"R"AH's sponsor doesn't like Al-anon!

Old 07-15-2011, 09:05 PM
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"R"AH's sponsor doesn't like Al-anon!

It has been an interesting week with "R"AH. There have been signs all week long that he is slipping and sliding in his recovery (which I can fully admit that I am not surprised about at all). I can see how far I have come in my own recovery based on how much it has not affected me. Anyway we went out to dinner together alone tonight (not sure the last time that happened) and we start taking about things and the topic of Al-anon comes up. I told him how I really like the new group I went to last night and how I am going to try to go every Thursday night. He goes on to tell me about how those in his AA group make fun of Al-anon. How one guy in particular really can't stand it and how even his sponsor doesn't care for it. When I asked why, he told me he didn't know. I explained how it really surprised me since Al-non really just teaches great life skills in general so I can't imagine why they would not support it. I asked him to find out why since it seemed so odd to me. I personally do not think "R"AH likes me in Al-anon because of the changes in me which make his life less comfortable. A few times as I was talking about Al-anon he jokingly stated something about how they teach you to divorce your husband. I would just say no and move on. I'd really like to tell him he needs to find a new sponsor who understands and supports Al-anon, but that just doesn't seem like my place to do so. Personally I wonder if "R"AH doesn't need a new sponsor anyway since this one that he has had for a few years now doesn't seem to be able to keep him on track anyway. However I think RAH needs to figure that out on his own.

Your thoughts on this? I know some of you go to both AA and Al-anon so is this common for AA to bash Al-anon? I was working under the assumption they supported each other?!
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Old 07-15-2011, 09:24 PM
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Thanks cynical one... good point about the sponsor. I can't say it is bothering me but I did find it surprising that AA members sit around and bash Al-anon. I hear you on the "truth". Thought about that myself. Is what it is. Doesn't change my opinion on Al-non and that is really all that matters.
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:12 PM
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I'm an alcoholic, and there are good AA groups centered in recovery, are there are not so good AA groups. I suspect the same is true in Al-anon. Maybe they have a not so good relationship between AA and Alanon there? As to which group would be causing that, I wouldn't hazard a guess. Thankfully that is not the case in my home AA group.

I do know there are individuals in alanon that seem to preach "divorce, divorce, divorce", but if your relationship/recovery is solid that won't matter. My thinking is that Alanon gives people the strength to do what they have to do, which first and foremost is to stop enabling. After that is established, divorce often happens but Alanon is hardly the cause of that. It is typically us Alkies that don't change, or in many cases, stop drinking but don't change the rest of our behavior. This is called a "dry drunk".

In any case he has a resentment against Alanon IMHO and needs to do a mini 4th step on it to see what his role in this resentment stems from. Again just MHO.

I wouldn't tell him to find a new sponsor - you are not in charge of his recovery. Nor is his sponsor for that matter. Maybe he is not doing what his sponsor says to do? He is responsible for his own recovery, that's the bottom line.
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Old 07-16-2011, 05:56 AM
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I am a grateful member of Al-Anon but go to a number of open AA meetings a week depending on what is going on in my life (we don't have daily Al-anon meetings in the community I live in). In addition it is a wonderful opportunity to learn about this disease and people in general.

Actually I get a ton of support from the open AA meetings. I actually have a number of people who have come up to me and compliment me on going to open meetings and saying maybe they should try and Al-anon meetings. I also hear about how they wish their loved ones might give Al-anon a go (especially those individuals with some long-term recovery). Our Al-anon meetings are open and we have people on both side that come to those also. I hope that helps. I have never heard talk of Al-anon at any of the meetings except when you explain who you are to the group.
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Old 07-16-2011, 06:03 AM
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Ditto what LifeRecovery said.

That being said - I was very surprised, while on a trip to visit some RA with DECADES of recovery, to hear them "bash" Al-Anon. So, it happens. Nothing or nobody is perfect.

As others have said - what RAH or his sponsor may think of Alanon or us is none of our business
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Old 07-16-2011, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by roxiestone View Post
As others have said - what RAH or his sponsor may think of Alanon or us is none of our business
Just exactly this.....

Hugs, HG
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Old 07-16-2011, 08:43 AM
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Great thoughts in this thread.

