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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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  #1  
Old 03-29-2016, 05:54 PM
stripes stripes is offline
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Default Al-Anon: posting for a friend

On behalf of a friend:

She's divorced from an alcoholic, 50/50 parenting. Ex is decent when he's sober, a royal jerk when he's drunk. He remarried to another drinker, lots of yelling and fighting going on. Recently friend's ex "hit rock bottom" (second wife kicked him out) and has since been going to AA, promising to change his ways, etc. Friend is cautiously optimistic but understandably suspicious that this transformation may not last. She's looking for advice and help in her situation.

Question: Has anyone here gone to Al-Anon as the ex-partner and co-parent (rather than current partner) of an alcoholic? If so, was it useful?
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Old 03-29-2016, 06:06 PM
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Janibel Janibel is offline
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Speaking from experience, it is a life-long commitment for the alcoholic. My ex joined AA several times over the years and each time fell off the wagon after a few weeks of 'soberdom'.

Your friend must realize that the alcoholic will struggle with his addiction for the rest of his life - and there will be disappointments. If she does decide to go, she might learn coping mechanisms that will help her deal with his problem. Yes, she is wise to be cautious, living with an alcoholic is like living with Dr Jekill and Mr. Hyde.
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Old 03-29-2016, 06:17 PM
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It's always useful. If your life is impacted either directly or indirectly, there is useful information you learn, especially if they have kids together. She will need to learn strategies to help her children cope as well.

There is certainly no harm in going
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Old 03-29-2016, 07:57 PM
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Thanks - yes, it's the helping-the-kids piece that my friend is looking for. Understandably, she doesn't feel like she has the skills to be a good neutral listener when they kids are disturbed by their father, and she's hoping to learn how to support them because, like Janibel says, this is likely to be a roller-coaster rather than one-time fix.
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Old 03-29-2016, 10:55 PM
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Al-Anon can be very useful for the family of an alcoholic, if not for the great coping advice, for the sense of community. It helps a lot to know that others have been through the same ordeal.

My sister and I both went to Al-Anon meetings as teenagers (Dad had a drinking problem) and we made some good friends there that we still keep in touch with decades later. Sometimes just talking about these issues with a like-minded person can make all the difference.

One of Al-anon's many slogans:

"Just For Today,
I will Let It Begin with Me
And Think, How Important Is It
Before I lose my serenity
And if I Keep It Simple
When my mind wants to burst
I will remember Easy Does It
and place First Things First
And isn't it kind of Funny
When I feel I've bottomed out
I find hope and courage when
I finally Let Go and Let God
But For The Grace of God
I can Keep An Open Mind
And learn to Live and Let Live
One Day At A Time."
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Old 03-30-2016, 12:38 AM
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Alcohol is the root of evil in so many cases... sigh...
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Old 03-31-2016, 10:56 AM
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I am in Al-Anon right now and my Ex thinks it's hilarious (his entire family does). PM me if you want more information as to the location I go. I'm in Ottawa.

It's really been helpful for me. I spent years and years rationalizing his behaviour because all the boxes of life were 'ticked': bills were paid, house was (relatively) clean, no one was starving, etc. I thought addicts were living under bridges with needles coming out of their arms. Most of the people I've met in Al-Anon are in very similar circumstances as me and it's been really eye-opening. Last week we had a girl talk about how her dad was always playing video games growing up (like, 4-6 hours a day) and then he would brag that he was 'always at home with my kids!' type-thing.
People are so effed up!!
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Old 03-31-2016, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stripes View Post
Thanks - yes, it's the helping-the-kids piece that my friend is looking for. Understandably, she doesn't feel like she has the skills to be a good neutral listener when they kids are disturbed by their father, and she's hoping to learn how to support them because, like Janibel says, this is likely to be a roller-coaster rather than one-time fix.
Why is there a 50-50 custody arrangement with a dude drinking while parenting?!?!

The mind. It boggles.
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Old 03-31-2016, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ensorcelled View Post
Why is there a 50-50 custody arrangement with a dude drinking while parenting?!?!

The mind. It boggles.
Well, it's like you said yourself, bills were paid, house was relatively clean, no abuse etc. My father was a hard worker and took care of business, most alcoholics can be very charming and respectable when sober ... It's very difficult to prove psychological abuse in court.

The effects of living with an alcoholic may not be obvious in the short term. That's why groups like Al-Anon are so helpful in understanding the trauma associated with spending many years with a person suffering from this disease.
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Old 03-31-2016, 01:01 PM
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Sorry, you're right Janibel. I was harsh in my response.

Obviously I need to get to a meeting ASAP!
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