9th Step Amends to my husband’s mistress

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9th Step Amends to my husband’s mistress

Postby Blessed » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:30 am

Hello. About 10 years ago, my husband left me for his mistress. We are together again. In my 4th Step I listed her as a resentment. My sponsor now tells me I have to make amends to her. I am at a loss. I cannot imagine doing this. It almost seems cruel to me. I would appreciate any thoughts on this. Thinking of it makes me want to cry honestly.
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Re: 9th Step Amends to my husband’s mistress

Postby Brock » Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:24 am

What some sponsors come up with makes me want to cry as well. We can not look at the 4th step list and automatically transfer everything onto a 9th step list, we are making amends from the heart, for something we have done wrong to another person, for which we are sorry enough that it holds us back from growing emotionally and spiritually.

I don’t think a sponsor even has the right to suggest who we might make amends to, it has to come from us feeling sorry for something we have done, a sponsor should only advise where you are not sure whether doing so will injure others, or perhaps give an opinion on if a letter rather than a call might be better, general things like that.

I remember someone writing here, “I am sorry my face got in the way of your fist,” as a sort of joke on the idea of making amends to people who have hurt you, but in which you are not to blame. Or if there is any blame to be found in order to complete the 4th column on step 4, it may be finding something we might have done to avoid the situation from occurring, but not something we have done which hurt the other person. For example, one of my larger resentments was against my brother, he stole a large sum from a business we jointly owned, and not for necessary stuff, but for luxuries I could not afford myself, and it busted the business. I managed to find my part in it by admitting that I should have kept better accounting practices, but the idea of apologizing to him for not doing so is ridiculous.

I hope you tell your sponsor no way on this, and if she gets upset, I hope you find someone with a little more common sense for a sponsor.
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Re: 9th Step Amends to my husband’s mistress

Postby Blessed » Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:59 am

Thank you so much Brock. I’m truly grateful. I thought it was me. Again, thank you.
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Re: 9th Step Amends to my husband’s mistress

Postby Layne » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:23 am

"except when to do so would injure them or others."

You are included on the list of others. Would it injure you? Also an amends doesn't mean the same thing as an apology, so the two don't always go hand and hand. It quite possible that a personal apology is not owed in an amends.

When my mother passed away, my relationship with my sister underwent changes. I do not owe my sister an apology for her behavior. I do need to continue to mend my psyche because of the anger and hurt that I developed as a result. I dealt myself a serious blow. In working on my amends, I am opening channels in my wounded heart to allow it to heal so I can continue to become the man my soul wants me to be. I owe myself and my higher power an apology for the harm done.

The goal is not to be better than the other man, but your previous self.
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Re: 9th Step Amends to my husband’s mistress

Postby Spirit Flower » Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:01 am

I think it is wise to deal with the resentment. After all, the resentment hurts you.

As to step 9, did you hurt her? If yes, then make amends for that. Otherwise, if she hurt you, then pray for her.

Then study both the Big Book and 12x12 steps 4 - 9 and see what you need to do to clear away the wreckage of the past.
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Re: 9th Step Amends to my husband’s mistress

Postby Blue Moon » Wed Sep 05, 2018 10:14 am

Blessed wrote:Hello. About 10 years ago, my husband left me for his mistress. We are together again. In my 4th Step I listed her as a resentment. My sponsor now tells me I have to make amends to her. I am at a loss. I cannot imagine doing this. It almost seems cruel to me. I would appreciate any thoughts on this. Thinking of it makes me want to cry honestly.


I have read the other comments here, and ISTM they are jumping to conclusions here. Did your sponsor explain why you need to make amends? What are you to make amends for? What was "your part" that you unearthed in Step 4?

For example, if you had punched her, you probably owe an amends to help pay the hospital bill that she incurred.

However, if you honestly did nothing wrong to her, no amends is due to her. But that's not to say we get off the hook ... you may owe other amends for making alcohol your lover long before anyone else strayed.
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Re: 9th Step Amends to my husband’s mistress

Postby PaigeB » Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:55 pm

The instructions also say that some amends may be put off. "And there may be a valid reason for postponement in some cases. But we don't delay if it can be avoided."

If you are crying, then you may not have a balanced view. See the end of Step 7 in the 12 and 12.
"We should avoid extreme judgments, both of ourselves and of others involved. We must not exaggerate our defects or theirs. A quiet, objective view will be our steadfast aim."

There are many personal attributes we need when we get to Step Nine.
Page 83 Big Book: We should be sensible, tactful, considerate and humble without being servile or scraping. As God's people we stand on our feet; we don't crawl before anyone.

Also the 12 & 12 ~ ironically, also page 83 ~ gives us a few more: GOOD judgment, a careful sense of timing, courage, and prudence—these are the qualities we shall need when we take Step Nine. In fact they are the first words of that chapter.

So give the Instruction books another go over - maybe look back at Steps 6 & 7. Both the Big Book and the 12 and 12 can be found online here:
https://www.aa.org/pages/en_US/read-the ... traditions
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Re: 9th Step Amends to my husband’s mistress

Postby D'oh » Wed Sep 05, 2018 4:11 pm

Spirit Flower wrote:I think it is wise to deal with the resentment. After all, the resentment hurts you.

As to step 9, did you hurt her? If yes, then make amends for that. Otherwise, if she hurt you, then pray for her.

Then study both the Big Book and 12x12 steps 4 - 9 and see what you need to do to clear away the wreckage of the past.

I am on this angle of it. The Inventory is Yours, not Hers. Even if Her Defects might be Glaring, the Resentment is Yours and always will be unless you do something about it. Proof is, the fact her name appeared in your 4th Step.

Page 83 starts "Yes there is a long period of reconstruction ahead, We MUST take the lead."

My Sponsor, swore about the "Musts" in the BB as a way to the "Promises". Ask in your Meditation, the Answer will come.
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Re: 9th Step Amends to my husband’s mistress

Postby avaneesh912 » Thu Sep 06, 2018 3:39 am

Hello. About 10 years ago, my husband left me for his mistress. We are together again. In my 4th Step I listed her as a resentment. My sponsor now tells me I have to make amends to her. I am at a loss. I cannot imagine doing this. It almost seems cruel to me. I would appreciate any thoughts on this. Thinking of it makes me want to cry honestly.


If you had harmed her some shape or form, you may have to. It could have been snide comments, gossip, name calling or sometime physical. Otherwise, if it was just your own resentment, I would say just drop the resentment and move on.
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Re: 9th Step Amends to my husband’s mistress

Postby cpr123 » Sun Sep 16, 2018 12:49 am

"We turned back to the list, for it held the key to the future. We were prepared to look at it from an entirely different angle. We began to see that the world and its people really dominated us. In that state, the wrong-doing of others, fancied or real, had power to actually kill. How could we escape? We saw that these resentments must be mastered, but how? We could not wish them away any more than alcohol.

This was our course: We realized that the people who wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick.

Though we did not like their symptoms and the way these disturbed us, they, like ourselves, were sick too. We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend. When a person offended we said to ourselves, “This is a sick man. How can I be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done.’’
We avoid retaliation or argument. We wouldn’t treat sick people that way. If we do, we destroy our chance of being helpful. We cannot be helpful to all people, but at least God will show us how to take a kindly and tolerant view of each and every one."

This is also part of the 4th step and it is what I would think the desired course of action would be.
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