Member: Steve H.
Location: Va. Beach Va.
Date: 1/13/2002
Time: 4:53:22 PM

Comments

Hi my name is Steve I am a recovering alcoholic of 17 going on 18 years. I am over at my sponsors house doing laundry. We are talking about dating outside the program.I am new to this forum and am interested in hearing anything you all have to say about the idea or romantic relationships in general or specific.


Member: Dennis C
Location: S.C.
Date: 1/13/2002
Time: 6:40:29 PM

Comments

Hi My name is Dennis I am a recovering alcoholic of 15 years. Great topic! About a year or so after I came in the program, I married a lady which I had been dating for a while. I told her about the program from the start, and my sponcer suggested she go to Alanon, she did. We went to our meetings on a regular basis, and all was fine, Then she got mad, and quit going to meetings. Things changed and we started to have problems. We divorced in 95, and I decided that if I were to have anyone in my life again, that I would not have anything to do with it. After all that was my 4th marrage.For the next 4+ years, I worked on myself, went to meetings worked with my sponcer etc. I was not looking for a relaltion- ship.If there was to be another women in my life, GOD was going to put her there, and I wasn,t going to help.I have a lot of friends in the program, and realy enjoy going to meetings. About 3 years ago a lady who I watched come into the program 13 years ago and I started to ride to different meetings.(She has problems seeing at night).No problem we had been friends all this time. Well to make a long story short, the end of last year we got engaged, and last week we decided to set a date of 25 May this year. This was something that neather of us was looking for, it was built from a friendship and a program. She works hers, and I work mine, then we work ours. The program of Alcoholics Anonymous is worked in our lives on a daily basis.`This program is the most important thing in both our lives, and thats how it has to be. I thank the program of Alcoholics Anonymous , the God of my understanding, and the people in these rooms that so freely taught me how to live then to love. I guess the big thing is not to rush it, and let it grow slowly.There are as many stories as ther are people, this was mine. Thank you, and I love all of you.


Member: Lenny B.
Location: Mt. Carmel, PA
Date: 1/13/2002
Time: 7:54:27 PM

Comments

Hi! I'm Lenny and I am a recovering Alcoholic. I have not been sober for too long, in fact I just celebrated my 3 month aniversary. I know that I am basicly new to this life but I do have some concerns. I have not been seriously involved in a relationship for about 3 years. I am feeling better about myself on a daily basis and am looking forward to eventually meeting someone to share my life with. The problem I have is that some AA members I have spoken to feel that no one should get seriously involved for at least one year into recovery. I agree not to become serious about anyone, but we are all human and in need of some sort of companionship. I spoke with a priest while I was in rehab and he spoke to all of us on this subject. He agreed that no one should be alone; that we should look for companionship but not become serious. AA members I have run into also tell me that I should not seek a relationship within the group itself. I'm just a bit confused and would appreciate some advice. I gets disheartening to have different people saying totally different things. This is my first time submitting here so if I did not do this correctly I am sorry


Member: kathy n.
Location: fla.
Date: 1/13/2002
Time: 8:54:49 PM

Comments

from a females point of view It can be the same experience. I've been sober 13years. And at least 10 of those year it has been finding out who i really am. I came into recovery to help my now former husband to get sober. He is not to my knowledge seeking recovery. I find that very sad. It can tend to be lonely form time to time. I raised my two children for 8 years on my own and now am raising my grandson 6 years it doesn't leave a lot of time for outside activities. Friendships are difficult when you can't get out to meetings. I know that god is in charge of my life and I'm really trying to leave it in his hands. One of the reasons i'm writing this is because at this time meeting people will have to be on the net. I'm very new to the web but i'm learning. I know that God can fill the lonelyness i feel because he has all these years. Some days it would be nice to have a god with a little skin. My recovery has not been easy buts its the best thing i've ever done for me. I do love the program and some people in the program. I've asked god to continue filling this emptness with his love and i know that its possible.


Member: Dennis L.
Location: Klamath Or
Date: 1/13/2002
Time: 9:33:02 PM

Comments

My name is Dennis L. and Iam a alcohalic in recovery 17yr. Dating is not the same as taking hostages and my sponser had me doing a year before doing any thing just remeber that some people out there dont have a HP or belive in powerlessness but experence is what we have and I dont think anyone who knows the peace and serenty of the program and has friends to talk with should have a problem.


Member: carolyn m.
Location: west haven, ct
Date: 1/13/2002
Time: 11:06:24 PM

Comments

hi. my name is carolyn and i am an alcoholic. after just 9 months of sobriety i gave birth to a husband. i had a hard time focusing on myself, but the god of my understanding did in fact show me how to do this. now i have a good marriage and a good sober life (9 years). my god has a sense on humor and i try to utilize it. relationships can be tricky, but i have learned over the years to keep the focus where it belongs, on me. i don't try to take hostages, and i try to be a sincere friend. i love my sober life. this is my first time here and i hope i am following protocol. thankyou for being here for me.


Member: AZbill
Location: Sierra Vista, Arizona
Date: 1/14/2002
Time: 1:46:17 AM

Comments

Hello Folks, Bill here, Alcoholic from Arizona. This is a good topic. And probably one of the most misunderstood one. Yet the program is very clear on romantic relationships. I will start with a result then tell you how I got there.

I spent this past New Years weekend with a AA Skydiving group. (Grapevine, July 2001 page 14) On New Years Eve, I brought in the New Year at a night club featuring a prime rib buffet and a magic show. I had a beautiful date. A local business woman. Since alcoholics are reading this I better make sure you know that she is a jewelery dealer. LOL a far cry from the "business" women I used to hang out with. Just before the stroke of midnight the waitress brought me an unopened can of 7-up, gave me a sly wink and walked off.

I was not able to do this in my early days. On the other hand I am not a big advocate of set time frames. Some people recover at a faster pace than others. In most cases AA tends to build relationships rather then destroy them.

I feel the key to forming good relationships, both romantic and otherwise does not lie in any set time frame but in our spiritual condition. And the foundation for a fit spiritual condition begins with the Fourth Step.

Another important factor is honesty,with a good measure of communication tossed in. I have no quarrels with causual sex nor do I question long term situations. If two consenting Adults get an inch,,,for gosh sake go get it scratched. Problems big time occur when one party is thinking casual and the other is thinking long term. Boundaries should be stated and set and never crossed with out consent from both parties.

On page 69 :)in Alcoholics Anonymous and 8 lines down, it states, "We (that is us) do not want to be the arbiter of anyone's sex conduct." And further down on the last line of the page... "God (and that AIN'T us) alone can judge our sex situation.

Space does not permit me to explain fully how I developed relationships both personal and in the workplace but I am willing to share that. The good, the bad and the ugly. Warts and all.

In service and the fellowship

Bill,

az-bill@mindspring.com


Member: joe k.
Location: Huntsville, TX
Date: 1/14/2002
Time: 4:00:43 AM

Comments

My name is joe k. and I am an Alcoholic.

Steve, thank you for introducing such a wonderful topic. Just as Bill from AZ said, the BB has much to say about relationships. I had to work through the steps of Alcoholics Anonymous to learn what it said, and I am still learning today. I will give you the grace to discover those truths in the same manner.

I have gone through a divorce from my second wife in my second year of sobriety, dated in and out of the Fellowship, met and married my current wife (who was NOT in the program), and just celebrated our first wedding anniversary only two months ago. Geeze... did all that and didn't have to drink in spite of myself.

