Is my husband addicted to sponsoring?

Most of us who recovered with AA's program did so with the help of a "sponsor". But what is sponsorship? How do I get one? Who can be a sponsor? What makes a good sponsor?

Re: Is my husband addicted to sponsoring?

Postby clouds » Sat Oct 22, 2016 5:20 am

Grace, I know this time has held a lot of heartbreak for you. I feel sad too that the AA life can be twisted around into something that harms the family of an active AA member. It points out to me how important the suggestions in our literature are, so we in AA may do the right things that lead to a better fuller life in sobriety.

I'm so glad you posted this question. Its edifying to know of you and how you coped with the situation.

I got a sponsor within a few months after attending AA meetings, I'm female and I sought out a married woman like myself, who had several years of sobriety. She told me how to do the 12 steps which I followed through with. After about a year I moved to another town and as I joined a new group and began to do some service work I haven't gotten another sponsor.

Our program tells us, many times, that our true dependence is not on people, that no human power can remove our alcoholism, and that we must form a relationship with a Higher Power and keep in conscious contact with that power as much as possible. I myself can't see how humans can give us the strength, courage and wisdom to carry on a sober life. I'm of the opinion that too much dependence on others for any longer than to learn the spiritual principles of the new way of living would alwys be frought with conflicts and difficulties.

I sure couldn't live with the situation you described and I love to do service in AA myself. My current second husband is involved in helping others, but just men, bothers me not at all. I feel happy whenever he attends meetings and helps those guys.
It would not be the same if he was talking to women on the phone or sponsored a woman.

I can see that what happened in your marraige to your husband as inevitable, he didn't see the light and seems as if he is blind.
I'm sure this will someday be looked back upon by you as the best possible thing for you to begin a new life free from the conflict he brought into your life.

May I wish you all the best, you deserve it.
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: Is my husband addicted to sponsoring?

Postby Blue Moon » Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:54 pm

Gracekt wrote:When brought up to him he responded as though it was evidence that God did not want him to stop doing it. He has told me this is his mission in life. It is a gift God has given him and he must be about his work.


There's a big difference between God's will, and rationalising self-will. Unfortunately, many ills in this world are caused by people doing the latter whilst seriously believing they're doing the former. Sponsoring women is not the problem, per se ... ego is driving the bus, so it would have found a way to manifest itself one way or another. You may well be better off keeping your distance, because sooner or later his own BS will catch up with him and nobody can predict how that will turn out.
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Re: Is my husband addicted to sponsoring?

Postby Gracekt » Sun Nov 27, 2016 2:46 am

Thank you for your responses. It has been difficult to stay away from him. But I have finally managed to have no contact for over a week now. It is a good thing. My mind is clearer and I can see the dis function so much better. It also feels good not begging for his love and approval. However it is still very painful and I do love him very much.

I have tried for several weeks to help him see the dis function. I know this is not advised, however I think for me I do feel now that I have done everything in my power to help him and now I absolutely must turn him over to God. I do intend to pray for him daily as I move on with my life.

Yes I do believe that ego is driving the bus. Which makes me feel bad for him because I wonder what made him feel the need to be driven by ego to make himself feel like he counts in life.

I am really very weary with all of this.

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Re: Is my husband addicted to sponsoring?

Postby clouds » Sun Nov 27, 2016 6:10 am

Gracekt wrote:
I have tried for several weeks to help him see the dis function. I know this is not advised, however I think for me I do feel now that I have done everything in my power to help him and now I absolutely must turn him over to God. I do intend to pray for him daily as I move on with my life.


Agreed. Sometimes the last step before letting go is doing everything in our power to help.
No regrets this way.

Thank you for sharing your progress, strength and hope. I'm sure there will be others who may be helped by your experience.
" Burn the idea into the consciousness of every man that he can get well regardless of anyone. The only condition is that he trust in God and clean house." page 98 A.A.
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Re: Is my husband addicted to sponsoring?

Postby Tosh » Thu Dec 01, 2016 5:47 am

You sound lovely, Grace.

He needs a kick in the pants.

I wish I had some better words.

