Husband's AA involvement

If you're not an alcoholic but have questions about AA, here's the place to ask them. Anyone may post messages and replies in this forum.
Post Reply
ConfusedByIt
Forums Newcomer
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:51 am

Husband's AA involvement

Post by ConfusedByIt » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:28 am

I am looking for the opinion of others on a situation I have encountered in my marriage, my husband has been sober 15+ years, we met after he had many years of sobriety and I never knew him when he drank. I have always been supportive of his involvement in AA, he attends meetings regularly and participates in groups & commitments. I also acknowledge his anniversary each year. However, he has never asked me to attend an open meeting or one of his anniversaries. I have expressed interest in learning more about this part of his life, but he has never allowed me to do so. This has become painful for me to feel excluded.
What are others opinions on this? Has anyone encountered a similar situation?

User avatar
avaneesh912
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 5167
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Husband's AA involvement

Post by avaneesh912 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:42 pm

You probably need to check with Alanon or some other fellowships. I could only share my experience strength and hope. My wife did not what to have anything the program of AA, so really can't be of much use to you. Perhaps other members have different experience. Like I pointed out, you will be better off trying fellowship other than AA where you could find people in similar boat.
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)

User avatar
Karl R
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 3701
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:06 pm

Re: Husband's AA involvement

Post by Karl R » Mon Apr 04, 2011 1:55 pm

Hello,

Like Avaneesh my wife did not and still does not want much to do with AA as a fellowship or institution. We do, however, talk quite frequently about the AA program since she has, on her own, adopted many of the spiritual principles of the AA and alanon programs. And sometimes when she see's a difference in my reactions or outlooks she will make an inquiry-Usually prefaced with "WHO ARE YOU". She's a smart gal and a wonderful partner.

So.....I don't have much to offer you in the way of experience.

A couple questions....

Do you feel something out of balance in your life together? I know that there have been and still are times in my life with my wife when I let my AA program become out of balance in terms of time and resources I devote to my family relationships. Out basic textbook "alcoholics anonymous" talks about this in one of it's chapters.


and

Have you asked him to take you to one of his "open" meetings? Have you had the open conversation with him? It took my wife a while to have the conversation about this with me.

Anyway....welcome here.......

regards,
Karl

ConfusedByIt
Forums Newcomer
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:51 am

Re: Husband's AA involvement

Post by ConfusedByIt » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:40 pm

Thank you both for your reponses, I appreciate them.

Avaneesh, I had not considered Alanon, mainly because I have never had to struggle with my husband's drinking, but rather his sobriety, I wasn't sure if Alanon could be helpful, but now I think it may be.

Karl R, I actually don't want much involvement in AA either, I am not looking to regularly attend meetings with my husband or interfere with his sobriety. I have expressed curiousity many times over the years about meetings and expressed a desire to hear him speak or be able to attend his anniverary. However, he has never once asked me to in any way be a part of it and the feeling of exclusion is painful. I suppose I have never actually asked him to take me to an open meeting, because I have always wanted him to ask me, otherwise I will feel he doesn't want me there. I discussed these feelings with him recently in a very open manner, without much progress.

Is it common for people to celebrate anniversaries in AA without their spouse?

User avatar
avaneesh912
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 5167
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: Husband's AA involvement

Post by avaneesh912 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 2:58 pm

Occasionally, i have seen a man or woman bring her whole family even the extended ones sister/brother/parents but mostly its the individuals. One of the members i know, don't even pick up an anniversary chip because he thinks its nothing he did to celebrate, its all gods grace.

I would strongly suggest you to continue to have open honest discussion with your husband. And yes Alanon will be a great avenue for you to take on a spiritual life for yourself. End of the day its about "love and tolerance". Does not matter if you are an alcoholic or non-alcoholic.
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)

User avatar
ann2
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 7941
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 2:01 am
Location: Somewhere in Sweden

Re: Husband's AA involvement

Post by ann2 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:55 am

You can learn alot about AA without your husband's approval. Read our literature, go to open meetings on your own if you want.

Many spouses discover that they in fact are alcoholic when they started the relationship thinking it was only the other one :-)

Al-Anon is DEFINITELY for loved ones of sober alcoholics as well as active ones. Alkies are no fun to be with for lots of reasons, not only their drinking.

And if you are waiting on your husband's okay, I would suspect there is a little bit of you that will find help in Al-Anon.

Let me know if I can clarify any of this,

Ann
"If I don't take twenty walks, Billy Beane send me to Mexico" -- Miguel Tejada

Lali
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 4296
Joined: Sat Jan 31, 2009 8:13 am

Re: Husband's AA involvement

Post by Lali » Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:38 pm

I would sit down with my husband and be firm with him, no wishy washiness or beating around the bush. I would tell him that I would like to attend some open meetings and his anniversaries. If he says no, I would tell him that I would like to know why.
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him

User avatar
Blue Moon
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 3676
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New Jersey

Re: Husband's AA involvement

Post by Blue Moon » Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:36 pm

I would also suggest alanon - you have a problem with the effects of your husband's drinking, because if he never drank he'd never have landed in AA.

I think of AA as akin to a "guy thing" - all or nothing. If I was into fishing or baseball and my wife wanted to show an interest, it might not work too well if she just wanted to be an occasional casual observer.

My wife accompanied me a few times to an anniversary ... always slightly awkward because, by its very nature, what she sees is not my typical participation at a meeting. I don't "get" those who bring along all their kids, siblings, et al.
Ian S
AKA Blue Moon

sassyjan
Forums Newcomer
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2014 3:07 pm

Re: Husband's AA involvement

Post by sassyjan » Mon Dec 08, 2014 12:48 pm

My ex-husband, now deceased, was in AA. I tried attending some meetings with him; I was anxious to listen and talk in the meetings. He wasn't pleased at all that I was vocal and actually told me in front of the group "that's enough". He wanted me to sit there and not participate when it came our turn. He wanted me to just listen and not talk. I would ask him why he didn't want me to go if I were you.

kenyal
Forums Long Timer
Posts: 560
Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 5:17 am

Re: Husband's AA involvement

Post by kenyal » Mon Dec 08, 2014 3:37 pm

What Lali said...

My group attended picnics together, theatre productions, supported members when they spoke out of town, conventions, and the group had seasonal parties at members homes. Nonalcoholic spouses were always in attendance. Through the years several became good friends and did things on their own without the AAs involvement.

He may be of the understanding that you would not want to be a part of his AA circle, as some spouses just want the alcoholic to take care of themselves and not bother them with it.

Yeah, an honest talk is indicated.

User avatar
PaigeB
Trusted Servant
Posts: 8334
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:28 pm
Location: Iowa USA

Re: Husband's AA involvement

Post by PaigeB » Mon Dec 08, 2014 4:27 pm

http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/home

It does not matter whether your husband likes it or if he loves it or if he has no opinion. Alanon is for the person who loves an alcoholic, even if they have passed away. Each of us travels our own road and AA and Alanon are personal journeys that we choose for ourselves.

Go and meet some people that understand you. That is what I do!
Step 6 is "AA's way of stating, the best possible attitude one can take in order to make a beginning on this lifetime job... with most of them we shall have to be content with patient improvement." 12&12 Step Six, p.65

Post Reply