Alanon for spouse not in AA

Hello, wondering if Alanon is a good resource for finding ways to deal with my spouses alcoholism if he is not in AA?  I need to find support/advice on how to cope with his issues while trying to support myself emotionally and navigate our family through this very difficult situation.  Would another program be more beneficial?  I have not dealt with this before and I'm unsure where to start.  I live in CoCo County so any recommendations in that area would be appreciated. Thank you.

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RE: Alanon for spouse not in AA ()

Hello,

I attended al anon for help managing the stress around an extended family member’s drinking. Yes, you can definitely get help there, whether or not your spouse goes to AA. 

Al-anon is about taking care of yourself no matter where the drinking person is in their journey. I found it very helpful.

Best of luck and (((Hugs)))—dealing with addiction is really hard.

RE: Alanon for spouse not in AA ()

Yes!  My former partner refused to get help for years and I benefited greatly from Al-Anon. It helped me at work and at home and continues to help daily even though I haven’t attended meetings in 5 years.  I will say that if the first few meetings don’t feel right, ‘keep coming back’ but try a new location and time. Because the meetings depend on the members to keep things going and to pick topics, they vary greatly. I mainly attended meetings in SF, and these tend to be bigger and varied and full of recovery. If you happen to work in SF, there are a few downtown meetings over lunch which can be a good midday break. 

RE: Alanon for spouse not in AA ()

The only requirement for membership in Alanon is that you are affected by another person's drinking.  I'd encourage you to try it and see if it is a good fit for you.

RE: Alanon for spouse not in AA ()

Absolutely! Yes! It is great for you, will help you detach from the alcoholic behavior and see what YOU need. Go! Go tonight! 

RE: Alanon for spouse not in AA ()

Yes, Alanon is for family members of alcoholics, whether or not the alcoholic is in AA, in another recovery program, or is still actively drinking. You will meet a lot of people in Alanon whose family members are actively drinking. I go because my mother is an alcoholic, and she has never been to AA or even admitted that she is addicted to alcohol. As they say in Alanon, alcoholism is a family illness and any member of the family can be in recovery regardless of the behavior of the other family members. Best wishes to you and I hope you find Alanon to be helpful. 

RE: Alanon for spouse not in AA ()

I have found Alanon to be a vital resource for dealing with non-recovering family members with either alcoholism or mental illness. What I've learned in the program is that I can't change others' behavior, but can instead identify the best choices for myself in relation to the difficult situations. Sometimes changing what I do, or even just changing my attitude, actually does bring about changes in others, but the main benefit is that through my involvement in Alanon I have grown more aware of my choices, am better able to identify the healthier ones, and feel more confident about making good decisions. I've become less fearful and less angry, and more compassionate, even when the non-recovering relatives haven't stopped drinking or otherwise behaving badly. My relationships all around have improved--i became a better wife, better mother, better daughter, better friend. I've also gained through Alanon a group of loving and supportive friends whom I can count on for support whenever I need it. It's a fantastic program, and it's free! Visit a few different groups, as each one has a slightly different feel, and see if they are helpful to you. Good luck!

RE: Alanon for spouse not in AA ()

I am sorry you are in this difficult situation. Alcoholism is a devastating disease that impacts the whole family.

Al-Anon is an excellent resource for anyone who's loved one has alcoholic or addictive behaviors, whether their loved one is in AA or not, whether their loved one acknowledges they have a problem or not. My teenage son's addictive behaviors brought me to seek support at Al-Anon. I've been attending a group on the Peninsula fairly regularly since January 2018. Each group operates a little differently, so if the first one you try isn't a fit, try another.

I also highly recommend the book "Beyond Addiction: How Science and Kindness Help People Change" which is an expansion of information contained in "The Partner's (or Parent's) 20 Minute Guide" put out by the Center for Motivation and Change. I found this resource through the Partnership for Drug Free Kids (drugfree.org). 

https://the20minuteguide.com/partners/introduction-partners-guide/

Take care of yourself, and know you are not alone. Support is available to you.

RE: Alanon for spouse not in AA ()

Yes, YES.  Go, please.  It's life changing ---- IF we allow it to be.  Maybe one's spouse never stops drinking. Doesn't matter.  Alcoholism (like any ism) affects the whole family; someone in the family needs to stop the downward cycle. For me, that's where Al-Anon came in.  Please commit to 6 weeks --and each week make as many meetings as you can.  Each meeting (even at the same place) has a different 'personality'.  You might ask other attendees if there's a meeting they really like.  I've done Al-Anon , in another state, for 20 years.  My husband and then my son were drinking alcoholically-- yet both were insulted if even a subtle mention was made of their drinking habits.   Today both of them have 10 years + of sobriety.  BUT,please don't go to Al-Anon thinking they'll change. We have a lot of homework to do, on ourselves.  Making the decision to go to Al-anon, no matter that people might see me & figure out my husband (well-known in our small area) was drinking 'too much'.---Making that decision  was the 1st, crucial step for me --- All the best!

RE: Alanon for spouse not in AA ()

Just to re-emphasize what others have said - Yes! Al anon can be an extremely valuable resource for anyone whose life is affected by an alcoholic. Sending much love and care to you during this difficult time. 

RE: Alanon for spouse not in AA ()

As everyone else has said, Al-Anon is for YOU. The first thing you learn is you have no control over the alcoholic, so Al Anon is for you to learn coping skills for yourself. And find other folks who have walked in your shoes and won't do the "You Should" BS that other people who've never dealt with alcoholism up front and personal tend to spout off with. Definitely go to several meetings until you find the one that fits you best. ANd dont be turned off by the "God talk" even if you're not religious, the program is about learning to take care of yourself when you're in  an out-of-control situation.  These are life skills and they translate to all sorts of situations.  Good luck