partner?
unconditional love always.
greets me like a long lost well loved friend.
plays little games with me.
she will chase bobo, but not bring it back.
we have an agreement that dachshunds dont retrieve.
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