Regards

Tosh
Come, come, whoever you are. Wanderer, worshiper, lover of leaving. It doesn't matter. Ours is not a caravan of despair. Come, even if you have broken your vows a thousand times. Come, yet again, come, come.” Rumi (No sniggering from the sex addicts)
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Re: Is my husband addicted to sponsoring?

Postby tomsteve » Wed Dec 07, 2016 6:39 am

sorry to read the problem, but also glad to read that youre not making this mans actions a reflection of AA.
heres a lil something from the big book:

None of us makes a sole vocation of this work, nor do we think its effectiveness would be increased if we did. We feel that elimination of our drinking is but a beginning. A much more important demonstration of our principles lies before us in our respective homes, occupations and affairs. All of us spend much of our SPARE time in the sort of effort which we are going to describe.

glad to read youre takin care of you!
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Re: Is my husband addicted to sponsoring?

Postby Gracekt » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:00 am

Well it has been just over 4 months that I have been separated from my husband. The good news is that it has gotten easier to be apart and my mind has become so much clearer. When I am around him I feel to second guess my own mind. He talks so confidently and sure about his choices. He also talks about how great things were when we were together. All I can think is......they were good for him because he had the best of all worlds. He got to have the love and attention of a devoted wife but did not devote himself to the marriage in the same way. I have told him before that we were not having the same experience. It is the craziest thing to me because he just acts so confused. If I try to spell things out for him and show him how we were experiencing different things he gets angry and feels like I am picking on him. He is such an intelligent human being it just baffles me. For a while he started acting like he kind of liked the separation arrangement. He could go live his life then come visit now and then to get a piece of the loving family that he missed so bad. My kids are teenagers and older. ( None are his) They all ( eight of them) love him and have been quite settled to have him as their step dad. He would come visit and wrap his arms around them and give them longs hugs. But later my 17 year old asked if he could not come over anymore. She feels very angry that he just "threw" us away. Other of the kids expressed the same thing. It made me stop and re-evaluate the situation. And so I made the decision that he was not to come over and disrupt the kids lives. ( or mine for that matter) It was devastating for him. The kids are much happier about that and quite frankly so am I.

In being away from him and with a clearer mind I have been able to see the break down of the relationship. What I noticed the most in retrospect is that my husband never addresses his own problems, feelings or emotions. He is brilliant at helping others identify and work through theirs but he doesnt even acknowledge his own let alone get help or do work on it. I have even opened the door many times for him when I can tell he is definitely having a problem with something. But he always denies it as though "he" could never stoop so low as to have those feelings. I used to believe him and think I just misinterpreted his actions. Now I see that I was probably spot on many of times ( not always of course). What breaks my heart is this wall he has built up. Why is he so petrified to talk about these feelings and emotions? How does this serve him? He defends his right to sponsor women as though he is defending his life! And when I am not with him and I think of that I feel so much compassion for him because I know that there is something buried deep inside that he has hung this whole activity on to sustain him.

I wish I knew how to help him. Letting him go just about broke me in two. But it didnt! I am still here standing. I know that I deserve to be treated better than what he has given me. I know that moving on and setting goals in my life is very important. And I am doing that. It isnt easy because everything I want to do I want to include him. But I am finally visualizing my life without him and more importantly I am starting to visualize myself with someone who values a devoted partner and gives the same in return.

The anger I have had over this situation seems to have left my soul. I am so grateful for this. I now realize that if sponsoring women is what makes him happy then thats what I want him to do. I truly want him to be happy. I feel like I can be his friend or acquaintance now without bursting into little fits of anger. I have come to understand that clearly we do not want the same things in life nor do we want to live the same way. That matters to me for the most part. I love and celebrate differences. But some differences just do not work. Thats been a hard lesson for me.

2 and 3 months ago the pain from this situation was so great that I did not know how my physical body could bear it. Through the help of my God I have been able to get to a better place in my life. A place where hope lives and dreams are alive and well. I have a long way to go. But I am getting there. Humans are amazing and I am proud to be one of them. Never give up on yourself or god. We all have so much to live for and much to contribute to this great thing we call life!!!
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Re: Is my husband addicted to sponsoring?

