It’s always darkest before the dawn

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.)

It’s always darkest before the dawn

Postby Rooster » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:50 pm

I’ve touched on my experiences during the past few weeks in another discussion but I’d like to dedicate this one to hearing other people’s experiences from similar situations.

I’ll begin by saying that while I’ve been sober for a month I did have a week-long bout with N/A beverages that ended with a rather vicious fight with my spouse as I didn’t want to give them up but I saw her way of thinking in the light of day and apologized, gave up N/A beverages and everything seemed to be on the mend.

Since then I’ve been doing well, attending meetings, haven’t picked up any old habits like smoking or wallowing in self-pity, but our situation is getting worse. She is noticeably displeased with my presence and resentful towards me, which I understand from others could be her way of either dealing with pent-up resentment or protecting herself from a huge let-down that she is understandably anticipating but... I can’t help but think that my sobriety may have closed the door on her “way out” of our strenuous relationship and maybe that’s why things are getting worse for us. Still, I can’t help thinking of that saying “it’s always darkest before the dawn” and I’d like to hear from any of you that have had an experience that could be related to that saying or what I’m experiencing now.
Rooster
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:16 am

Re: It’s always darkest before the dawn

Postby avaneesh912 » Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:30 am

One thing I have experienced is, I cannot assume everyone (especially the non-alcoholics we interact with) are spiritually fit. With that awareness, I can let go of interim dark spots in life. Even after a decade of sobriety, I still have to deal with resentments that others carry against me. When it crops up, I can't expect them to forgive and be nice to me. They have to deal with it. We give some space around it.
Show him, from your own experience, how the peculiar mental condition surrounding that first drink prevents normal functioning of the will power (Alcoholics Anonymous, Page 92)
User avatar
avaneesh912
Trusted Servant
 
Posts: 4901
Joined: Fri May 30, 2008 12:22 pm
Location: Atlanta, GA

Re: It’s always darkest before the dawn

Postby Spirit Flower » Wed Mar 28, 2018 4:57 am

In AA, there is such a thing as living amends. That is, you start being a great husband, no matter what she is acting like. It is unconditional.
...a score card reading zero...
User avatar
Spirit Flower
Forums Old Timer
 
Posts: 1374
Joined: Fri Feb 09, 2007 5:49 am
Location: Texas

Re: It’s always darkest before the dawn

Postby Brock » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:20 pm

Spirit Flower wrote:In AA, there is such a thing as living amends. That is, you start being a great husband, no matter what she is acting like. It is unconditional.

This is what I used with my wife, I never said I was sorry for anything I had done, I just started acting like a decent unselfish human being. Actually a few years after stopping, I did say something like, ‘you know I am sorry for what I put you through don’t you,’ she just smiled and said yes.

In the case of Rooster however, we really don’t know, it could be as he suspects that his sobriety closed the door on her way out of the marriage. If this is the case it seems the marriage may be on shaky ground, but staying the course of sobriety and doing the steps is still job #1, the saying ‘this too will pass’ is a great truth.

Last night I was thinking after reading here, how helpless we in AA sometimes are to help a fellow alcoholic with troubles like these. I thought about Rooster, thousands of miles away from where I live in the West Indies, and wished him well, and I expect many other readers did the same. So there is something about this online AA, while we can’t shake hands and wish someone the best, we have folks all over the world rooting for each other in their own way. But the fact is with certain problems, the most anyone can do, whether in person or online, is just to wish another the best, and perhaps say a prayer for a happy outcome.
"Good morning, this is your Higher Power speaking. I will not be needing your help today."
User avatar
Brock
Forums Coordinator
 
Posts: 3543
Joined: Fri Sep 07, 2012 1:45 pm

Re: It’s always darkest before the dawn

Postby Rooster » Wed Mar 28, 2018 3:26 pm

avaneesh912 wrote:One thing I have experienced is, I cannot assume everyone (especially the non-alcoholics we interact with) are spiritually fit. With that awareness, I can let go of interim dark spots in life. Even after a decade of sobriety, I still have to deal with resentments that others carry against me. When it crops up, I can't expect them to forgive and be nice to me. They have to deal with it. We give some space around it.


