12/4/08 BB To Wives pp 120-121 (the relapsed husband)

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

12/4/08 BB To Wives pp 120-121 (the relapsed husband)

Postby Karl R » Thu Dec 04, 2008 7:50 am

Good Morning,

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Yesterday's text spoke of jealousys which may arise within a home during recovery. The spouse is urged to look instead at "an undreamed of future" that is happening in the now.

Today's text (below in red) speaks of the husband who suddenly relapses.
The spouse is urged to avoid fear, intolerence, or dismay but is instead urged to keep helping to work toward the fundamentals-our program of recovery and to place the situation in the hands of a HP. Not bad advice for our reaction to any relapse?

And with that we finish the chapter "To wives". Thanks all for helping me to some understanding of just what the heck this chapter is here for.

Anyone care to share ES and H on the topic of relapse?

have a great day,

Perhaps your husband will make a fair start on the new basis, but just as things are going beautifully he dismays you by coming home drunk. If you are satisfied he really wants to get over drinking, you need not be alarmed. Though it is infinitely better that he have no relapse at all, as has been true with many of our men, it is by no means a bad thing in some cases. Your husband will see at once that he must redouble his spiritual activities if he expects to survive. You need not remind him of his spiritual deficiency - he will know of it. Cheer him up and ask him how you can be still more helpful.
The slightest sign of fear or intolerance may lessen your husband's chance of recovery. In a weak moment he may take your dislike of his high-stepping friends as one of those insanely trivial excuses to drink.
We never, never try to arrange a man's life so as to shield him from temptation. The slightest disposition on your part to guide his appointments or his affairs so he will not be tempted will be noticed. Make him feel absolutely free to come and go as he likes. This is important. If he gets drunk, don't blame yourself. God has either removed your husband's liquor problem or He has not. If not, it had better be found out right away. Then you and your husband can get right down to fundamentals. If a repetition is to be prevented, place the problem, along with everything else, in God's hands.
We realize that we have been giving you much direction and advice. We may have seemed to lecture. If that is so we are sorry, for we ourselves don't always care for people who lecture us. But what we have related is based upon experience, some of it painful. We had to learn these things the hard way. That is why we are anxious that you understand, and that you avoid these unnecessary difficulties.
So to you out there - who may soon be with us - we say "Good luck and God bless you!"
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Re: 12/4/08 BB To Wives pp 120-121 (the relapsed husband)

Postby leejosepho » Thu Oct 15, 2015 3:14 am

Perhaps your husband will make a fair start on the new basis, but just as things are going beautifully he dismays you by coming home drunk.

Although I did not end up drunk, I did end up drinking again three times after I got started. The first was a partial-shot of 'communion' in a setting where I had previously known that congregation to only use grape juice and then my fear of being rejected for not accepting it overwhelmed me, the second was for the same kind of reason in a much-different setting where someone I had trusted had decided to try to trick me to test me, and then the third was a couple of drops from my own fingertip insanely dipped into a jar of cherries for "just a taste". Some AAs at each of those times told me I would eventually have to go "finish the drunk", and still today I occasionally have "drinking dreams" where the alcohol does not have any effect at all. So, maybe my brain is still trying to find a place to file the memories of those three drinks.

I cannot actually speak for my wife, of course, but I am quite certain neither of us is concerned. "Nippin'-n-sippin'' no longer happens for either of us now that we have each "redoubled our spiritual activities" and continued on.
"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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