Here are a few principles about relationships that have been passed on to me by this Fellowship:

1. It is NOT always about ME. 2. If I am disturbed, the problem is ALWAYS me. 3. I seek God to help me to live up to my ideal about relationships, based on a thorough 4th step. 4. Seek what I can GIVE to the relationship, rather than what I can get out of it. 5. LIVE AND LET LIVE.

There are many more "principles" that apply to relationships outlined in the BB of Alcoholics Anonymous.

The principle of LIVE AND LET LIVE, however, I have learned, negates the issue as to whether to seek relationships within or without the doors of the Fellowship.

My experience only (just a note to ponder, and is NOT the opinion of Alcoholics Anonymous): I tried dating within the Fellowship and found it to conflict with the "primary purpose" of Alcoholics Anonymous. The message I carry to another Alcoholic risks compromise when I loose my objectivity.

In any case, when I apply the principles of this program to my relationships, it is works a hell of a lot better than any idea I have been able to come up with in the past!

God bless you all on your journey.

joe k. chillbmp@totalzone.com


Member: Mark B
Location: Southwest Asia
Date: 1/14/2002
Time: 5:42:53 AM

Comments

Mark, dope fiend alcoholic. Right on Bill, the book doesn't say "thou shall not have sex" but try and get some people in the fellowship to see that. I was fortunate in that I got to spend 7 year of my 16 years of recovery in Europe, where people aren't nearly so anal about relationships and sex in the fellowship. In order to learn about relationships, you gotta have one. I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the world. She's "normal", and understands that the disease and my treatment of it is my deal. She has several "SOS" numbers of my fellowship friends to call in an emergency. She's also agreed to call from her cell phone in the van as she's driving away. I was never a pretty drunk. God willing, she'll never see me drink and won't have to use the phone numbers. She was the first "normal" woman I dated that didn't make a big deal, or recoil, from my disease. Sex is a wonderful thing when shared between two consenting adults. It's even better when you genuinely love the person you're with. I learned a long time ago that there's a big difference between going out and fucking just for the sake of it, and making love with somebody. Going out and just getting some, for the sake of getting my rocks off is a half measure. What does the book say about half measures? They avail me nothing. I settled for half measures and took the easier softer way all the time when I was drinking and doping. I can't afford to do that today, I don't want to do that today. All the women that I've dated in the fellowship, or normal women, I respected, valued and have been honored over the simple fact that they deemed me worthy of spending time with me. What a change. I learned how to be a friend with a woman in the fellowship. I remember the first time I got a hug from a woman, it was a dance in Frankfurt. I was there with my sponsor and had about 4 months sober. I danced with this girl and after it was over, she gave me a hug. Well, bout all I had to offer besides a hard part of my anatomy, was disease. But I was convinced, "she was the one". My sponsor laughed at me and my ill conceived notions and watched me back up to her, make a complete ass out of myself, then ask me if I was ready to meet my "new girlfriend". As I had just crashed and burned in a spectacular way, of course I was ready. Well, when we got back to the barracks on Rhein-Main, he gave me my new girlfriend, I think her name was "Miss October". I had a lot to learn, and by slowly learning how to even ask a girl out on a date, I progressed to where I am now. It's all a learning and growing process. I look back now and laugh at the memories, what a journey it's been. Oh yeah, I've been over here now for over 3.5 months and haven't gotten any during that time. Tell you the truth, it's about the furtherest thing I think about. God restored me to sanity regarding the furry things that women sit on. I just followed the instuctions, and didn't do the same things, the same ways, looking for different results. If you wanna date, go ask her, or him. Oh yeah, my wife asked me out, on our first date. What a kick in the ass that one was. But that's another story. God has a great sense of humor because all our sexual instructions are on page 69. Gotta love it. I could write volumes on what I've learned about relationships, dating, and sex both in and outside of the fellowship, but this isn't a speaker's meeting and I gotta get back to work.

Mark


Member: Richard F.
Location: Houston Tx
Date: 1/14/2002
Time: 6:12:40 AM

Comments

Hi, My nsme is Richard F and I am an alcoholic.By the grace of God I have been sober since Feb.3 1995 and for that I am truely greatful. The book does talk about relationships.It says that we put each relationship to the test.We ask ourselves two questions.Are we being selfish? Are we hurting them? It was suggested to me that we make no major changes the first year.I have seen well meaning people suffer the consiquences of believing that them taking another hostage was Gods will for them.They even go so far as to ask him to make it clear and dirrect and if it is not meant to be put obsticals in their path if it is not to be. God is not going to knock a drink out of your hand nor will he block you from a decision made with self will. We have to remember that just cause we are free from alcohol that we still have those other character defects.Jelousy and Envy are the two greatest. Wait a while and if it is a good idea to be in a relationship now it should still be a good idea a year from now.If it is meant to be. Some of us mistake love for another overwhelming need to take another hostage. Remember all our enablers fled or died and we must be certain we are not searching for another one. Page 164 says God will help you create the fellowship we crave and remember your real reliance is always on him. May God bless you and keep you till then.

Rchard F. `


Member: Stan R
Location: South Central Michigan
Date: 1/14/2002
Time: 8:21:57 AM

Comments

I think this is a great topic because I have met many people who came into the program with the idea that if they met the right person their problems would be solved. I was told the same thing as many others have stated: "No serious relationships for a least a year" and the key here is "serious".

I think we all need to have companionship but need to examine the reasons behind why we want them. Are we getting into relationships for selfish purposes, for what we can get out of it or are we really interested in knowing another human being? Do we want a relationship because we miss out enablers?

I have found that when HP decides it is the right time for any of us to meet the right person it will happen.


Member: Fran M.
Location: Michigan
Date: 1/14/2002
Time: 10:08:45 AM

Comments

Hi my name is Fran and I'm an alcoholic. I like reading peoples thoughts on this subject cause it's interesting. I've been sober 23 years and am in my late 40s, I got married for the first time just about 3 years ago. Pretty scary for someone who came from an alcoholic family (no healthy models). As I read everybody though I can say this much for sure I don't have the answer for anyone else. I can tell you it took me a long time even in sobriety to trust anyone to let them close enough to me to even consider marriage. I spent a bunch of time looking outside the program and ended up meeting someone in the program! He didn't quite have a year and there was some concern there but the one thing I did do was tell him if he ever drank again I'd be gone. And if I ever drank again he'd better be gone because he would we he had!!! For me all I can say is you have to listen to your heart and pray about this stuff, that's the only thing that worked for me. We have different ideas sometimes but if someone would have told me I could love and trust someone this much and have such a good life I would have never believed them! Thanks!


Member: Craig L (Dogmanor@yahoo.com)
Location: Aloha, Oregon
Date: 1/14/2002
Time: 10:20:01 AM

Comments

I had a few long-term “relationships”, while I used. In all of them my partners enabled me to continue my using. It was always a struggle and I was never contented. All I remember is a grasping for, I don’t know what, and lots and lots of conflict. My disease finally took me to a place where I couldn’t waste time and energy, not “feeling good”. If I couldn’t get loaded with you and/or have sex with you then I had no time for you. Today thanks to the 12 steps, I have attained a level of sanity around relationships. I no longer obsess on individuals. I am not in an intimate sexual relationship with anyone, but I do have many powerful relationships based in love and I feel more contented and fulfilled than ever before. I pray the third step prayer at least once a day. If I keep my own opinions out of situations, then I know that regardless how it looks, everything really is OK and God is taking care of me.