I think a lot of the fear of Al-Anon is the fear of the unknown, and the assumption that it exists for tearing down the alcoholic or preaching divorce or breakup. Of course, some Al-Anon groups do degenerate into that, just as some AA groups degenerate into places where "recovery" consists of listening to drunkalogs and "wisdom" like "just don't drink" (duh, if alcoholics could "just not drink" why would they need AA?).

It isn't your job to help him decide who his sponsor should be, or to convince him of the helpfulness of Al-Anon. Your job is to recover, yourself, in the best possible way that you can. I wouldn't allow his opinion, his sponsor's opinion, or his group's opinion of Al-Anon to dictate anything you do for your own well-being--you are the only one who can make that determination.
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Old 07-16-2011, 09:08 AM
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Alone22, I asked a similar question back in March:

After posing this to SR, and thinking about it a bit - I had the opportunity to directly ask my RAH when he lipped off about Al-Anon again why he was acting threatened by it. Trust has nothing to do with you, or Al-Anon, and everything to do with your husband's own issues going on inside. I would even be willing to bet his sponsor never said he didn't support Al-Anon, as I have never met any old-timers in AA who had anything negative to say about Al-Anon...more like being very supportive and insistent that all family members of alcoholics should attend Al-Anon.

Was interesting to get the response that he does, in fact, feel threatened by Al-Anon because he's never been to a meeting (I have gone to open AA meetings in the past) therefore his lack of understanding comes across as sarcasm and anger. He has been supportive of it ever since.

Try to dig deep and find some compassion for your husband who is feeling so insecure without his crutch (alcohol) that the idea of Al-Anon threatens him. Kind of sad when you shift your perspective and look at it that way.

Just don't let it stop you from going!
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Old 07-17-2011, 01:52 PM
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Thanks for linking the old thread Tuffgirl. Good stuff on there! Funny AH knows I post on SR. At first it kind a made me mad that he was reading it, then I thought about changing my password, name etc, but then I figured if he wants to read what I think go for it! I have nothing to hide from him. If he doesn't like me sharing what is going on then that is for him to deal with, not me. I like it here and him being annoyed by it is not going to change my opinion. Oh and I can drop the "R" at this point.. he is in relapse, not a little slip going on.
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:13 PM
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He goes on to tell me about how those in his AA group make fun of Al-anon. How one guy in particular really can't stand it and how even his sponsor doesn't care for it.
I am an alcoholic capacity for lying and bending the truth was unbelievable. I really find it very hard to believe that anyone in AA would diss alanon especially a sponsor. The reason I say that is because I wasn't an AA cheerleader at first. Just because you walk through the doors of an AA room does not mean that you are cured instantly. It took a while for me and I resisted the program in the beginning.

People can go to meetings for quite a long time and not pick up the message.
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Old 07-17-2011, 02:34 PM
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I wish I could say my AH is new to AA, but he has been in and out of meetings for YEARS. I lost track but I think it has been 8 years now. His longest period of sobriety that I am aware of is 6 months. During that period he encouraged me to go to Al-anon. I wish I would have started going way back then (about 2 years ago). Now that he sees the change in me he seems not so thrilled with it. I agree he could be making things up about AA members bashing Al-anon. He lies, and he manipulates like the best of them so I get this may not be truth, but felt the need to put it out here to see what others thought or had experience with it.
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:56 PM
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Like others have said, I find it hard to believe IF there is a sponsor (my AH when he was pretending to be in "R" had several pretend sponsors!) that he/she actually said that...

Just this week I was told by my AH that the guy who runs his outpatient rehab (that AH continued to go to bc the court ordered it even though he was drinking incessantly) told him during his "checkout" meeting (last meeting was this past week) that I (meaning me) was "a disturbed person". I'll admit my knee jerk reaction was to obsess about this and worry what someone else thought of me but my second and longer lasting reaction was to laugh.

IF and it's a big if, the outpatient director said this then it means AH is a super duper con man (he is), the rehab guy is a moron or both. And either way, I don't care. Same with your "R"AH's "sponsor". If he said that about al anon then it's the blind leading the blind in that sponsoring relationship. And chances are, if I was betting, I'd bet your H is making it up.

Try (hard as it is) to ignore the nonsense and picture a big sign saying QUACK over his head when he says stuff like that... I think I read that on here somewhere and frankly its helped me be able to laugh off some crazy and formerly hurtful stuff that I'd have reacted crazily to that comes out of AH's mouth...
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