11/20/08 BB Working with others pp 98-100 (domestic problems

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

11/20/08 BB Working with others pp 98-100 (domestic problems

Postby Karl R » Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:37 am

Hello,

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.

Yesterdays reading indicated that helping others is the foundation stone of our own recovery.

Today's reading (below in red) speaks of domestic issues occurring in a sponsee's life. The touchstones of this reading are..

Remind the prospect that his recovery is not dependent upon people. It is dependent upon his relationship with God. (This was important to me in my journey through the steps).

and this...

Follow the dictates of a Higher Power and you will presently live in a new and wonderful world, no matter what your present circumstances!

Anyone care to share regarding domestic issues and our journeys through the steps?

by for now,
Karl


Now, the domestic problem: There may be divorce, separation, or just strained relations. When your prospect has made such reparation as he can to his family, and has thoroughly explained to them the new principles by which he is living, he should proceed to put those principles into action at home. That is, if he is lucky enough to have a home. Though his family be at fault in many respects, he should not be concerned about that. He should concentrate on his own spiritual demonstration. Argument and fault-finding are to be avoided like the plague. In many homes this is a
difficult thing to do, but it must be done if any results are to be expected. If persisted in for a few months, the effect on a man's family is sure to be great. The most incompatible people discover they have a basis upon which they can meet. Little by little the family may see their own defects and admit them. These can then be discussed in an atmosphere of helpfulness and friendliness.
After they have seen tangible results, the family will perhaps want to go along. These things will come to pass naturally and in good time provided, however, the alcoholic continues to demonstrate that he can be sober, considerate, and helpful, regardless of what anyone says or does. Of course, we all fall much below this standard many times. But we must try to repair the damage immediately lest we pay the penalty by a spree.
If there be divorce or separation, there should be no undue haste for the couple to get together. The man should be sure of his recovery. The wife should fully understand his new way of life. If their old relationship is to be resumed it must be on a better basis, since the former did not work. This means a new attitude and spirit all around. Sometimes it is to the best interest of all concerned that a couple remain apart. Obviously, no rule can be laid down. Let the alcoholic continue his program day by day. When the time for living together has come, it will be apparent to both parties.
Let no alcoholic say he cannot recover unless he has his family back. This just isn't so. In some cases the wife will never come back for one reason or another. Remind the prospect that his recovery is not dependent upon people. It is dependent upon his relationship with God. We have seen men get well whose families have not returned at all. We have seen others slip when the family came back too soon.
Both you and the new man must walk day by day in the path of spiritual progress. If you persist, remarkable things will happen. When we look back, we realize that the things which came to us when we put ourselves in God's hands were better than anything we could have planned. Follow the dictates of a Higher Power and you will presently live in a new and wonderful world, no matter what your present circumstances!
When working with a man and his family, you should take care not to participate in their quarrels. You may spoil your chance of being helpful if you do. But urge upon a man's family that he has been a very sick person and should be treated accordingly. You should warn against arousing resentment or jealousy. You should point out that his defects of character are not going to disappear over night. Show them that he has entered upon a period of growth. Ask them to remember, when they are impatient, the blessed fact of his sobriety.
If you have been successful in solving your own domestic problems, tell the newcomer's family how that was accomplished. In this way you can set them on the right track without becoming critical of them. The story of how you and your wife settled your difficulties is worth any amount of criticism.
Last edited by Karl R on Fri Nov 21, 2008 5:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Blue Moon » Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:35 pm

When I was drunk, I had no domestic problems - but only when I had no domestic.

"domestic problems" can be very persistent, whether drunk or sober. But, sober, my chances of dealing with them and getting a half-decent outcome are significantly improved - and sometimes surprisingly so.
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Postby avaneesh912 » Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:54 pm

Follow the dictates of a Higher Power and you will presently live in a new and wonderful world, no matter what your present circumstances

I always have to remind myself I am just another drunk who by gods grace living a sober life. I am not a therapist/counselor so never try to advice on relationship issues. Tell them they have to go to a marriage counselor or a shrink.....
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)
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Re: 11/20/08 BB Working with others pp 98-100 (domestic prob

Postby leejosepho » Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:59 am

Now, the domestic problem: There may be divorce, separation, or just strained relations. When your prospect has made such reparation as he can to his family, and has thoroughly explained to them the new principles by which he is living, he should proceed to put those principles into action at home.

I fell quite short in that area for a long time. I had done a fairly good job of taking inventory and I was trying to amend my actions, but my sponsor still had his own challenges and good direction was hard to find. Nevertheless, I made a commitment to my wife to try to learn to be the husband she had thought she was getting ... and now today she no longer ponders using my own skillet on my head while I sleep!
=======================
"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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Re: 11/20/08 BB Working with others pp 98-100 (domestic prob

Postby PaigeB » Wed Jun 06, 2012 10:53 am

Though his family be at fault in many respects, he should not be concerned about that. He should concentrate on his own spiritual demonstration. Argument and fault-finding are to be avoided like the plague... the alcoholic continues to demonstrate that he can be sober, considerate, and helpful, regardless of what anyone says or does...lest we pay the penalty by a spree...his recovery is not dependent upon people....Both you and the new man must walk day by day in the path of spiritual progress. If you persist,...you will presently live in a new and wonderful world, no matter what your present circumstances!


"...no matter what your present circumstances...[the alcoholic] should concentrate on his own spiritual demonstration."

Like the reading on pgs 98-98 I must say, "Nothing else matters."

I am convinced, through my own experience, that as long as I have sobriety I have what I need. That sobriety has conditions such as having a sponsor and actively working the Steps and practicing the principles in all my affairs, but my "needs" are all about sobriety and nothing outside that.

That is it. Bottom line.
If I'm not able to say how I'm working my program today, then I'm not working my program.
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