How much AA talk is normal in a relationship?

For recovery discussion

How much AA talk is normal in a relationship?

Postby nycwinter88 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:32 pm

I'm in a new relationship with someone who has been in AA for three years. I'm very supportive but feeling frustrated at how much she talks about AA and the steps when we're together. She'll tell me to pray if I have a work or family issue and it feels pretty alienating. I'm not an alcoholic and want to be supportive of her but AA seems all-consuming in her life and she has few friends outside of it and few other coping mechanisms.

I am resenting that I feel I need to adopt and talk about the steps to have a relationship with her... I know that al-anon can be helpful and may check out a meeting, but I'm really looking for feedback from people in AA right now.

Is it normal to make AA such a big part of her life and thought process? Will this intense level of focus on the steps and talk of the big book be a constant throughout our relationship? And, if I am not okay with that, should I break up with her? I want to be fair to both of us -- I love her but I'm really not okay hearing about Bill W every night... and if it's normal for her to need and want that in a relationship, maybe I am not the one? I am completely supportive of AA, just want it to be her path and not a part of our relationship -- is that a fair thing to ask and even possible?

-- sad and confused
nycwinter88
Forums Newcomer
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:05 pm

Re: How much AA talk is normal in a relationship?

Postby Spirit Flower » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:24 pm

Some of us love our AA groups and our friends are there. Others, no, AA is not that big a part of their life. When I had 3 years, AA was big. I enjoyed it alot and liked the people who were also my friends.

Regardless, accept your girl where she is, or move on. Nobody can change anybody else.
...a score card reading zero...
User avatar
Spirit Flower
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 1315
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:49 am
Location: Texas

Re: How much AA talk is normal in a relationship?

Postby Brock » Tue Feb 13, 2018 3:26 pm

nycwinter88 wrote: I am completely supportive of AA, just want it to be her path and not a part of our relationship -- is that a fair thing to ask and even possible?

Welcome here, and thanks for a good question, one I have never heard before, and I do think it’s a fair thing to ask.

If I weren’t in AA myself, I believe hearing about it over and over from someone else would drive me nuts, and certainly my wife was and still is supportive, but I don’t expect her to be interested in the details of my recovery.

Your girlfriend no doubt gained a lot from AA, and has good intentions in trying to pass on the benefits to be gained, but even talking with AA members outside of meetings, my experience is that we don’t ‘talk shop,’ someone listening wouldn’t know we were in AA, unless a person has a question about the program and we are discusing it.

My approach would be to speak to her about it, just say you care for her and enjoy her company but you are not an alcoholic, and don’t have any problems in your life which require the surrender of everything to a higher power, the way alcoholism does. Maybe say if you run into any problems you believe her experience will help with, you will certainly ask for her advise.

Perhaps others may have a better idea, I wish both yourself and her the best of luck with this.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
User avatar
Brock
Forums Coordinator
 
Posts: 3309
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: How much AA talk is normal in a relationship?

Postby positrac » Wed Feb 14, 2018 3:23 am

This is a dual deal and for one I see it as AA is a life saving event which is a life long deal and I guess you should ask her if she has had any relationships while sober? If not then maybe the relationship is a new chapter in her life and her coping might be to express AA type things.

if you care for her ask that maybe she could dial down the AA stuff and yet express your support, but that everything has a time and place. You said you are sad and confused so you have nothing to lose by this suggested point and if it doesn't go over well then it might of been the writing on the wall.
Work hard, stay positive, and get up early. It's the best part of the day.
George Allen, Sr.
User avatar
positrac
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 1191
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2014 4:03 am

Re: How much AA talk is normal in a relationship?

Postby tomsteve » Wed Feb 14, 2018 6:53 am

nycwinter88 wrote:
Is it normal to make AA such a big part of her life and thought process? Will this intense level of focus on the steps and talk of the big book be a constant throughout our relationship? And, if I am not okay with that, should I break up with her? I want to be fair to both of us -- I love her but I'm really not okay hearing about Bill W every night... and if it's normal for her to need and want that in a relationship, maybe I am not the one? I am completely supportive of AA, just want it to be her path and not a part of our relationship -- is that a fair thing to ask and even possible?

-- sad and confused

glad youre here and very understandable questions and concerns. some people can change addictions- alcohol for AA. i am one of them. everything was AA for quite a while. i had changed addictions plus living a fear based program. thought that if i didnt spend every second with AA stuff, id get drunk.
sometime along the journey i discovered something from the big book- something i had read but missed.

"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.

i had to learn to live the spiritual principles. i had to find balance. i had to learn balance.


as for this question:
I am completely supportive of AA, just want it to be her path and not a part of our relationship -- is that a fair thing to ask and even possible?

i think its fair to want a balanced conversation in a relationship. its great to have something to be inspired by and life saving, but to be selfish and self centered to make all conversation about it? not too many people would want to hear it all the time.
however, i dont know about ASK for it. maybe bring it up in conversation- maybe ask if there are anything else she is interested in. its also ok to set boundaries for yourself.
i can understand a bit- i have a friend that can ramble on and on about electronics(and hes in recovery)- gets wrapped up and doesnt think," he probably doesnt care." i set my boundary and wont allow him to go on and on.

P.S.
AA is supposed to be our way of life- our design for living.
not our complete life.
tomsteve
Forums Contributor
 
Posts: 322
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:25 am

Re: How much AA talk is normal in a relationship?