Member: mark D
Location: NH
Date: 1/14/2002
Time: 10:50:08 AM

Comments

Sorry to switch gears her, but I'm feeling pretty crappyand was interested in some feedback on this. (and, yes, I'm going to a meeting today as well.)

Yesterday I overheard my wife talking to her brother- and from her responses I could tell the questions were pretty much- how's mark doing? - how's his sobriety?- is he still going to AA?---

The answers were all positive- but it left me feeling like they were talking about a little kid instead of a 45 year old man.It leaves me feeling very isolated.

I know that my attitude is the only thing that I can truly change- but dammit I feel shamed and diminished.

I certainly don't want to pick up over this, and have no intention of doing so.Drinking is pure helll but sobriety feels -dirt yright now. I know it will pass but I just needed to vent.


Member: Marc P
Location: Houston, TX
Date: 1/14/2002
Time: 11:04:26 AM

Comments

Great topic and I can relate to it. With the help of my HP I choose to call God I am picking up my 3 month chip tonight. Lost a marriage and home to get here, but I know that I have been blessed and I am truly thankful.

I still love my wife very much and I have to keep honest with myself. If I get into a serious relationship now I would be a fool. Until I am out of my marriage emotionally I cannot get into another relationship. The program has taught me a lot about honesty and humility. I know that today, I am not ready for a loving relationship. That being said, I also have harmones that if I do not satisfy myself sexually, I will not maintain a balance that I have today. When the time comes as well as the opportunity I will probably act on it, but I choose to take baby steps. I still have a lot to figure out and my main focus is my program.

Saturday I signed the divorce papers and closed a chapter of my life. I decided to drive to Dallas to meet a person who is 8 years sober and we agreed that it was just a friendship and not a friendship with benefits. We stayed up all night until 6am talking.

What I realized is that the emotional hole that I possess started yearning for her and I tried to push the feelings aside. On my way back to Houston I called her and told her that I could not carry the friendship any further. She felt the same way and my being honest with myself and to her allowed me to keep on the path to recovery. I thank God, the program and my sponsor for the ability to know right from wrong and make sane judgements.

Someday I will be ready for a serious relationship, but I am not there yet, not Today.

Thanks to all and God bless.


Member: To Mark D
Location: From N.H.
Date: 1/14/2002
Time: 11:40:44 AM

Comments

HI Mark

Part of your answer will be found on page 83, second paragaph. Pay particular attention to the last sentence.. "We must remember that ten or twenty years of drunkeness would make a skeptic out of anyone" LOL sometimes not even that long. :)

Give me a holler. az-bill@mindspring.com


Member: Rod M.
Location: Innisfail, Ab.
Date: 1/14/2002
Time: 3:13:33 PM

Comments

Hi, I'm Rod and a 17 year recovering alcoholic. I sobered up in AA in prison doing a life sentence for the death of my wife. God's will and not Rod's was front and center when I remarried a lady in prison three years later. I've been paroled and sober in society for five years now. I'm still married by the grace of God but am currently having a tough time with an eighteen year old step daughter thus a tough time with my wife. We now have a nine year old daughter of our own who is watching us struggle daily. I know it was God's will to get married as only His miracles have kept us going but it is still one day at a time.


Member: Values
Location: Everywhere
Date: 1/14/2002
Time: 5:56:35 PM

Comments

Hi Steve:

This forum is just like a meeting and so I will speak in turn on your question. I have a bit more time than you, but you are doing quite well! I would suggest looking at the third and eleventh steps on this matter of outside of AA dating. If you are dating inside AA, well that is something else I suppose we could discuss! But people outside of AA just do not understand us "reformed drunks," for they have never gone that route, and I have found through my personal contact with outsiders, no matter how pretty they are, they just don't get the message about so many things! So I would go by the thought, "am I going to give up my sobriety for either love or money?" and the answer is always the same! NO!!!!!!

Hope this helps


Member: Maria R.
Location: SE Arizona
Date: 1/14/2002
Time: 9:31:29 PM

Comments

Maria...alcoholic/addict. Hey AZ Bill, it's Maria from Bisbee!

To me the important thing in a serious relationship is not whether the other is in or out of the program, but if they have a real, viable spiritual life, a sane support system outside of the relationship, and are really willing in tough situations to work for peace and balance within the relationship. Do they really desire, more than anything, peace in their life? That's the important question for me. Right now I'm in the middle of a fourth step on a relationship that has ended in a restraining order, the defacement of my business and other choice details. This man and I shared a deep, real love, yet he did not share my commitment to inner peace, so deep resolutions in difficult matters, (read: emotionally charged situations), were not possible. My sponsor pointed out to me that he does not choose to seek support from healthy people who have been there too...And I am here to tell you that the situation I'm in here in this small town has brought me to my knees with humility and the active, moment to moment need to let go of insult, assult and slander. In other words,the end of this relationship is teaching me a deeper meaning of forgiveness and compassion. I hope that my next one, which will be completely on God's terms and probably not for a good long while,will teach me more about the actual practice of love and perhaps less about struggle. But that too is up to God, and one thing I realize after a few years of sobriety is that often i have no idea what my next lesson needs to be. I am praying for this man who feels the only solution to his pain is striking out in rage, and I am praying for myself that i will continue to keep my heart open to my own pain so as not to do the same, because one thing I am really good at is using rage to cover deeper feelings. I thank God for this program and all of my loving friends both in and out of it that I now know there is another way. Anyone who is looking for another person to pray for, I ask that you pray for David H., that he might feel the loving hand of God and know that there is help and that there is another way. As for me, that 4th step is helping me to get real with me about my part in all of this. I am learning that sometimes the best way to love someone is from a safe distance, even if it hurts like hell.

Maria


Member: Ken B
Location: Winnipeg Manitoba Canada
Date: 1/14/2002
Time: 9:33:34 PM

Comments

Hello all ; Ken alcoholic, Winnipeg,Manitoba,Canada Well on the topic of dating, I only have my opinion. Pehaps It may be of use to some one. My sponsor tells me that any heing and sheing that goes on inside aa is 13th step. My other sponser says there is no such thing as the 13th step; It's a tradition. Well we all have our Ideals about right and wrong . Right? Definatly our sex conduct should not hurt other's. It tells us that if we fall short of our goals and stumble ,as long as we take corective measures all will be well. If not we're in big trouble.As far as dating outside of aa,thats a good place to start. From expierience having a relation with another selfish self centered alcoholic can be hell. I believe all people are selfish to an extent. We alcoholic's are extrem examples. Even we recovered alkys.Well me anyways!!! My mother always told me I'd never meet a nice girl in a bar. But she wasn't alive when I got to aa. I Don't think I'll fine a nice girl here ither. No offense intended ladys.For me I believe God will provide. Church may be the best place to meet women.Even aa women . I'm 37 yr's old not getting any younger. My father got remarried after my mother passed away. He was 65. there's still lots of time. God Bless All !!!!!!!!!!!


