12/2/08 BB To Wives pp 117-118 (workouts in the family)

The book Alcoholics Anonymous, aka The Big Book, is the basic text for the AA program of sobriety. "Alcoholics Anonymous" Copyright 2012 AAWS, Inc. All Rights, Reserved. Short excerpts used by permission of AAWS
Post Reply
User avatar
Karl R
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 3701
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2008 3:06 pm

12/2/08 BB To Wives pp 117-118 (workouts in the family)

Post by Karl R » Tue Dec 02, 2008 7:18 am

Good Day,

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace! That where there is hatred, I may bring love. That where there is wrong, I may bring the spirit of forgiveness. That where there is discord, I may bring harmony. That where there is error, I may bring truth. That where there is doubt, I may bring faith. That where there is despair, I may bring hope. That where there are shadows, I may bring light. That where there is sadness, I may bring joy. Lord, grant that I may seek rather to comfort, than to be comforted. To understand, than to be understood. To love, than to be loved. For it is by self-forgetting that one finds. It is by forgiving that one is forgiven. It is by dying that one awakens to Eternal Life.

Yesterday's text dealt with the possibility that all members of the family could work the solution together. Something all but lost in today's AA?

Today's text (below in red) speaks of the 'workouts' in the family. My family troubles did not magically go away once I got sober. They did not even go away once I started to make amends. What did change was my ability and skills at dealing with these workouts. If I surround myself with the disciplines of the 10th and 11th steps (practice these things in all my affairs-so to speak) things go much better. If I'm active in making living amends to my family (as well as actual ones)-things go much better.

This section of the big book applies not only to wives but to ourselves also.
I was glad that I found this section some time ago. It gives me a standard to work toward. "Patience, tolerance, understanding and love are the watchwords. Show him these things in yourself and they will be reflected back to you from him. Live and let live is the rule."

Anyone care to comment from their ES and H on "workouts" in the household?

Have a great Tuesday Trudge everyone,

If you and your husband find a solution for the pressing problem of drink you are, of course, going to be very happy. But all problems will not be solved at once. Seed has started to sprout in a new soil, but growth has only begun. In spite of your new-found happiness, there will be ups and downs. Many of the old problems will still be with you. This is as it should be.
The faith and sincerity of both you and your husband will be put to the test. These work-outs should be regarded as part of your education, for thus you will be learning to live. You will make mistakes, but if you are in earnest they will not drag you down. Instead, you will capitalize them. A better way of life will emerge when they are overcome.
Some of the snags you will encounter are irritation, hurt feelings and resentments. Your husband will sometimes be unreasonable and you will want to criticize. Starting from a speck on the domestic horizon, great thunderclouds of dispute may gather. These family dissensions are very dangerous, especially to your husband. Often you must carry the burden of avoiding them or keeping them under control. Never forget that resentment is a deadly hazard to an alcoholic. We do not mean that you have to agree with your husband whenever there is an honest difference of opinion. Just be careful not to disagree in a resentful or critical spirit.
You and your husband will find that you can dispose of serious problems easier than you can the trivial ones. Next time you and he have a heated discussion, no matter what the subject, it should be the privilege of either to smile and say, "This is getting serious. I'm sorry I got disturbed. Let's talk about it later." If your husband is trying to live on a spiritual basis, he will also be doing everything in his power to avoid disagreement or contention.
Your husband knows he owes you more than sobriety. He wants to make good. Yet you must not expect too much. His ways of thinking and doing are the habits of years. Patience, tolerance, understanding and love are the watchwords. Show him these things in yourself and they will be reflected back to you from him. Live and let live is the rule. If you both show a willingness to remedy your own defects, there will be little need to criticize each other.
We women carry with us a picture of the ideal man, the sort of chap we would like our husbands to be. It is the most natural thing in the world, once his liquor problem is solved, to feel that he will now measure up to that cherished vision. The chances are he will not for, like yourself, he is just beginning his development. Be patient.

User avatar
Forums Old Timer
Posts: 1885
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 4:55 am
Location: 200 miles south of Little Rock

Re: 12/2/08 BB To Wives pp 117-118 (workouts in the family)

Post by leejosepho » Tue Oct 13, 2015 2:54 am

Karl R wrote:..."workouts" in the household?
My wife and I each got started in A.A. at about the same time, and she ultimately ended up being the one who contributed the most toward making our "workouts" survivable. While both still drinking, we had married because I needed a place to live and she needed help with paying the rent...and thus did we soon begin accumulating a big pile of scrapes and messes -- no dead bodies, but we did once come close -- in our living room.

I do not recall ever actually blaming her for any of my troubles, but I certainly did expect her to do things my way so I could seem to feel okay even after we got sober. We divorced a few months later and yet still found ourselves in meetings together -- small town -- where a woman and her husband* who had once had a deal exactly like our own were able to help my wife display a level of love and patience far beyond my own capacity at that time. *He and I never communicated well, but that would be a different story!

My wife and I eventually remarried, and today it is truly a blessing that I still have a place to live and she still gets her rent paid...and like she had promised from the very beginning: "You make the living and I will make the living worthwhile!"
"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)

Post Reply