Postby Noels » Wed Jan 11, 2017 3:38 am

Wow what a share! Thanks Grace :D I am sooooo glad to hear you are so positive! Absolutely wonderful indeed!

The most amazing peace and joy comes with the realization that we don't NEED anyone in our lives to be happy or complete. So when someone does enter our life and we choose to be with that person we are already whole and complete so we can concentrate and enjoy the relationship not on the basis of "what I can get out of it" but rather on "what I can bring to it". Completely different. So well done, I'm proud and happy for you.

My kids are teenagers and older. ( None are his) They all ( eight of them)
Since he is not the biological father of the children and especially since they are old enough to have decided that they would rather he not visit anymore I cant see a problem with that. I do suggest though that "Pandora's box" get a rest now. 8 is plenty! Divorce to me (when no kids involved) is final. I personally did not stay friends with my ex but then you're not quite divorced yet hey :)

Anyways, absolutely fabulous to hear you in such great spirits! Keep doing what you're doing cause its clearly working.

Lotsa Love, mwah xxx Noels
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Re: Is my husband addicted to sponsoring?

Postby Blue Moon » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:19 am

Hi, did you go to Alanon? I see a lot about what he's not doing, but little about what you are. Physical separation is a big step, of course, but I'm curious how you deal with your emotional self - given that you say he doesn't deal with his (which I take to mean, you don't see it ... most men process and deal with things differently from most women, even if some women wish they didn't).

IME we don't "see" what's wrong until we take the Steps thru 8th or 9th and, in so doing, gradually become more open to another's POV. The fact that he's so confused implies he either hasn't worked those, or maybe has other psychological issues going on that Steps alone won't resolve. Either way, it's his life.

Is a bit sad that he somehow can't see or address it properly, but nothing anyone can do about that unless he asks for help. The very fact that he gets so defensive about his behaviour indicates that, deep down, he knows he's doing wrong. We never need to defend doing the right thing, we just quietly get on and do it.
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Re: Is my husband addicted to sponsoring?

Postby avaneesh912 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 6:50 am

The anger I have had over this situation seems to have left my soul.


Thats nice. Sometimes we have to grow apart after realization. I know it sounds bad. It takes 2 to tango. I always look to 3 options Eckhart talks about when resolving the issue. Try to change, Stay but absorb the pain, or get out. Of course for alcoholism its only 2. I guess the 3rd is to be dead. Good luck with your journey. You never know. After you left, may be it would have awakened him or it would have driven him into further disfunction. Which ultimately is good, it will help him see the in-sanity like he saw in his drinking.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
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Re: Is my husband addicted to sponsoring?

Postby Gracekt » Wed Jan 11, 2017 1:25 pm

Blue moon.....In answer to your question. I have not gone to an al anon group but have joined one online and between reading all the experiences on there and responses to my share it gave me a very good picture of what I was dealing with. It also taught me that I must move forward with my life whether he wants to move along with me or not. I also have done extensive research on other subjects like "Addiction to praise", "Addiction to the attention of women", Codependency, and a couple of other subjects. I have also studied more about sponsorship do's and dont's etc... I really felt like I needed to understand where he was coming from pertaining to the AA program. I thought maybe I was way off base expecting him to not sponsor women. So I knew I needed to become a little bit educated about the program. But mostly I have been on my knees praying for guidance and understanding. I felt that only through god could I let go of the pain and anger.
And yes my sweet husband does have other physiological issues. He is African American from south central LA. While he had amazing parents he made choices ( involvement in a gang ) that scarred his young life. He had an experience during the writing of inventory where he realized he hated white people. He was shocked. He didnt know he hated white people. He felt like he healed from that but I know he hasnt. Every once in awhile he lets out a line of conversation about white men that would shock anyone! ( I am white) He does not understand the importance of keeping promises or following rules. He has broken just about every promise he ever made to me. ( this is before the split) When I try to talk to him about it he looks at me like I am crazy and his best answer so far to breaking his promises is....dont you think I should be true to myself? Now keep in mind that this man is a kind soul. He loves people and spends his life trying to do for others. He works hard and he provided well for us when he was with us. But it seemed like anything that involved a marriage. ......making important decisions, finances, large purchases, our time, etc....he found it odd that he should need to consult with me about these things. There are other things that concerned me but honestly I was okay with all of that because I love him so dearly. I wanted to be the person to be there for him as he worked through those things on his time when he was ready and if he wanted to. The thing with the sponsoring women was different. I am not willing to wait for him to work it out on his time. But even worse than that is the way he interacts around women in general. He always looks like he is grooming them. It is very embarrassing to be around as his wife.
Noels......Thank you for your encouraging words. It is quite the journey I am on and I am grateful for the experiences. I now know a little bit about a part of life I had no experience with. ( addiction) I think some of the most precious souls are prone to addiction and I feel blessed and honored to know some of them. Their strength of spirit and perseverance is humbling to me.
avaneesh912........Yeah I have never been one to absorb the pain. It just does not make sense to me especially if I can see that it is enabling a dysfunctional situation. I have a tender soul and have to work hard to keep things in balance. So if my partner isnt willing to work on things with me when it concerns our relationship then I must get out. And I do believe that there will be an awakening at some point for him. But either way I think I will be okay.
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Re: Is my husband addicted to sponsoring?

