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Al-Anon question, from an AA'er...?

Old 11-22-2013, 02:27 PM
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Al-Anon question, from an AA'er...?

Question: is Al-anon primarily for the family members of practicing alcoholics, recovering alcoholics, or both?

Let's say I'm 3 years into recovery and remarry. Would or should I encourage my new wife to go to Al-anon, or no?

Thanks,
Zube
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Old 11-22-2013, 02:35 PM
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AlAnon has but one purpose: to help families/friends of alcoholics. It doesn't matter if the A is still active in their disease or is in recovery. Even if the A is in recovery, I don't think it hurts for the new wife to learn all she can about the disease. There is no cure for alcoholism, so I would think it's healthy for her to learn early about boundary setting, self care, etc.
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Old 11-22-2013, 02:47 PM
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Zube --

I absolutely think it could benefit your new wife to go to Al-Anon. Most people who haven't lived with the disease of alcoholism don't understand it. Also, the plain life skills you learn at Al-Anon is helpful in anyone's life. I use the tricks I've learned there every day at work.
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Old 11-22-2013, 03:32 PM
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As the others said, it is for family of alcoholics regardless of whether they are active, sober or in recovery. And YES!

RAH was sober when we met, and for the first 8.5 years of marriage...then he relapsed & I was completely blindsided. I wish I would have understood the disease (I had no prior experience with an active alcoholic) and the support available to me as his spouse before that happened...I'd like to think that I could have avoided some of the pain that came with his relapse if I had been better "prepared" for the possibility.

Alcoholism is a disease...if your betrothed or spouse had diabetes, you would probably educate yourself on what that means & how to support them in dealing with it, and you would probably be healthier for doing so. AlAnon is our medicine...our treatment...why not make sure she knows its available to her and that she may find it helpful? And as lillamy said...it's a program that applies to all areas of our lives.

All the best to you & yours!
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:24 PM
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Ok, Thx, that answers my question. One more question, would it be appropriate to go to a mtg. with her, so long as it were open? I see family members come to open AA mtgs a lot, mostly speaker mtgs. Not sure if Alanon has similar protocol?

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Old 11-22-2013, 06:28 PM
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I think it would be fine.
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Old 11-23-2013, 05:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Zube View Post
Would it be appropriate to go to a mtg. with her, so long as it were open? I see family members come to open AA mtgs a lot, mostly speaker mtgs. Not sure if Alanon has similar protocol?
Alanon has the same protocol as AA regarding open meetings, you're right. In fact, in my area, virtually all the Alanon open meetings are listed as "Open Alanon with AA participation", having a speaker from each team, as it were.

My RAH and I have attended some of these and find it helpful to hear another viewpoint; I'd imagine you might find the same w/your future wife.

I think it's great that you're thinking along these lines. My A was honest enough w/me when we first got together to tell me about his A background. He was drinking at the time, but not in a fashion that appeared to be a problem at all, and I somehow figured that was OK, even tho I had a little Alanon experience about 20 years earlier and probably should have known better. Had he/we gone to meetings either alone or together on occasion, I can't help but wonder how different the past 17 years would have been.

Again, kudos to you for thinking this way.
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Old 11-23-2013, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Zube View Post
Question: is Al-anon primarily for the family members of practicing alcoholics, recovering alcoholics, or both?

Let's say I'm 3 years into recovery and remarry. Would or should I encourage my new wife to go to Al-anon, or no?

Thanks,
Zube
As someone else already said, the principles of Al-Anon are helpful for maintaining a healthy emotional outlook for everyone.

To answer your question--I got rid of my alcoholic YEARS ago, and so I no longer have one close to me in my life, practicing or in recovery. Yet the person I am who allowed the alcoholic to run my life is still me--and that's the point I want you to understand.

Al-Anon is not about the alcoholic.

To answer your question, yes, I think a new wife/partner would benefit from Al-Anon, because by virtue of the fact that they are entering into a relationship with an alcoholic, there is something there within them that made them make that choice, and they will need every tool for living available.
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Old 11-23-2013, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by Zube View Post
Ok, Thx, that answers my question. One more question, would it be appropriate to go to a mtg. with her, so long as it were open? I see family members come to open AA mtgs a lot, mostly speaker mtgs. Not sure if Alanon has similar protocol?

Thanks,
Zube
It would be appropriate. And there are usually people at Al-Anon meetings who are both codependents and recovering alkies themselves.
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