Member: PJ
Location: Florida
Date: 1/14/2002
Time: 11:10:47 PM

Comments

Hi, PJ here, an alcoholic. Steve: a lot of good things have already been said here regarding relationships. When I first got sober, I had to relearn how to be me in all my relationships: as a wife, mother, daughter & friend. I couldn't do this until I had a few 24 hours working on my sobriety. You can keep your sobriety as your top priority & still have fun! I would look for a young people's AA group with sober dances and other activities common to 18 year olds. You received the gift of sobriety, enjoy it with others your own age:) Mark: I remember feeling resentful in early sobriety whenever my husband would try to "protect" me from alcohol in social situations. It took time and my continued sobriety to allow my family to see the "new sober" me. It took time for them to understand that my sobriety is about me & I am responsible for my sobriety and not them. My family now assumes that I don't drink and my sobriety, for them, is just one part of the whole person I have become. It was only through working the steps, going to meetings, working with my sponsor, and time that got me to this place. Just keep coming back & it will happen for you too! Thanks for being here & for letting me share :)


Member: JimH1982
Location: Tucson, AZ
Date: 1/14/2002
Time: 11:15:55 PM

Comments

My name's Jim and I'm an alcoholic. Relationships are great when they go good and suck when they don't. It's kind of like acceptance, which is easy (as long as whatever I'm going through is acceptable). I've been in three long term ones since I came into AA. When they end, I hurt and figure I'll never do it again. However, then I remember how good it is to have someone close.

I have dated in and out of the program. For me, outside of the program works better (I figure someone has to know how to do it). Also, I don't have to hear about all my problems and escapades in the meetings. However being my track record isn't that great, I'd consider anything I say about relationships with a large grain of salt. (Same for the BB saying most stay married.) My sponsor was married six or seven times and a good friend I went to meetings with married the same woman three times. I've know all sorts of people in all sorts of relationships.

The only thing I know is if I don't drink, I won't get drunk. The rest are extras.


Member: Jack B
Location: Palo Alto, Pa
Date: 1/15/2002
Time: 2:24:57 AM

Comments

Hi, I am Jack a real alcoholic. To Lenny B from Mt Carmel. Do you ever get a chance to come to the noon meeting in St Clair?


Member: Jack B
Location: Palo Alto, Pa
Date: 1/15/2002
Time: 2:38:49 AM

Comments

Hi, I am Jack, a real alcoholic.I am sober by the Grace of God,and the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous for over 14 years. My wife and I have been married for 31 years, I have been a part of that marriage for 14plus years. The best suggestion I heard an oldtimer give a newcomer who was asking about developing a relationship, was develop a relationship first and foremost with God. Thanks for allowing me to share, and God Bless.


Member: Cherise L.
Location: Bloomsburg PA
Date: 1/15/2002
Time: 1:04:31 PM

Comments

Hi I'm Cherise and I'm a grateful alcoholic! Thanks Steve for this great topic. It is definetly true, that there are many different opinions on this relationship stuff. I too believe in following your heart. When I was drinking my life revolved around finding men. I found someone and had the next one lined up before the relationship ended. And sex, had to be on the first date or I feared they would leave.

When I came into recovery I was totally alone, and learned that I didn't need a man, I needed to find myself and God. I also didn'thave to be alone because I had all the love I needed fron AA. For the first time in my life I wasn't searching for a man, and I met one. I was in very early recovery and was told by many not to pursue it. One thing I remember hearing though was that we are not marriage counselors, lawyers, or doctors in AA we are just recovering drunks.

I decided to wait"90" days to date him, 90 days to (you know what), and took it real slow. I knew he was the one because I was able to wait. We dated two years and decided to move in together, and if that would work, we would get married a year later. Well, it did and we are happily married 3 years this past September.

The one thing I need to mention though is that with both of us in the program it was CRUCIAL that we stay in our own programs. I know if he didn't allow me to fall and crash on my own I wouldn't be who I am today. I broke up with him to do my first 4th step, just be sure there would be no distractions, and most of all put nothing and nobody before my sobriety. God has blessed us with a healthy relationship, two beautiful children, and lots of love. We are living beyond our wildest dreams. Who would of thought??? It's a good thing I had faith in God and didn't listen to people who thought they knew best for my relationship.


Member: Bobbye E.
Location: McKinney, TX
Date: 1/15/2002
Time: 1:09:18 PM

Comments

Bobbye here real alcoholic, awesome topic!

IMHO relationships have 1 purpose: To Grow From The feel goods and the feel hurts are by products of a journey and a process.

I am one those who pretty much stay in a relationship (intimate type). Some are sicker than others, and frankly they have gotten healthier as I have grown and recovered.

The relationship that got me here was the suicide of my using companion. I had dated solely outside the program, each time my picker selected folks with thier own habits. I stayed sober and grew, but outgrew those abusive relationships one at a time at 4+ years at a whack for 2 of them.

Today I share recovery with wonderful person in sobriety, we are both teenagers in recovery. Its not always roses, life happens sober. I get to share everything! Frankly its awesome! By the way we also share Alanon keeping the relationship healthy!

This relationship as well is in its 4+ year place, however it is complemented by many healthy and supportive relationships. We each have active sponsors, even now in recovery. We share a prayer family, we are still active in recovery individually and together.

We were friends in recovery for years before we dated. It was a huge risk to date, so far it has worked out good. The toughest places are when our family of origin stuff meets in the middle. LOL

Glad to be sober today, Thanks for the topic. Thanks for letting me share.


Member: Wm A.
Location: Ontario Canada
Date: 1/15/2002
Time: 3:29:45 PM

Comments

Wm A here and a real alcoholic. I am going to my first meeting tonight cause I am sick an tired of being sick and tired. Pray for me folks. Other wise I am a dead man.


Member: LeeEllen
Location: MI
Date: 1/15/2002
Time: 4:35:59 PM

Comments

Hello all - LeeEllen here and a grateful recovering alcoholic!!

To Wm. A -- You'll never regret going to your first meeting tonite. Please, listen to what they have to say --- they know exactly what you're feeling.

Relationships in/out of AA -- I didn't listen to the warnings of not getting into a relationship too soon and I'm grateful I didn't.

I'd just come out of a 26 1/2 yr. horrible marriage when I got sober. I met my future hubby at my first AA meeting. I was struck by his honesty, humility, and the fact that he wasn't afraid to cry. Despite the warnings, we dated, moved in together and married after 7 years. Tragically, he died last March of cancer but I'm forever grateful for the time I had with him. He taught me more about AA and living life on life's terms than anyone/anything ever has. He truly had a wonderful program. He had 11 1/2 yrs sober when he died.

BUT, I DO think that it is best to wait awhile before jumping into relationships. We have so much to sort out, so much to learn, so much baggage to get rid of when we first find AA. Relationships are difficult enough without adding the work of recovery to it. Had my late hubby not had a solid program and lots of patience, it would not have worked for us.

"Earth people" (those outside of AA) seem to find us a little "strange." They do not seem to understand the concept of alcoholism being a disease and the fact that we cannot have just one. Nor to they seem to understand or even LIKE the steps that we try so hard to work.

Just my humble opinion. Thank you for allowing me to share. God Bless all. Peace, Lee


Member: AA Wisdom
Location: Anywhere
Date: 1/15/2002
Time: 5:12:30 PM

Comments

To those who think what they will about this topic, the AA program, honesty, God, the steps, traditions and so forth, here is an altered positioning of words found in the AA big book:

AA Wisdom

Half Measures Availed Us Nothing!!