Postby Blue Moon » Thu Jan 12, 2017 5:41 pm

Gracekt wrote:Blue moon.....In answer to your question. I have not gone to an al anon group but have joined one online


OK so you did go to Alanon ... online :) I agree it's always useful to get insight into what's going on. That can help to make it a bit less scary and "unknown", but also empower us to do what we need to do. It is hard to carry out the choices we make when we don't like having to make them. You also mentioned codependency .... very common among alcoholics and alanons alike. This is mainly why I asked .... we're each destined to repeat old patterns until we learn from them.
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Re: Is my husband addicted to sponsoring?

Postby Lali » Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:05 pm

Good for you, Grace. You seem to be handling this very maturely and with good insight of the problem your husband has.
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Re: Is my husband addicted to sponsoring?

Postby Gracekt » Sat Aug 12, 2017 9:31 pm

Just thought I would update my post.

It has nearly been 1 year since my husband left when I asked him to stop sponsoring women in AA. I can not tell you how many times over the past year he said he would stop but then within 24 hours he went back on his word. Thankfully I found this group and an alonon group that gave me a lot of insight. The most important being that i was to go on with my life. That probably saved my life. The insanity in my husbands brain just about made me insane. I did a lot of research on addiction and narcissism and felt I was reading the story of my husbands life It made me angry that something could have such a hold on my husband and I couldn't help him. The only way it would work between us was if I would join his delusions with him. I couldn't do that so we filed for divorce and it became final this week. This experience has just broken my heart. I dont hardly know what to do next. I feel like I am just going through the motions this week hoping that I will have a desire to continue the important things in my life. ( I know I will but it doesn't feel like it today) I feel like a part of me died inside. Before the court appearance we shared the good memories of our short time together. ( 2 and a half years) It seemed to help a little. Addiction is so powerful I can see the confusion, pain and struggles in my husband. He said he has never known love like ours. That I am his greatest love. And yet he can not pull away from his new addiction to have a life with me.
I began seeing someone a couple months ago so I could start moving my life forward. He is a beautiful man who doesn't drink. He cares about me deeply and is very attentive to my needs. He knew my situation and was very supportive of whatever I needed to do. I can see myself falling in love him someday and possibly having a life with him. For this I am very grateful. But today I hurt.
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Re: Is my husband addicted to sponsoring?

Postby PaigeB » Sun Aug 13, 2017 8:47 am

Yes. A part of you HAS died. But as they say, "death to eternal life" I think also applies to these little ending in phases of our lives. And it hurts, of course it does. You are only human sheesh!

My suggestion is to treat yourself like you would treat a friend in this situation. Take her out for a mani-pedi or eat some ice cream. Not to get lost in the fantasies of what might have been, but to celebrate new beginnings. You have a new job - a new purpose in life. Pray that you will have eyes open to all the opportunities to help other women.

Good Luck and Good Love!
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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