should my husband meet my sponsor?

Some alcoholics still have families when they get to AA. This is a place to ask questions and share experiences about relating to family members sober, especially when newly sober. (If you are not an alcoholic, please use the "Our Friends and Families" forum.)

should my husband meet my sponsor?

Postby notquite » Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:06 am

Hello,
I am pretty new to AA (one month and two days sober). I do have a sponsor, I've had her for a little over a week. My husband has expressed interest in meeting her, even possibly inviting her and her fiance over for dinner. I haven't asked her yet. Is this a good idea? Is it taboo, or "against the rules"? I like her very much so I would have no problem having them over or spending more time with her. But I don't want to make her uncomfortable, or mess up my recovery in any way, OR further damage my relationship with my husband. Thoughts? Has anyone had a similar situation? Thanks.
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Re: should my husband meet my sponsor?

Postby Duke » Sun Feb 01, 2015 11:16 am

Welcome. I'm glad you've joined us.

It's not taboo nor required as far as I know. The only experience I can share with you is that I personally wish I'd taken it a bit slower with trying to turn my program relationships into my social ones. Nothing bad happened, don't get me wrong, but I found that the connection I felt with many program folks at meetings, doing service work, etc., didn't really translate into social friendships.

Whether you should do this or not? All I know is if your motives are good, you should just decide and not stress out over it too much.

Best to you.
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Re: should my husband meet my sponsor?

Postby chefchip » Tue Feb 03, 2015 2:25 pm

I agree with Duke. Take it slow; go with your gut. I have had two sponsees who wanted me to "meet the family." In one case, it was a young man whose parents wanted to meet me. In the other, it was a man whose fiance wanted to meet me. Since, as Duke said, there is no taboo, and I couldn't think of a reason to refuse, meet them I did.

In both cases, we chatted and got acquainted. Questions were asked which I did my best to answer. However, I made it clear to the families that I was NOT their sponsor, confidant, support person or therapist. I offered to hook them up with any people and/or groups they needed. But, beyond that, we were only doing a meet and greet, as it were. I also warned them that I would never share anything that their loved one said to me. Period. In fact, after that initial conversation, they were not to expect me to sit down with them to talk. The one exception to all of this was that I gave them my number for the rare occasion they had a concern to express to me.

Personally, my partner of twenty years only knows my sponsor because we knew him before my recovery. He has never expressed a desire to be a part of that relationship. As long as boundaries are very clear, I don't see the harm, obviously. The act of meeting your sponsor and hearing -- in general terms -- what recovery is all about can go a long way toward calming rightfully nervous family members.

My opinion. Oh, and welcome!
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Re: should my husband meet my sponsor?

Postby whipping post » Tue Feb 03, 2015 3:05 pm

Hi and welcome!

I can only tell you what my experience is as a fellow sponsee. I have kept my family life and AA life separate. My first sponsor was assigned and didn't work out. We both agreed that it was best if I worked with someone else. My second sponsor and I have stuck together and are pretty tight. He came by and met my family after a couple of months. Just a quick visit because they happened to be home when we were working on something else.

The way I see it is my sobriety has to be my number one priority, even over my family. If I were to lose my sobriety I would stand a good chance of losing everything else including my family. My program is my program and my family life is my family life. I just don't want the two muddled. Going to meetings, meeting with my sponsor, service work, etc... is my time to focus on sobriety and myself and I don't want to be distracted. Perhaps someday if I get some time under my belt that will change but that's how I feel now.

Just my two cents that sure did include a lot of I's and my's. But I think in this case I can afford to be selfish.

Best wishes
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Re: should my husband meet my sponsor?

Postby notquite » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:25 pm

Thanks all. For now I am going to lay low on this subject and not bring it up with my sponsor yet. I mean I am only meeting with her for the second time this Friday after all! Maybe after a while I will ask if she feels comfortable with it, and if so we can do it on neutral territory somewhere, like a coffee shop or something, rather than having her over for dinner right away.

I definitely like what chefchip said about the sponsor explaining to the family that they will never discuss what I talk about with them, etc. I think it is important that she would make that clear.
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Re: should my husband meet my sponsor?

Postby positrac » Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:33 am

whipping post wrote:Hi and welcome!

I can only tell you what my experience is as a fellow sponsee. I have kept my family life and AA life separate. My first sponsor was assigned and didn't work out. We both agreed that it was best if I worked with someone else. My second sponsor and I have stuck together and are pretty tight. He came by and met my family after a couple of months. Just a quick visit because they happened to be home when we were working on something else.

The way I see it is my sobriety has to be my number one priority, even over my family. If I were to lose my sobriety I would stand a good chance of losing everything else including my family. My program is my program and my family life is my family life. I just don't want the two muddled. Going to meetings, meeting with my sponsor, service work, etc... is my time to focus on sobriety and myself and I don't want to be distracted. Perhaps someday if I get some time under my belt that will change but that's how I feel now.

Just my two cents that sure did include a lot of I's and my's. But I think in this case I can afford to be selfish.

Best wishes

I originally posted a similar type of response and deleted it thinking I might be overbearing with my post to the topic. I am glad to see my thoughts are similar as this is a serious deal IMHO. Thanks :D
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Re: should my husband meet my sponsor?

Postby Jackstraw » Wed Feb 04, 2015 1:43 pm

I am working up to getting a sponsor and this topic touches on some stuff I have been wrestling with. On the one hand, my AA recovery life already seems awkward because it is pretty much the only thing my wife doesn't have some involvement in. On the other hand, though she is very supportive, there is only so much she can "get" when we talk about recovery, so i get that it is just something that is mine alone.