Being convinced we were at step three, which is we decided to turn our will and our life over to God as we understood Him. Just what do we mean by that, and just what do we do? We have been trying to get a new attitude, a new relationship with our Creator, and to discover the obstacles in our path. Our real purpose is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service to God and the people about us. A man we know had remarried. He felt that he had done a wrong he could not possibly make right. Undoubtedly we should admit our fault. Our design for living is not a one way street. So our troubles, we think, are basically of our own making,… and the alcoholic is an extreme example of self will run riot, though he usually doesn’t think so. It was an evil and corroding thread,… which brought us misfortune we felt we didn’t deserve. But did not we, ourselves, set the ball rolling? Perhaps there is a better way__… we resolutely looked for our own mistakes. We admitted our wrongs honestly and were willing to set these matters straight. The first thing apparent was that this world and its people were often quite wrong. We stood at the turning point.

First Things First! I honestly doubted whether, on balance, the religions of mankind had done any good. To Christ I conceded the certainty of a great man, not too closely followed by those who claimed Him. How true this is, few realize. Our friend felt as though the gates of hell had closed on him with a clang. But the more we fought and tried to have our own way the worse matters got. So we had to get down to causes and conditions. Selfishness__ self centeredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles. Above everything, we alcoholics must be rid of this selfishness. We must, or it kills us! God makes that possible. We had to have God’s help,… we had to quit playing God. It didn’t work. We were now at step three. If we still cling to something we will not let go, we ask God to help us be willing. …we say something like this: my Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Remember it was agreed at the beginning we would go to any lengths for victory over alcohol. We alcoholics are undisciplined. So we let God discipline us… we represent no faith or denomination. We are dealing only with general principles common to most denominations. …there is no middle of the road solution. We know these suggestions are sometimes difficult to follow, but you will save many a heartbreak if you can succeed in observing them. We realize we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to you… if your house is in order.

Words to the wise!!


Member: chris p
Location: indiana
Date: 1/15/2002
Time: 7:28:04 PM

Comments

hi my name is chris and i am an alcoholic. i have been clean for 180 days. my first relationship after i got out of rehab 6 yrs ago was very tring. we meet in rehab and thought we could support each other. it worked for awhile but the using of alcohol came back in to our lives. it eventually tore us apart. but now i am with a family that cares deeply about and my addiction. they where there when i was released and they are still here.all the alcohol was poured out while i was gone and we haven't had any since. my partner drank but not like me and i tell ya she is strong for me because she quite drinking to support me. i thank my lucky stars that i meet her and her kids. her kids look up to me and that helps to keep my head on straight. i thank my higher power for finding them for me. take care eveyone chris


Member: shelly
Location: indiana
Date: 1/15/2002
Time: 8:05:46 PM

Comments

Hello, my name is Shelly. I am not an alcoholic, but I live with one. I have been here a couple of times, and my boyfriend knows I do this. For the most part, I read, but I felt compelled to write because of the topic. Like I said, I am not an alcoholic, and I know Steve was looking for input from those who have most likely been there, but speaking from the other standpoint, I think it depends on the strenth of the person you become interested in. I had no idea how strong I could be, especially for someone else. I do it for both of us together, but the situation has been a real challenge. It's important, Steve, that you concentrate on the program, and make sure before you decide to get into a relationship, there is enough of you to go around. You will need yourself as much as you are needed by your partner. But you have to be with someone who can share you with you, and understand what it takes to go through such a difficult recovery. I am going through this recovery myself. It is very draining, but I make sure I save some of myself for me too. I used to give everything I had to trying to help him, but it was not fair to me. I was miserable. The problem was controlling our relationship. He is not seeking outside help. I know he's not ready, but until he is, I have to realize he is a big boy and I can't single-handedly save him from himself. I have to give him the space he needs to get there on his own. If you decide to date, make sure it is someone who will help you, but not smother you with too much help. I may be wrong, but I am speaking from my experience. This has been working for me. Good luck!


Member: Wm. A
Location: Ontario
Date: 1/15/2002
Time: 9:31:23 PM

Comments

Thanks Lee Ellen, first meeting was a good one to go to....so glad I decided. Also picked up the Big Book...did appreciate your words of encouragement.


Member: Lyla D
Location: Polk City, Fl
Date: 1/15/2002
Time: 10:10:56 PM

Comments

To Wm A-Welcome Home!

On the topic of relationships-hmmmmmmm. My husband and I met when I was 3 months sober, we started living together when I was 4 months sober, by the way, he was 5 1/2 years sober. We married when I was 9 months sober. Now, let's back up, I talked to my sponser before my husband and I moved in together, she said "That's ok, I did that." When I called her and told her we were getting married, she said "I didn't do that." I know who she lived with, I don't think I would have married him, either. My husband and I watched two friends in the program tear each other apart. We learned the importance of staying out of each others programs, letting God run things and spending time apart, even for just a few hours. We will be celebrating 17 years of, well, I won't say "wedded bliss", but a loving, caring relationship, on Saturday, January 19. I will celebrate 18 years of sobriety on April 14 of this year. We did not keep our marriage together alone, we had help from our Higher Powers and a lot of friends that listened to us gripping about each other, from time to time. We seperated for ten months, we worked on getting back together and we work on staying together. WORK being the key word. We go to meetings together and seperately, we both have sponsors and we use them. We both have our own way of staying sober and we stay out of each others way and LIVE AND LET LIVE. I love my husband very much, but I love my sobriety more! Well, I have certainly gotten on my soap box, tonight. Anyways, I love y'all.. Keep comin' back!!!!!!!!


Member: Chelle
Location: PA
Date: 1/15/2002
Time: 11:34:44 PM

Comments

Hi there! My name is Michelle and I'm and alcholic in recovery for 12 years now.

This really is a good topic. One that hits home, I'm sure, for many of us single AA's. First we're hit with the "wait a year" thing. Which I totally agree with even though it's the LAST thing I wanted to hear in the beginning when I was looking for a good distraction. But then, after you've put some time into yourself and YOUR SPONSOR says your ready, you have to ponder THIS topic! OY!

I can say this, in the 12 years since I have been sober I have spent time on my own, dated here and there, and have been in two serious relationships, neither of which were with someone from AA. It wasn't because I decided NOT to date within AA, it was just the way the "love" cards fell. Obviously not all of the relationships worked out, was it because they WEREN'T in AA? Probably not. It was probably, again, because sometimes that's how it goes. The main thing is that I stayed sober and maybe learned something along the way. Let's face it, we don't get sober to HIDE in the rooms of AA. Once we get on our feet and start becoming members of society again we will meet lots of good people, in and out of AA. I don't believe it's being fair to ourselves to "rule someone out" just because he is or isn't in AA.

Throughout my adventures in relationships the most important thing I've learned is that as long as I am able to keep my sobriety seperate, and keep it as my own, it doesn't matter who I date. Not that I'm not open or don't share about it (my sobriety) but regardless of wether I'm with someone in the rooms or not, my sobriety is my own. So my feeling is that as long as you can maintain your own identity and sobriety, what does it matter?

Thanks for letting me share.


Member: Jim B.
Location: Marshall Islands
Date: 1/16/2002
Time: 8:31:40 AM

Comments

Hi all I'm Jim, happy to know I'm an alcoholic and grateful to be sober. Thanks for all the terrific shares on this difficult subject. I'd like to send a special shout out to all those people trudging through their sobriety who are not in a relationship.

