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Old 02-07-2011, 10:28 AM
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Huh...oops.

So, in hindsight, I think I did a pretty codie thing and need some thoughts on how to deal with it (you know...the whole "Let me help. Let me give you support" stuff). When I was taking part in the family program at the treatment center in Dec/Jan, I connected with a woman there who is from the same town I live in. She told me that her husband was feeling very angry and frustrated and having a really rough time with things. I talked with her about my perspective on living with an A and suggested Beatty's book and AlAnon. I gave her my business card (with my email address) and told her that her husband could contact me if he wanted to go along to a meeting because sometimes its easier to go knowing someone.

So today I get email.

N**** has been talking a lot about you the last few days. First, thank you for serving as her sponsor. Next, would you be open to meeting me at some point over the next week? I believe that you may be able to help me better understand the process that she is going through. I work out of *******, but am spending at least 2 days/week working out of the home. Wed afternoon and Friday are open for me at this time, and we should be fairly open over the weekend.
It took me awhile to figure out who in the world this was from. I work for a university so the only sponsorship I could think of was for exchange students. LOL!!! Then it just hit me.. Of course, my first thought was "he must have misunderstood". When I called to confirm my thought that it was her, it was pointed out to me that relapsing A's lie their fannies off at that there is a chance that she is telling her husband that I am her sponsor (the actual words were "sounds like she has given up and is lying her a$$ off). The recommendation was to respond with "I only know N***** through conversations during her treatment. Nothing more". Now, being me, I felt like I should (of course) write a novel about how I hope I'm not causing problems and that there might be a misunderstanding. I sat down to write the reply and froze.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. I feel like there must be a happy medium between the cynical alcoholic reply and the codie Pollyanna reply.

Why am I so torn up about this? Sheesh!
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:39 AM
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The recommendation was to respond with "I only know N***** through conversations during her treatment. Nothing more"
Excellent response. The only thing I would add is:

"I only know N***** through conversations during her treatment. Nothing more. I am NOT her sponsor. The AlAnon meeting is at (address) on (day) at (time)."

That should suffice nicely.

Hope that helps.

Love and hugs,
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:41 AM
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I'm finding that when other people misunderstand me, I don't have to explain myself.
KISS - Keep It Simple Silly
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:55 AM
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The al-anon slogan “KEEP IT SIMPLE” comes to mind.

Your initial gut response is the best!!!!
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Old 02-07-2011, 10:56 AM
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From my perspective, you tried to carry the message of the program and then an alcoholic tried to take advantage of your good intentions.

I don't see the codiness in the original action, but in the way it is affecting you now. Fortunately, your instincts to post about it and your proposed response are right on. And I do agree with Laurie's additions.
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Old 02-07-2011, 11:10 AM
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Thanks everyone! The person who suggested that response was the recovering A who was in treatment with her. He said "Keep it simple and don't get involved." I knew it was a better response than my over-explained, apology style response but it felt a little terse for my personality. I like the idea of adding the meeting date/time/place. When I realized who it was, my first thought was "why in the world would you contact your wife's sponsor instead of going to AlAnon? You need to understand YOU, not HER."

Also - the more I read the email the more I could read "Are you really my wife's sponsor?" in it. Don't need to be involved in that one.
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