Postby Roberth » Wed Feb 14, 2018 8:56 am

Hello NYCwinter88. My name is Robert and I am a Los Angeles area alcoholic. I am 26 years sober and at least 2 of my weekends a month take up by AA so my thinking is titled to AA…. LOL .. But I might suggest you sit in on a few Al-Anon family Group meeting to see how other non-alcoholics deal with it.
Robert
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in pretty, well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming WOW What a ride!!!!
User avatar
Roberth
Forums Long Timer
 
Posts: 696
Joined: Wed Jun 18, 2008 2:53 pm
Location: In The High Desert of California

Re: How much AA talk is normal in a relationship?

Postby Blue Moon » Fri Feb 16, 2018 9:51 am

nycwinter88 wrote:she has few friends outside of it and few other coping mechanisms.

Before AA, it's likely that all her friends were drinking. Before AA, the coping mechanism was drinking. So this is not unusual.

Is it normal to make AA such a big part of her life and thought process?

It's normal for her, it fulfills a need that she has right now.

Will this intense level of focus on the steps and talk of the big book be a constant throughout our relationship?

ISTM that many start out being everything-AA, and after a few years stabilise into a routine and pick up other interests. Others continue to attend many AA meetings a week, etc. There doesn't seem to be a clear-cut answer to the question. Is she working or doing anything else outside of AA?

And, if I am not okay with that, should I break up with her?

This is who and what she is today, how she thinks and acts today, how she deals with a relationship today. If you can't accept her as she is, that's not her problem to fix, your acceptance is on you.

just want it to be her path and not a part of our relationship -- is that a fair thing to ask and even possible?

We're not relationship counsellors. Maybe you need to sit down with her and talk about what your expectations are. Don't expect AA to magically go away from her thinking and way of doing things. She still has a lot of growing to do, with or without your involvement.
Ian S
AKA Blue Moon
User avatar
Blue Moon
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3596
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New Jersey

Re: How much AA talk is normal in a relationship?

Postby PaigeB » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:52 am

is that a fair thing to ask

It is fair to ask. It is not fair to think that it will change her behavior.

I dragged my hubby to a couple of Open AA occasions and asked him what he thought. He honestly answered, "I don't get it." He absolutely supports whatever I choose to do in AA and out. But we don't talk program - it is a different language for him.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
The e-AA Group's 7th Tradition link: www.e-aa.org/group_seventh.php
User avatar
PaigeB
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 7449
Joined: Fri Jun 24, 2011 12:28 pm
Location: Iowa USA

Re: How much AA talk is normal in a relationship?

Postby Tosh » Fri Feb 23, 2018 2:02 pm

nycwinter88 wrote: She'll tell me to pray if I have a work or family issue and it feels pretty alienating.


Have you tried praying about the situation?

Sorry.

I'm naughty.

God tells me that it could be worse, that she could be boring the heck out of you with shopping, handbags, QCV, and Jeremy Kyle.

With me, I was completely obsessed with A.A. for a few years. And why not? It's saved and changed my life; that's a big deal to me. But as time wore on, being sober, I was able to develop interests in other areas.

Don't get me wrong, I still love A.A., but I'm less obsessed with it in the way I used to be.

My other half is obsessed with cleaning and running. Normal folk wake up and have a coffee. She gets up and hoovers the whole house from top to bottom. Every morning. First thing. It used to drive me crazy - all that noise - when I've just woke up. It's lucky our neighbors are elderly and deaf.

And then there's the running; our whole life is orientated around it. The places we go, the shopping we do, the friends we have, the food we eat, the conversations we have; it's all - just about - running. It's lucky that booze does very little for her, otherwise she'd be a hardcore alcoholic. :lol:

My choices were to either leave her, or accept her as she is, but my own personal thoughts are that if I did, I'd just end up with another woman that I'd be having problems with, the only difference being that they'd be a different set of problems.

Mrs Tosh is definitely trouble, but so am I.

You too.
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)
User avatar
Tosh
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 3717
Joined: Fri May 13, 2011 10:43 am

Re: How much AA talk is normal in a relationship?

Postby Db1105 » Sat Feb 24, 2018 2:27 pm

Met my significant other when I was 2 years sober at a college party where several of us sober folk were in attendance. As we got to know each other, I told her the my sobriety is the most important thing in my life. At first she didn't like that but over time she began to see that is was the foundation of what was good in me. She wasn't much of a drinker anyway so she had no problem no problem running around in my sober social circle. It included college, concerts, beach houses, ski houses, etc., etc., Pretty much what all others in their 20's do except without the alcohol.

To sum up your questions, without recovery, the would be no relationship for me. Period. My involvement in the Fellowship has blessed over time with the other responsibilities that go with life such as work, education, and later raising children.

Let me ask this. If she was this involved in religion, would it be an issue?
Db1105
Forums Contributor
 
Posts: 280
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:32 am

Re: How much AA talk is normal in a relationship?

Postby kaosxtech » Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:46 pm

Just keep in mind they are probably happy at all the things sobriety has given them(like the relationship). The great relationship you have may be able to give a little credit to the program they are in. I have heard it said in meetings that the things you put before your sobriety will be the first things you lose if you lose your sobriety.
Selfishness—self-centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 62)
User avatar
kaosxtech
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2018 2:32 pm


Return to Discussions

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests