Marrying a female recovering alcoholic

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matai
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Marrying a female recovering alcoholic

Post by matai » Tue Nov 01, 2011 9:15 pm

I'm getting married in a few weeks to a female recovering alcoholic.

There's been two incidents in the last few days where she was set on drinking again. She will shut down and obsess about drinking because she can't handle the stress. I've had to basically hold her until she decided to go to bed or give up on leaving the house to go get some wine.

Both these incidents were triggered by a conversation gone wrong. I think it would have been fine but with the stress, lack of sleep and frustration of the wedding it's just more difficult.

Does anybody have any tips or advice for being in a relationship with a female recovering alcoholic? I'd love any suggestions of literature as well.

I frequently go to AA meetings with her and try to be open to talk about how she feels. I'd just really like to be able to understand her better.

Thanks!

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ann2
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Re: Marrying a female recovering alcoholic

Post by ann2 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 1:05 am

My advice is that you attend Al-Anon meetings and discuss this with the people there. I have had a lot of stress in my life while sober, but I don't remember ever having to be physically held to prevent me from going out to buy a drink, so I am not able to give any advice regarding your fiancée. I hope she is in close contact with her sponsor.

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

RustyS
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Re: Marrying a female recovering alcoholic

Post by RustyS » Wed Nov 02, 2011 5:55 am

Hi Matai,

My father was an alcoholic, I am an alcoholic, and my daughter is an addict. Like Ann2, I recommend attending some Al-Anon meetings. You will meet other people there who are in relationships with alcoholics and addicts. I attend both AA meetings and Al-Anon meetings. Good luck.

Thanks,
Rusty

Lali
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Re: Marrying a female recovering alcoholic

Post by Lali » Wed Nov 02, 2011 8:12 am

There are so many factors to consider. Like how long has she been sober? Is she working the program? Does she have a sponsor? Can the two of you sit down and talk to her sponsor to find out if your girlfriend has been honest with you? I was the bride-to-be in this situation and I don't think it worked out well for my ex-husband although he had a lot of baggage that he brought into the relationship too. I think he thought he could fix me. He couldn't. Any chance on postponing the wedding until all things have been considered?
Step 1: I can't
Step 2: He can
Step 3: I think I'll let him

matai
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Re: Marrying a female recovering alcoholic

Post by matai » Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:43 am

Lali wrote:There are so many factors to consider. Like how long has she been sober? Is she working the program? Does she have a sponsor? Can the two of you sit down and talk to her sponsor to find out if your girlfriend has been honest with you? I was the bride-to-be in this situation and I don't think it worked out well for my ex-husband although he had a lot of baggage that he brought into the relationship too. I think he thought he could fix me. He couldn't. Any chance on postponing the wedding until all things have been considered?
She's been sober about 6 months. She goes to AA 3 times a week and is working the program. She does have a sponsor that I know and am in contact with.

I'm very interested in learning how to get her to "snap out of it" when she's obsessing about drinking. It's like she's a different person and is kinda scary. I try to talk to her and tell her I lover her but she just says she wants to go for a walk (to the bar) alone. When she's like this she doesn't listen to reason or anything, everything I say will be twisted and misunderstood.

Layne
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Re: Marrying a female recovering alcoholic

Post by Layne » Wed Nov 02, 2011 9:58 am

I'm very interested in learning how to get her to "snap out of it" when she's obsessing about drinking.
The very best way for you to learn about this is to attend Al-Anon meetings. They can offer tremendous insight and solutions. I am sure that my wife (as the spouse of an alcoholic) would agree.

matai
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Re: Marrying a female recovering alcoholic

Post by matai » Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:18 am

Layne wrote:
I'm very interested in learning how to get her to "snap out of it" when she's obsessing about drinking.
The very best way for you to learn about this is to attend Al-Anon meetings. They can offer tremendous insight and solutions. I am sure that wife (as the spouse of an alcoholic) would agree.
Definitely going to go to Al-Anon meetings. They have them locally at the same time and place as AA.

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ann2
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Re: Marrying a female recovering alcoholic

Post by ann2 » Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:28 am

That's really great. Glad to hear you are willing to make some effort for the relationship to work. And I have a lot of respect for the Al-Anon program.