I myself have grappled with this very predicament for a long time in sobriety. Having always shied away from intimate relationships while I was drinking and using. I found when I got sober I lacked certain skills for developing close relationships. When using I kept people at arms length for fear that they would see who I really was, i.e. a drunk who cared only about drinking and nothing about responsibility. I also was afraid to bring the insanity with which I grew up in, in an alcoholic home into a relationship. The lack of meaningful relationships in my life then was simply more reason to drink for me. When I got sober I was told also not to get into any relationships for a year. Hindsight being 20/20 I can see that I was much to confused even at 1 year sober to have a healthy relationship. I remember being faced with the fact that I was now sober and wanting so desperately to find someone to love. I got myself a sponser who was very outgoing and had no trouble meeting women and asking them out, etc. I started going to see an outside therapist to examine why I could not develop lasting and loving relationships in my life, but ended therapy after i could not see any results from this avenue of approach. I would pray about it often. I would see other people in the program get sober and get it together with one another. I always figured it was just a matter of time till my number came up and I would find someone at last.

One of my journal entries from that time period states: "I just am sick and tired of feeling so all alone. Hoping always hoping that I will find that special soulmate who I can trust and share my love with, yearning. Then reality hits and I see that I am still alone and tomorrow will be the same s***!" Finaly I reached a point where I eventually got sick of listening to myself pine away about not being in a relationship that, I quote my journal again: "I've come to accept with serenity, my lack of involvement (in a relationship), and have surrendered to the fact that I will never find someone to love." This was at 8 years of sobriety and I still did not have or been in a relationship. Naturally I thought that now that I had surendered and quit asking my HP about it that a relationship was for sure going to blossom soon.

About 9 years sober I did get into a short relationship that was centered primarily on sex. It did not progress to a deeper more meaningful level, as much as I had wanted it to. As such it did not last long but it was a good opportunity for me to test some ideas i had had as to what I thought a meaningful relationship should be like. I found it to be something like doing 12 step work on a spiritual level. I tried to be present in the relationship and give of myself without regard to what I would get in return. I found that the more I gave of myself the more I had to give and the more I would recieve as a result. When it ended I had to once again take inventory of myself and my role in the relationship and accept it for what it was worth. I feel this was a helpful thing for me in that I learned that I was indeed capable of being in a close loving relationship and could be a loving partner and friend.

I have had several other relationships since then but all of them have been rather unfulfilling centering primarily on sex and not of a long lasting deeper commitment. Finaly after 12 years of sobriety I have met a lady only just recently who seems to be close to the same page that I am on and this relationship, although still very new holds the promise that it will finaly develop into what I have been yearning for for so long, i.e. a deeper long lasting loving commitment between two people who love and respect each other, posibly even the "M" word. LOL. Thanks for letting me share and thanks for 12 stepping me.


Member: edl (purple_099@yahoo.com)
Location: Michigan
Date: 1/16/2002
Time: 11:57:48 AM

Comments

i do not want to drink anymore! period i need help. help me please. i am on ny way now to being drunk. 3 40 ouncer, i am nit kidding i need all of you


Member: edl (purple_099@yahoo.com)
Location: Michigan
Date: 1/16/2002
Time: 11:59:05 AM

Comments

i do not want to drink anymore! period i need help. help me please. i am on ny way now to being drunk. 3 40 ouncer, i am nit kidding i need all of you


Member: Mary K
Location: NE Ohio
Date: 1/16/2002
Time: 1:22:49 PM

Comments

edl, do you have a friend you can call to talk to or be with you untill you can get to a meeting? If not at least call your local hospital and ask for an AA contact. Good Luck.my prayers are with you.

As to the topic; I think the first relationship we have to have in sobriety is with ourselves. I went for a long time not being able to look myself in the mirror because of the things I had done. I had to get honest with myself befor there was room for anyone else. I also think our partners have to have at least a bacic understanding of addiction to put up with us. I'm one of the lucky ones who has a partner that has stuck with me no matter what, but I'm sure if you ask him he'll tell you there were times when he wondered if he should.

I don't think we decide who or when we are going to love, I think God does that for us, and just like any of his gifts he has his own resoning, who are we to try and figure it out?


Member: Michelle C.
Location: Ools, Ohio
Date: 1/16/2002
Time: 4:15:51 PM

Comments

Hi everyone. I'm Michelle, I'm an alcoholic and addict. Boy this topic is a hard one. I am just coming back from a relapse. I had almost 6years and now have about 60 days. I also work in the field of addiction as a professional. I did learn some things in my years of sobriety. First of which my sobriety is number one and necessary for me to be a productive member of society and productive in any relationship. I have been known to use sex and relationships compulsively in the past. I now have two sponsors, both of which help me with these issues. I think the personal insight I've gained about myself using the 12 steps have helped keep the behavior in check. My sponsors also help me keep it in check. This is a program of rigorous honesty, I need to be honest with myself, my god and anyone I get into a relationship with. I have learned to set healthy limits and boundaries in relationships. I don't know the answer I just keep doing the next right thing for myself and pray. It's all falling back into place for me. I'm so excitied about this web site. Love you all.


Member: Mark C.
Location: NYC
Date: 1/16/2002
Time: 4:40:03 PM

Comments

Hi, Mark C. alcoholic from NYC here.

I'm not one of those people who sees themselves as a recovering alcoholic before everything else. I've been sober a year and three months today, thanks to AA (and this site in particular) and another secular site for alcoholocs at www.unhooked.com. I'm married to a person who has no troubles with alcohol or other drugs (she does niether) so I guess you'd have to conder me biased, but the idea of limiting your dating to people in the AA program strikes me as plain nuts.

This isn't a cult. We're here to get and stay sober. Most people don't need to be in recovery groups, and I certainly am not going to shun them for that.

On the other hand, if some people prefer to have every aspect of their life tied up in AA, that's fine with me too.

Wishing you all lots of love, wherever you find it.

Mark C.


Member: Stuart B.
Location: Arizona
Date: 1/16/2002
Time: 10:36:14 PM

Comments

Hey guys, I'am Stuart, and I'am an alcoholic. This topic of relationships is very helpful! First and foremost, I need to stay sober, or there will be no relationship at all. Drunk, I am absolutly no good to anybody. I learned early on a lot of people relapse over relationships, and to not make that girl or guy your Higher Power. I met a wonderful gal in a church singles group, which was nice because we each share having a HP, even though she is not alky. One thing though, I was told early on watch out what you pray for...i prayed for a wife and a child, I wanted to start a family. We'll my HP definately has a sense of humor, I have 4 children now! But it's all a gift, keeping a sense of humor helps. The way I see it, it's all a gift. Sobriety is a gift. And when those twin boys came two years ago, (when my wife was on birth control) it was a blessing. Hey, if I was drunk I couldn't handle 1 kid. I can't handle myself. With God's help it is fun time. Truly, sobriety is a blessing. I believe if we work our program, and are honest with God and outself, and pray to share our life with another, it will happne. That's been my experience.


Member: Peter De
Location: Jersey Shore
Date: 1/17/2002
Time: 10:19:25 AM

Comments

Well, I give my two cents worth.

When we met I was from out of state visiting, she had her own apartment, a bag of weed and wanted to know if I would go to after-hours with her and friends. The drunken "fun times" were great. I stayed for at least 2 weeks. We then carried on a long distence relationship for 9 months or so. Any time I visited it was party time. Well you know how 20 somethings could be in the early 80's. I moved up here 9 months after we met and took a apartment together. Life just came to us. Work, party, and cook a little dinner. A simple little life for 6 years.

Go figure - we both drank and snorted the same. Kept the same hours (more or less). I come from moderate drinking parents, she from alcoholic parents, and I'm the one who becames the alcoholic. At one point or another I crossed that line. I became a scumbag. Yea we all know the embarassing B.S. Well, if you are thinking about it, I did it and made a profit on it.

I was unemployable. Couldn't think or talk straight, so twisted. After being fired, again, I had a exit interview with the H.R.. She asked me if I drank every day? Well hell girl of course! She then told me to go to a meeting every day. What a bolt of lightning!

My girl threw me out at this point. I was harmless, but very sure of my opinion when drunk. And I was all the time, wasn't every one?

I played games in A.A. for 9 months. Going in and out. 2 some time 3 week no drinking, then out of no where, that "trap door " opens. But hey when I see her I am the parrot. AA lingo all the way. I was still the person I thought you wanted me to be.

SO, OK baby we will try again she said on one fine November day in 1988. But first here are some rules... 1. You don't work, I'll pay the bills your job is to go to a meeting every day. 2. Your on a allowance, you get a dollar a day. 3. You can't use the car. Now just who the hell had she been talking to?

In an instant I am thinking F* her, hell it's my car, and at the same time a wash of relief came over me. Whew...

So... it is 2002 and we were married 18 years after we moved in together. We now have a baby boy. I have a relationship that demands my attention and constant compromise. I could never have come this far with out listining, reading, and talking to AA.

Keeping it green for me means a lot more than just AA. topics. Relationships must be refreshed from time to time also. We met 20 years ago this January.

"Love is in the air..."

This is a very condensed view of my life. I gave up on my self, but she mever did give up on me. I wouldn't know how to date now. AA. or non-AA. women. I was always introduced by friends to girls. Well there was just that one time in Key West... One slogan that comes to mind on AA women (and men) is that "they are in her because they are not all there". Yet, At least some of the AA. women are trying to recognize and tame their demons. Your call.


Member: Nikki B.
Location: Poconos
Date: 1/17/2002
Time: 2:36:53 PM

Comments

Hi everyone, I'm Nikki and I am an alcoholic.

It is funny that this is the topic. I have currently gotten into a relationship with someone who is not in the program. He may need to be, but that is not for me to decide.

I know that I have found someone who is real and I like it. I get leary of talking about the program to him because he has seen some bad examples of it.

I know that the relationships that I had in the program did not work out due to someone else trying to run my program. I have a fresh start without those types of problems and it is nice.

I talk to my sponsor as to how things are going and where I need to keep my head at. This is one day at a time and I am willing to keep it that way this time out.

So far having a relationship outside of the program is working a lot better for me then one inside AA.

I thank my HP for allowing this person to come into my life and letting me experience different things in life.

Thanks for letting me share.


Member: Jim R
Location: Central Illinois
Date: 1/17/2002
Time: 5:09:03 PM

Comments

Hello, I'm Jim. I'm an alcoholic. And like Robert Palmer, I may also have to confess that I am addicted to love. Two years after I took my last drink, my wife died. Thank God I got sober in time to help her through her final days. It allowed us to write the final chapter in a 21-year marriage. I would not have been able to do that had I remained a drunk. God's will was really at work during those final two years. A year after she died, I told myself it was time to move on. And move I did; head-first into a short but intense relationship. My sobriety wasn't threatened but my sanity sure was. Once again, God pulled me out of the hole; in fact, he put me in the hospital with mono. During my convalesence, I discovered I had resumed old habits, but without the alcohol. Resentments, self-centeredness, etc. Eventually, I slowed down and took a slower, steadier course at dating. I met a woman (not in the program) in 1997 and we dated three years before getting married. I have shared all my AA experiences and past with her. She doesn't understand the addictive nature of alcohol, but she respects my desire to do whatever it takes to stay sober. I am grateful to God that I was given a second chance. He has shown time and time again that I must slow down and listen in order to catch what He has in mind for me. This is my first attempt at a cyber meeting. Good to meet you all. Keep the faith.


Member: Chris H.
Location: Fla.
Date: 1/17/2002
Time: 5:40:02 PM

Comments

Chris here---ALcoholic/addict/bulimic..This is not a very applicable topic for me as I just had my 30th wedding anniversary on Jan. 15. I have been in the program 7 yrs.... My husband is not in the program and has not been bery supportive of me being in the program... all I can say about this is that you get and stay sober for yourself and no one else...before I got sober, all I ever did was live the way others wanted me to... THe best thing for me to do has been to do what is good for ME no matter what ANYONE says about it...I have learned that my recovery is the most important thing I can do for myself and those around me. I am being tested right now, because I am standing up to someone in my family of origin who has treated me disrespecfully for most of my life. He us a very unhealthy person and I have excused his behavior because I experienced and observed the abuse he recieved. I recently realized that I was enabling him by putting up with his behavior. I was also not respecting myself by allowing his to treat me badly...It has taken alot of strength to do this,but I know it is a step that I had to take. I am forever greatful to this program for giving me the tools with which to live a healthy life... Thanks for letting me share....


Member: Patrick H.
Location: Phila.,Pa.
Date: 1/17/2002
Time: 6:55:03 PM

Comments

I'm Patrick and I'm an alcoholic. Great comments from everyone. Issues are like tissues,you pull one out & the next one pops up. If we could write a book on how to create the perfect relationship....we'd own Maui. I've been sober almost 17 years. I can say that we're as sick as our secrets. The more we work on ourselves ...the less we'll get lost in other's opinions of us. Early in sobriety I remember being really lonely. Before coming into A.A. I lost my wife-house and kids all in one roll of the dice. It hurt for a long time. I never thought i'd ever have a meaningful relationship!! Then one day while at a meeting on the third step i heard something that gave me a new hope. It read something like "God and nature alike abhor suicide...that we all want to be someone in society...and that we all want to have families and reproduce!!!!! It might sound crazy to you- but to me these words opened up a whole new world for me. Without hope - we cannot find ourselves -without love of self -we have none to offer. Things come in God's time, not ours. If you sit by the Ocean long enough........you'll get your answers. Thats where i find my best connection to my H.P. P.s. Don't drink under any and all conditions!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Member: carlene m
Location:
Date: 1/17/2002
Time: 11:03:43 PM

Comments

hi i'm carlene alcoholic. i was already married when i came into aa to a great man that i totally love. he's very very good to me and has been for 20 years. i know he also loves me very much. and also we are our own best friends. i almost made it to 5 years sober but i stopped going to meetings, had no contact with anyone from aa and drank. my husband was aware what i was doing..he said he knew the signs and when he confronted me about my drinking i admitted to it. amazingly and purely by the grace of god, that although i think he was a little hurt with what i did and told me i needed to go back to meetings. which i did last saturday and i came out feeling good. i went home and shared with him how good it felt to get back to a meeting. i just can't get to meetings everyday and i think to keep connected with aa meetings at least once a week can keep me sober. i feel like i get a "atta girl" from my husband which makes me happy and makes me feel good about myself and being sober. i don't like feeling drunk..i thought i could have a drink or two like a normal person (my husband is a social drinker)buut i've learned that doesn't work and it's not worth the price you may pay. thanks for letting me share.


