Monday, January 21, 2008

The Alcoholic Marriage

We had a great meeting this weekend on detachment. I learned a lot and we had a lot visitors. To see this Meeting and the comments click on the link here: This Weekend's Meeting is on: Detachment

Today I want to post about something I read from the book - an Al-Anon book - titled "The Dilemma of the Alcoholic Marriage." But before I do, I want to tell you how I came across this book, because I do believe there are "forces" in the universe "conspiring to do us good" - if only we pay attention to them. These "forces" knock on our doors, and sometime we do not recognize them, especially if our mind are in a state of turmoil.

A Story About Rescue
There is the story of the man who was caught in a flood and went to the roof of his house, to escape the rising waters which had surrounded his house. There he sat and prayed to God for a rescue and to be saved.

Soon a truck with wheels big enough to go through the water came to the house with the man on the roof, and the occupants of the truck said, "Come with us, we have room in our truck," and the man on the house replied, "No thanks, I have prayed and have asked God to save me."

Later as the water had gotten to a higher level, making it impossible for trucks to get through any longer, a man in a rowboat showed up. The man in the boat said, "Come with me, I have room in my boat," and the man on the house replied, "I have prayed and have asked God to save me."

The water had started to overtake the roof, and the water's torrent was swift, beginning to tear away at the structure ripping parts of the house apart. The man stood up becasue the water had overtaken his roof and he again prayed to God for help. Just then a helicopter came by, and the pilot called down, "We'll send down a rope and save you." The man replied, "I have prayed to God and I am waiting for him to save me."

The helicopter pulled away and soon the man was washed away in the water's torrent and died.

When the man got to heaven he asked God why hadn't God saved him from the rising waters? God replied, "I tried to rescue you three different times, why didn't you take what I sent you?"

We are all sent something - this book (The Dilemma of the Alcoholic Marriage) came to my attention through my sponsor at Christmas. I had written it down - but soon forgot about it.
Then at Al-Anon, a woman who is struggling with her husband, who I have known from this meeting for sometime, said to me "Here you ought to read this, this book is really good."

Normally, I would not have gotten the book. But she was very much in my "face" with the book - and she is not that way - pushy I mean - and not a person to cross boundaries. It was a message I believe - to GET THE BOOK. Plus it was only $9.50! What did I have to lose.

Perhaps this quote and post will be your message and help you. Here is the quote or passage I was reading this morning;

"If he is drinking, her (wife) constant protective watchfulness makes it easy for him to sidestep getting help. He has no incentive to get sober. She convinces herself that she's doing her very best for him; she hasn't learned, as she would in Al-Anon, that shielding him from the consequences of his drinking only prolongs its course.

"When he's drunk, her reaction is to reproach him for his behavior, and that's the very worst time to attempt to communicate with him. In fact it can't be done without triggering a family war.

Until she learns what is wrong with her attitude and how to change herself so he will be forced to face his responsibilities, the situation isn't likely to improve."

from "The Dilemma of the Alcoholic Marriage"

The book goes on to discuss the importance of communication - good communication - which is vital in a good marriage.
A certain sentence may be read out of context; "Until she learns what is wrong with her attitude . . . " is the sentence.
What this means is; Me, you, us - we have to change our attitude toward the alcoholic. It means "detach" and stop trying to help him or her when they can do it for themselves. This sentence is not to say "we are to blame." You and I are not to blame. We were just doing what we thought was right, because we did not have the tools.
I hope this passage from the book helps you. I also hope, that my message of trying to get peace in your own head helps. Because we need that intuitive side that we all tend to have to come back to us. The intuitive side of us, which I know I have and I know - or suspect you have - needs to come back through quieting our minds. And then when something happens, where someone points to Al-Anon, someone points to a book, someone offers something up to you to accept or not accept, maybe, just maybe there is some force trying to give you guidance, to help you.

I hope this message brings me peace, because I suppressed my intuitive side for the past six months through focusing on the chaos and trying to manage someone elses life.

Make today a good and pleasant, happy day!


Ashley said...

It's amazing what you can "hear" when you're least expecting it. I read the "Dilemna" book as well. It was also handed to me by someone else. Thank you again for posting the "meeting" this weekend.

skip said...

thank you, both for this post which is very timely for me, and for the meeting on the weekend.
While I did not contribute, I did read and learn.

wineymomma said...

I love the book. I have lost several copies of it because I loaned it out and never got it back (which I knew would probably happen!)

dinesh said...

I wants to say thanks to this website. that this website is giving lot of information to millions of people around the world .so keep doing this good going.
Alcohol abuse affects millions. This site has a lot of useful information.

Anonymous said...

Good dispatch and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Say thank you you on your information.

Anonymous said...

Easily I agree but I think the collection should acquire more info then it has.

Anonymous said...

ousneIve been to 3 al anon meetings and was shown this book by someone and was online ordering it...and ran across this blog, I have now bookmarked it and read past posts...thank you. :)

Guy-Léo Morin, p.a. said...

Actually, the Dilemma of the Alcoholic Marriage is but a false dilemma, the true dilemma being marriage per se whoever with.

Gulemo said...

The Dilemma of The Alcoholic Marriage is but a false dilemma. The true dilemma is marriage itself whoever to. It has little if anything to do with an alcoholic, male or female. There is but 10-12% men in Al-Anon Family Groups, no wonder why. AFG will disappear before men are equal to women – at least in number – in that “wonderful” fellowship. AFG will never solve the marriage dilemma.