Thanks for sharing some wisedom avaneesh. One strength that I’ve heard many share as being key in maintaining sobriety is letting go of those dark spots in life and I’m proud to say that I can do that sometimes and look forward to making it MY strength too. But what do we do when we’re forced to create a dark spot for someone we love? Can we live with it if we must for someone we love the most? That’s a bit cryptic so let me give you some context: if a wife hates her mother-in-law and doesn’t want her at the hospital during labour does the husband betray his mother or wife? He will hurt one of them but he risks loosing the wife (and the baby, who he loves the most) if he chooses the mother.

Spirit Flower wrote:In AA, there is such a thing as living amends. That is, you start being a great husband, no matter what she is acting like. It is unconditional.


I like the idea of living amends and I believe that’s what I’ve been doing to the best of my abilities. It’s hard to draw the line between “unconditional” and “unreasonable” at times as our spouse may not always be spiritually fit but we try our best.

[quote="Brock”]This is what I used with my wife, I never said I was sorry for anything I had done, I just started acting like a decent unselfish human being. Actually a few years after stopping, I did say something like, ‘you know I am sorry for what I put you through don’t you,’ she just smiled and said yes.

In the case of Rooster however, we really don’t know, it could be as he suspects that his sobriety closed the door on her way out of the marriage. If this is the case it seems the marriage may be on shaky ground, but staying the course of sobriety and doing the steps is still job #1, the saying ‘this too will pass’ is a great truth.

Last night I was thinking after reading here, how helpless we in AA sometimes are to help a fellow alcoholic with troubles like these. I thought about Rooster, thousands of miles away from where I live in the West Indies, and wished him well, and I expect many other readers did the same. So there is something about this online AA, while we can’t shake hands and wish someone the best, we have folks all over the world rooting for each other in their own way. But the fact is with certain problems, the most anyone can do, whether in person or online, is just to wish another the best, and perhaps say a prayer for a happy outcome.[/quote]

Thank you Brock! That was some powerful and insightful stuff for me! I am no longer going to in-person AA meetings so this online communities and support from AA members here such as yourself is essential to my well-being so thank god for all of you.

I suspect we will out-live our marriage but for now, and for the sake of our child, we are stable as I will not drink. The moral compass I’ve found that I have now that I’m sober is spinning like wild and I can’t hide from it behind a bottle like I would have in the past. I suspect the great truth you mentioned fits perfectly here as well. I have two priorities in life and they are two sides of the same coin, my child and my sobriety, so I will in time learn to deal with the hard decisions that may hurt the ones I live in order to protect those two priorities.

Sending you best wishes in the West Indies tonight Brock.
Rooster
Forums Enthusiast
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2018 7:16 am

Re: It’s always darkest before the dawn

Postby Blue Moon » Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:09 am

If she doesn't drink, in a sense she's probably sicker than you are. Nobody in their right mind would stick around someone who persistently choses the lover alcohol over them. Maybe she'll recover, maybe not, that's out of your hands. Alanon is there for her if she wants it, or there are other options.
Ian S
AKA Blue Moon
User avatar
Blue Moon
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3661
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New Jersey

Re: It’s always darkest before the dawn

Postby Blue Moon » Fri Mar 30, 2018 5:29 am

Rooster wrote:If a wife hates her mother-in-law and doesn’t want her at the hospital during labour does the husband betray his mother or wife? He will hurt one of them but he risks loosing the wife (and the baby, who he loves the most) if he chooses the mother.


He is not betraying anyone by respecting his wife's wishes. It's not his decision who is at her bedside. If his mother has a problem with it, it's her problem. His problem is how or when to communicate the info. Maybe it's best not to tell her at all, until the moment has passed and it's a fait accompli. His wife also needs to grow up and realise she can't control everyone else, and that she hurts the baby by feuding with its grandmother. Mid-labour is probably not the time for either conversation.

Above all, your recovery from alcoholism may need to include learning new skills for coping with both of them. Codependency is very common among alcoholics.
Ian S
AKA Blue Moon
User avatar
Blue Moon
Site Admin
 
Posts: 3661
Joined: Wed Jan 23, 2002 2:01 am
Location: New Jersey

Re: It’s always darkest before the dawn

Postby tomsteve » Fri Mar 30, 2018 6:41 am

theres a great chapter titled,"the family afterwards" in the big book.

leaving a trail of wreckage over years,that wreckage isnt going to get cleaned up over night.
hopefully your wife will look into support for herself and you both can learn how to communicate to and with each other.
tomsteve
Forums Contributor
 
Posts: 397
Joined: Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:25 am


Return to The Family Afterwards

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest