My wife is consumed by her AA group - Talk About Marriage
Relationships and Addiction Whether it's drugs, alcohol, gambling, sex, pornography, or anything else, addictions can be detrimental to the health of a relationship.

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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 02:43 PM Thread Starter
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My wife is consumed by her AA group

Don't get me wrong, I'm ecstatic my wife got into a program and has been clean and sober for the past 2 years but I am angry and feel betrayed by the results. I have been behind her and supportive unconditionally and given her time and space to work her program and interact with her support group, occasionally attending meetings with her and being there to celebrate her one year anniversary. The program has taken its toll on our relationship however. She has been attending more meetings recently and even though they start at 6 or 7, she doesn't get home till 10 or 11. She didn't even bother to tell me when her 2 year anniversary was and attended that milestone meeting without me. She recently became a sponsor (and is very effective and committed in that role) but the friction stems from the fact that even when she is home, she's texting her sponsor/sponsee and generally isolating herself from me and our daughter. When we had a recent fight and I expressed my feelings of neglect and isolation, she suggested we "make time" just for us which i thought was a good sign. The very next day however, she told me she was taking on another sponsee and my jaw hit the floor. Going from one meeting a week to 3 or 4 and wanting to take on a second sponsee when the one she already has takes up most of the time she could be spending with us when she's not working or at a meeting, makes me feel that her family is no longer a factor in her decisions.

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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 03:04 PM
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Re: My wife is consumed by her AA group

This seems to be a very common thing. A very close friend of mine is in GA and he goes to meetings almost every day. It is his new addiction, he even goes to a Gay GA sub group.

Are you in Al Anon? You might find some support there. I think when they are new to it there is a level of the healthy behavior sort of replacing the addiction. It feels safe and they need to occupy their time as much as possible with people they feel "get" them and their problems.

It is difficult to be on the support end for an addict. Maybe MC would help you both work on your relationship. It is going to be different now that she is sober, some help for you both with this change couldn't hurt.
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 03:11 PM
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Re: My wife is consumed by her AA group

*cough* Affair

Virginia: "Why can't you kids leave well enough alone? Everything was fine until you started digging around."

Burt: "You sound like a Scooby Doo villain."
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 06:29 PM
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Re: My wife is consumed by her AA group

I don't think it necessarily means an affair, although it can't be ruled out.

People who are in AA are addicts. They become addicted to the meetings/relationships/support in lieu of alcohol or drug. They may not be doing drugs or alcohol anymore, but they still need that something that acts as their crutch so they don't have to be alone with whatever thoughts/emotions made them want to drink in the first place.

I've only known one person who was in AA, but while she was in it.....it completely consumed her life.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 06:30 PM
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Re: My wife is consumed by her AA group

Oh wow! I can post now without quoting!! (Sorry, just realized I didn't quote, and was able to post....whatever glitch was going on must have resolved itself.)
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 06:51 PM
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Re: My wife is consumed by her AA group

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Originally Posted by SecondTime'Round View Post
I don't think it necessarily means an affair, although it can't be ruled out.

People who are in AA are addicts. They become addicted to the meetings/relationships/support in lieu of alcohol or drug. They may not be doing drugs or alcohol anymore, but they still need that something that acts as their crutch so they don't have to be alone with whatever thoughts/emotions made them want to drink in the first place.

I've only known one person who was in AA, but while she was in it.....it completely consumed her life.
I agree. It's like they just switch addictions. Some become religious zealots or some like the OP's wife become addicted to their recovery program.

OP, has your wife done any individual counseling to find out the whys of her addictive behavior?
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 07:00 PM
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Re: My wife is consumed by her AA group

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I agree. It's like they just switch addictions. Some become religious zealots or some like the OP's wife become addicted to their recovery program.

OP, has your wife done any individual counseling to find out the whys of her addictive behavior?
Yep!
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 07:03 PM
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Re: My wife is consumed by her AA group

If the person she is sponsoring not a female, you have big trouble.

Go through the phone records now.

Get a voice activated recorder for her car and house and get some answers.
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-18-2015, 08:27 PM
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Re: My wife is consumed by her AA group

Yep I have seen it more than once, she talks personally with a guy in treatment, they connect and cheat. You have a bigger problem than you think.

