About once a week, I go with my husband to one of his AA meetings. This has been really beneficial for me, along with my own Al-Anon meetings. I’d recommend it especially to spouses of alcoholics. Hearing shared stories from other alcoholics helps me to understand my own husband better, as he isn’t always the most communicative person. Our marriage was very weakened by lies surrounding alcohol, and I feel like sometimes it’s easier to hear other alcoholics’ stories because I am uninvolved personally with them. Their personal stories don’t trigger my weaknesses of anger and resentment. It’s a lot easier to listen with an open mind. Some of the stories blow my mind. People have been through hells I cannot imagine and have caused so much pain and are working through heavy guilt. And there is something therapeutic about listening quietly while I’m sitting next to my husband. I know he’s taking it in and I always hope something sticks, like they say, that he always hears things that keep him coming back.
I believe that everyone who keeps going back to those AA rooms is courageous and admirable, regardless of the crap in their past. They are truly working on themselves today, and hoping they can get to tomorrow still sober. Because of this, I also can see my husband as brave and someone to appreciate. I cannot imagine our lives at this point if he weren’t working the steps. Our marriage was in shreds, and since we’ve started our meetings and he’s stopped drinking, the explosive fights have stopped. Yes, we still disagree on other things and marriage is *still* hard. It’s not that all of our problems have gone away at all. We just are learning to deal with them with calmer minds, with more reliance on a higher power. That damn disease is not ruling our house any more. It isn’t turning him into an absolute asshole and I’ve not felt like I was losing my mind in a while now. I’ll take that. One day at a time.