But that feeds my anxiety about a sponsor. There is no person in my life that my wife doesn't have some kind of relationship with. It feels weird, for lack of a better word, that I would create this relationship with a sponsor, yet she would be outside of it. I don't necessarily want to bring her into that relationship, when I actually have it, but....well I don't know what the hell I am trying to say. Getting a sponsor just feels weird.
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Re: should my husband meet my sponsor?

Postby Brock » Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:01 pm

Jackstraw wrote: Getting a sponsor just feels weird.



You are not alone in that, I believe some people find it much easier to seek help in these things than others. My opinion is if you don’t have any questions at this stage in the program, that is questions that are so personal they can’t be asked here, or just in casual conversation with someone after a meeting, then you may have no need of a sponsor. Some of us have done the program without sponsors, choosing only to ask assistance of someone to hear our fifth step; I sometimes get in trouble for mentioning this but it is the truth.

Perhaps if you decide that a sponsor is necessary, you could ask someone who would be least likely to want social contact with you and your wife, for example if you are a young couple an old sponsor would be less likely to want any involvement in your life outside of AA. Also in choosing someone I think it is quite OK to ask what their approach to sponsorship is, some may say you will have to call me every day, or lay down guidelines you are uncomfortable with, like trying to dictate which meetings you attend. My first try before I went it alone the fellow said I must say certain prayers and no others, it is much easier to say no thanks if you are uncomfortable, rather than start a sponsor sponsee relationship and have to back out later. The tapes from you tube of AA speakers discussing the steps are also very useful; Joe and Charlie journey through the Big Book is particularly well respected. All the best to you, sponsor or no sponsor your writing demonstrates a fine commitment to AA, keep it up you can’t go wrong.
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Re: should my husband meet my sponsor?

Postby Jackstraw » Thu Feb 05, 2015 10:06 pm

Brock wrote:[Some of us have done the program without sponsors, choosing only to ask assistance of someone to hear our fifth step; I sometimes get in trouble for mentioning this but it is the truth..


Brock, thank you so much for saying that. Not because I think Sponsors are bad or that there is virtue in not using one - in fact, I realized I have already been utilizing one, but I just didn't call him that. He leads a Heart of Recovery meeting I attend and we naturally started a friendship rooted in recovery and he has been mentoring me and showing me the way. Like many good things in my life, I didn't force it to happen, it just did.

Like many alcoholics, "thou shall" is rarely palatable and it feels like the sponsor conversation is frequently tinged with it. And I think I understand it. For some folks, they do need one and they need it yesterday. Bu, we are all also different. While we can work the same steps, certainly our uniqueness always means we work them in our own way. No different than not two people cannot play a C>G>D chord progression exactly the same, even though they are executing the same exact notes.

Thank you for your honesty and your reminder of Charlie and Joe. I have been listening in the car for the last week or so. It has been so very helpful.

Thanks again
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Re: should my husband meet my sponsor?

Postby Blue Moon » Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:50 pm

I would go to a doctor, dentist, therapist etc. for treatment for whatever ails me. I have yet invite any such doctor, dentist, therapist etc. over for dinner.

AA is treatment for alcoholism. Once a sponsor/sponsee arrangement is beyond the realm of needing active first-aid treatment for alcoholism, then it can progress into the realm of friendship. Or we can each naturally move on.

Until then ... my sponsor was not my friend. His observation of my living environment etc. was really just in the context of treatment for my alcoholism. We did socialise, we talked 1:1 in each others' homes, but we didn't really mix in either a non-recovery context or with partners in-tow until we were beyond the recovery bit.

At the end of the day, you should do whatever feels the more comfortable. If you feel entirely comfortable inviting sponsor and fiancee over for dinner, that's fine. But if it feels uncomfortable, don't do it until you feel more comfortable with the idea.
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Re: should my husband meet my sponsor?

Postby MichelleH » Sun Sep 13, 2015 12:16 pm

Is your husband in Al-anon? They also get sponsors, he can work a program of recovery too. In your early sobriety I would probably keep it private and program related between you and your sponsor. AA/Al-Anon does throw events throughout the year and at some point as a family you may attend and do some introductions there in a format where recovery is the basis of the greeting. Just a suggestion.
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Re: should my husband meet my sponsor?

Postby Tosh » Sun Sep 13, 2015 2:54 pm

My sponsor has met Mrs Tosh a couple of times. I always find it a bit uncomfortable if I'm to be honest. He always asks her "Well, how has he been?" and Mrs Tosh sticks her hands on her hips and says "Well, he's 'better!'" as if the only improvement I've made is that I'm not urinating the bed anymore.

I'd keep 'em apart if I were you; it makes it harder to bullpoo our sponsors about how wonderful we are at home. :?

I'm only joking; there'd be no problems meeting up. It's nice for our better halves to be able to put a face to a name. I'm glad Mrs Tosh knows who my sponsor is.
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Re: should my husband meet my sponsor?

Postby Spirit Flower » Sun Sep 13, 2015 4:31 pm

Tosh wrote:My sponsor has met Mrs Tosh a couple of times. I always find it a bit uncomfortable if I'm to be honest. He always asks her "Well, how has he been?" and Mrs Tosh sticks her hands on her hips and says "Well, he's 'better!'" as if the only improvement I've made is that I'm not urinating the bed anymore.

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