But it's not anyone's job to get an alcoholic to snap out of it, I'm afraid. I have one story I can relate, perhaps I have already done so here, so everyone else please talk amongst yourselves . . .

An alcoholic I know shared that when he was actively drinking he remembered once being in his mother's house so blotted that he drunkenly with rage or frustration upended her kitchen table. His mother, who was attending Al-Anon, quietly left the room. It was only years later in recovery that the alcoholic realized that his mother had gone to another room to pray.

He was sober and could understand the effort she went into not yelling at him, freaking out or dissolving into tears in front of him. He was in conscious contact with a power greater than himself in recovery, as she was when he was drinking -- she demonstrated to him, in fact, that his drinking didn't have control over her with her action, even though he didn't understand it at the time.

It was definitely a factor in his becoming open to AA.

Al-Anon rocks.

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

matai
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Re: Marrying a female recovering alcoholic

Post by matai » Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:48 am

Thanks so much!

Also, another question. She has a close male friend who is also in AA who relies on her and confides in her. I've been feeling that a single guy confiding to a soon to be married woman may be inappropriate. Is this kind of relationship common in AA?

happycamper
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Re: Marrying a female recovering alcoholic

Post by happycamper » Wed Nov 02, 2011 2:07 pm

For you Matai ... Alanon.

And in my opinion, No, the guy confiding in your soon to be wife is not normal and he should find a male member to share with. Im surprized your wife's sponsor hasn't suggested she stick with women in the program. I know my sponsor told me this from the 'get-go'.
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Re: Marrying a female recovering alcoholic

Post by RustyS » Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:32 am

matai wrote:Also, another question. She has a close male friend who is also in AA who relies on her and confides in her. I've been feeling that a single guy confiding to a soon to be married woman may be inappropriate. Is this kind of relationship common in AA?
No, I don't think so. On my first day at AA, my group passed around a Big Book and many of the men wrote their first name and phone number in it. No women wrote their name or number in it.

All sponsors in my group are same sex as their sponsees.

I'll leave it to the more experienced members here to tell you more, but I think your suspicions are well founded.

Thanks,
Rusty

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leejosepho
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Re: Marrying a female recovering alcoholic

Post by leejosepho » Thu Nov 03, 2011 7:39 am

matai wrote:I'm getting married in a few weeks to a female recovering alcoholic.

There's been two incidents in the last few days where she was set on drinking again ...

Both these incidents were triggered by a conversation gone wrong. I think it would have been fine but with the stress, lack of sleep and frustration of the wedding it's just more difficult.
You would do well to postpone the wedding. The wedding might be what seems to be making things more difficult today, but there will just be something else to deal with in the days yet ahead ... and the two of you will not survive unless/until you learn to walk the same spiritual path together. So, the challenge for you is to take the Steps yourself so you can actually help "lead the way" in the days yet ahead.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

Layne
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Re: Marrying a female recovering alcoholic

Post by Layne » Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:20 am

A couple of people on this thread have recommended postponing the wedding. I would like to caution that dispensing this manner of advice falls way outside the realm of ESH. It is fairly presumptuous and potentially harmful for anyone to espouse advice on what is better for anyone else. I can barely run my own life, much less tell anyone else how to run theirs. I can however tell them my past and my hopes for the future.

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leejosepho
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Re: Marrying a female recovering alcoholic

Post by leejosepho » Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:36 am

Layne wrote:A couple of people on this thread have recommended postponing the wedding. I would like to caution that dispensing this manner of advice falls way outside the realm of ESH.
Not mine. My second wife is now also my third, and that only became possible after we had finally began learning to walk together on a common spiritual path.
=======================
"We A.A.s do not *stay* away from drinking [one day at a
time] -- we *grow* away from drinking [one day at a time]."
("Lois Remembers", page 168, quoting Bill, emphasis added)
=======================

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ann2
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Re: Marrying a female recovering alcoholic

Post by ann2 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 8:51 am

I am a recovering alcoholic woman with experience having close male friends and no, it didn't help the relationship. I have the opportunity to have close male friends in my regular f2f meeting and it's something I stand back from, simply because I recognize a problem with that.

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

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