Are you interested in knowing how you should proceed?
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-19-2015, 12:56 PM
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Re: My wife is consumed by her AA group

First of all, I would like to state that I am an alcoholic/ addict and have been in recovery for about 2 and 1/2 years. So you know where I am coming from. It sounds to me like your wife is actually working a very HEALTHY program of recovery. Three or four meetings a week is not that much people!! They only last an hour. I would ,however, discuss with her why it takes her so long to get home. I wouldn't worry about the number of sponsees either. 90% of them don't call back after the first week. I myself, have three sponsees, but I only hear from one on a regular basis.

The codependent/addict relationship is a hard one to heal. Perhaps, a hobby or support group of your own would help. My husband coaches our son's baseball and football team and I think that is a good outlet for him. Food for thought.. perhaps a healthy/non needy partner often times looks cold and aloof to the untreated codependent.
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-19-2015, 01:40 PM
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Re: My wife is consumed by her AA group

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*cough* Affair
Cough, rubbish. I have spent 20 years in AA. It is one of the less likely places for an affair to brew. What has happened here, and it happened to me, is that OPs wife has allowed herself to become consumed by AA. OPs wife will eventually find balance if she works a good program and has a decent sponsor who will guide her.

OP you better be going to ALANON, take your daughter with you. If you are not going to ALANON your as big a part of the issue as your wife is. They will teach you how to work with this situation in an appropriate manner. But he way when you go get yourself a sponsor and work the program.
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-19-2015, 01:41 PM
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Re: My wife is consumed by her AA group

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Yep I have seen it more than once, she talks personally with a guy in treatment, they connect and cheat. You have a bigger problem than you think.

Are you interested in knowing how you should proceed?
AA is not treatment, not even close.
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-19-2015, 02:02 PM
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Re: My wife is consumed by her AA group

If this woman had a muscle wasting disease and had to spend 3 or four hours in the gym every week, she would be applauded for her strength and commitment to managing her disease. Addiction is a terminal disease just like any other disease and has to be managed for the rest of one's life.

I'm not saying there's not room for compromise in this situation, but this is part of the stigma people in recovery face every day.
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-19-2015, 03:50 PM Thread Starter
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Re: My wife is consumed by her AA group

Hi, OP here. Wow. I didn't realize what a can of worms i opened here. So many opinions across the board and i appreciate them all. I want to be the "glass half full" optimist and believe all is well and that i have just mind f**ked myself into a paranoid state of suspicion by surfing the net too much but the changes in her behavior have been recent and sudden. 1 meeting a week is all she's attended for most of her recovery and then the sudden jump, the strange hours, and the desire to take on more group responsibilities (a second sponsee, attending the business meetings).

There's been no life turmoil that might lead to relapse that she's shared with me and I've been very careful about avoiding triggers at home (i do drink socially but don't keep alcohol in the house, stay out late, or come home drunk). I don't even record some of my favorite TV shows because of frequent drug/alcohol references. I've told here i'd come with her to meetings (its an open group format) or look at a support group like Al-Anon but she says it's not critical to her recovery (and in some ways, I'm very dubious of the insular nature of the 12 step approach for obvious reasons). She even told me she would't mind if i had a glass of wine with dinner at home but even i know the potential pitfall of flaunting that trigger. The decision to keep the house booze free was mine as was my decision to give away all our bar-ware, martini glasses and anything else that was a reminder of that former lifestyle.

Her sponsor is female BTW as is her new sponsee so I'm not worried about that. I guess my ultimate question is (and let's take the glass half full assumption that she's not having an affair) how do we become spouses again and not just 2 people who share a house with a child who wonders why mommy and daddy sleep in different rooms. (Oh, BTW, the sex stopped 6 months ago too and her reason for sleeping in the guest room is my snoring, which is actually believable).

As i read my own words here, i realize I'm in my own form of denial and probably the poster child for a sucker but let's put on our rose tinted glasses for a moment, assume the situation can be salvaged, and address the question that stems from the comments of several respondents. If it's not uncommon for one addiction to be traded for another, (in this case booze for AA), why stop there? What can we do for our loved ones to get them to trade in (or at least share) their new addiction for yet another, a burning addiction to be with the people who love them?

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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 07-19-2015, 04:12 PM
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Re: My wife is consumed by her AA group

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Cough, rubbish. I have spent 20 years in AA. It is one of the less likely places for an affair to brew.
LOL. Sure. Seems legit.

I'm sure everything is on the up and up.

Virginia: "Why can't you kids leave well enough alone? Everything was fine until you started digging around."

Burt: "You sound like a Scooby Doo villain."
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