Member: Lee P.
Location: North East Texas
Date: 1/17/2002
Time: 11:17:23 PM

Comments

Hello everyone...Texas alkie named Lee,17 yrs. sober.I have never had a relationship with any woman outside of AA.I started dating a woman in AA when I had about 2 1/2 yrs.sober.We got married shortly after she had been sober for one year.Have been happily married since May 7,1988.This is my first ever marriage,so I don't have anything to compare it to....for which I am very thankful.


Member: Helen
Location: Not in bottle
Date: 1/18/2002
Time: 3:14:54 PM

Comments

Hi, I'm Helen, I'm an alcoholic.

I am in the same relationship as before I even "caught" this disease. My major "relationship problem" relating to my alcoholism is Hubby refusing to believe that I am ill. I am obviously weak-willed and selfish for getting drunk every time I touch the stuff, but I am "not an alcoholic". He offers me drinks, saying, "have a drink, just a couple, enjoy yourself." I tell him repeatedly that I have this "food allergy" and that I cannot even have "just a couple". Yet he still refuses to accept this, and cannot understand my apprehension during times when I am surrounded by alcohol (e.g. parties).

He is not an alcoholic; he is a normal, social drinker, although he used to drink rather heavily, which is what made he hit the bottle in the first place: what's good for the goose....

Does anybody else have this problem with their loved ones? I sometimes wish that I was once again in the "safe" Pre-Diagnosis World, when I just "felt like" getting drunk. I am terrified of going there again.

Any advice appreciated. Thank you.


Member: Watching
Location: Sodom & Egypt
Date: 1/18/2002
Time: 4:35:33 PM

Comments

"To Christ I conceded the certainty of a great man, not too closely followed by them who claimed Him." Bill W.

Friday January 18 2:29 PM ET Jury Convicts Boston Priest of Fondling Boy

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Reuters) - Defrocked Roman Catholic priest John Geoghan, accused of molesting more than 130 children over about 30 years, was convicted on Friday of fondling a 10-year-old boy as the two swam together more than a decade ago. A Massachusetts jury found Geoghan, 66, who was kicked out of the priesthood in 1998, guilty of indecent assault and battery on a person younger than 14. Geoghan was taken into custody by court officers. Jurors deliberated about four hours on Thursday and several more hours on Friday before reaching their verdict. The case was the first to go to trial among about 84 civil and three criminal complaints outstanding against Geoghan. In all, more than 130 people have accused him of molesting them over a span of three decades as his superiors in the Boston diocese moved him from parish to parish. The Boston diocese already has paid $10 million to settle about 50 such civil cases. The young man and his mother, whose names have been withheld by the court, are plaintiffs in a civil complaint. The case has shaken the U.S. Catholic church and implicated Boston Cardinal Bernard Law and five bishops, who are named in many of the lawsuits and accused of knowing about Geoghan's abuses and ignoring them.

I don't know if this kind of "dating" is thought of here, but I thought it worthy of some third and eleventh step work!


Member: AAYAH
Location: Granite State
Date: 1/19/2002
Time: 7:32:19 AM

Comments

12+12,Step 12 It is only where "boy meets girl on AA campus," and love follows at first sight,that difficulties may develop. The prospective partners need to be solid AA's and long enough aquainted to know that their compatibility at spiritual,mental,and emotional levels is a a fact and not wishful thinking. they need to be as sure as possible that no deep-lying emotional handicap in either will be likely to rise up under later pressures to cripple them.


Member: Dean
Location:
Date: 1/19/2002
Time: 11:34:45 AM

Comments

Dean, alcoholic here...To Helen, drinking spouses certainly dont' help the situation...especially drinking families around the holidays! My wife likes to relax and have a few, and they are a few drinks on the weekend. It's hard for me to say anything because she isn't abusing the stuff like me...All I'm getting at, is whether it a AA relationship or a pre AA established relationship-partners need to be receptive to our needs but the same time, like myself, we have to be able to stand firm that we dont want to go that route.


Member: sober member
Location: freedomville
Date: 1/19/2002
Time: 2:46:21 PM

Comments

Hi, I'm a member of alcoholics ananymous. Sober by the grace of a loving creator.4yrs.

If I don't take some kind of action toward putting the twelve steps to work in my life on a daily basis, then I am missing the point of living the twelve steps. Primary purpose is to stay sober. The chance to live life on lifes terms is the second thing available to me. It's been my experience that living life on lifes terms means learning from others when I can, and learning through my own experiences good and bad. Even if we do stumble which we all will that is were I myself gain true tools for living. Forced to work the steps and grow. The alternitive for me is to RUN AND HIDE! Today I'm willing to give things a chance with help from others and my God. I closed myself of from alot of things for a few years due to fact that I was affraid. Today I will not give more power to things that cause the feeling of fear in me than I give to the opertunity to trust God and do the best I can. I have waisted alot of time focusing on the results that live in my mind when I let fear run my life. What's the worst thing that can happen. I can stay were I am and be miserable or I can Trust God,Steps, and Sponcer. The only way I have been able to get past fear, neg. thinking, and delusional neg. visions of what the results are going to be has been to take action on right decisions willing to except what ever I'm given as just the way it was intended to be.


Member: Jan BB
Location: Paris, France
Date: 1/19/2002
Time: 4:52:03 PM

Comments

Hi everyone and Steve, this is a good topic! Well, I do think recovery does come first, expecially in the first few years of sobriety. I of course did not take the suggestions and did find out the hard way. When I entered sobriety this last time 11 and half years ago, I was engaged to a guy and then moved in with him. This became a huge disaster rather quickly after living together. When I got my one year chip, HP yanked this fellow right out of my life. I say on the pitty-pot for sometime, but stayed sober and jumped into alot of service work; that saved my hiney. In doing service, I was able to get to know people who had what I wanted, people who lived this program in all their affairs. I also got into councling and a women's group that met once a week, those both were out side the program, and that helped me greatly. I also put myself "on the shelf" as far as relationships, until I got my program, thinking, and heart all on the same path. That was a good four years and I just swam in the program, enjoyed group activities with and around AA people. My life got on the AA beam.

At five years sober, I took a trip abroad for the first time, alone, as a birthday gift to myself. I went to AA meetings all throughout my travels and it was at the American Church, Thurs. night, 8:45pm Nov 9th, 1996, Paris, that I met my husband. I had seen this guy come in late, we did notice each other and both went to coffee if the group afterwards. It was over coffee that his fateful line, "Have you ever seen the Eiffel Tower at night?" that hooked me (never heard that one)and we spent the next four days together. I flew back to SF and eight months later, a few trips for both of us to and fro, I move to Paris, Feb of 98 we marry, Dec 98' our wonderful son is born and in a few weeks we will celebrate our fourth annverisary. Of course that is the condensed version, but I have to say, I owe all of my life today, to AA. I am one darn happy sober camper and never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought that my life would take the turns it has in sobriety. Ex-party girl turns wife and mother and find true love and happiness across the world, who have thunk? It is a good life in AA, one that gets, as ((Sanders)) say's, "gooder and gooder!"


Member: Theresa B.
Location: Dallas,TX
Date: 1/19/2002
Time: 6:19:39 PM

Comments

Hello,

My name is theresa. I am an alcoholic. I've been sober since November 22, 2001. I really haven't dated since I have been in the program...