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mopey Offline OP
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It's been awhile since I've posted. I shy away because I haven't had the courage, yet, to leave my marriage.

My husband still has independent behavior that makes recovery impossible.

I'd like to discuss a particular IB of my husbands, and get the advice of others who have spouses in AA.

Pep....if you're reading, I would love your insight as well. I just read where you mentioned that your husband is active in AA. Does your husband attend co-ed AA meetings?

And Mel.......did you attend co-ed AA meetings?


Three days ago I sent the following e-mail to Joyce and Dr. Harley and was thrilled to get an answer back from Dr. Harley.

My question to Dr. Harley............

Hello Joyce and Dr. Harley,

My husband, who has cheated on me several times in the past, wants to attend co-ed AA meetings. My husband and I are familiar with POJA, and I'm not having any luck persuading him to do something different. He claims these meetings, close to our house and the timing of the meetings, are convenient for him when he feels the need to go to one.

It feels like a marriage dealbreaker for me. I do not feel safe. I have been to co-ed AA meetings (I am not an alcoholic) and they seem to share some pretty intimate stuff in the "group" meetings.

Do you have any advice for me?


Dr. Harley's response.........

Hi Kathi,

I don't believe that the POJA is an option for marriage. I believe that it's essential for marriage. Those who do not follow that guideline face a lifetime of misery. That's because if spouses don't make their decisions with each other's feelings in mind, they end up trampling over each other's feelings, the way your husband has trampled over your feelings. If your husband feels that the POJA is something that can be violated occasionally, he'll have another affair, or do something else to ruin your life. His affair may or may not be with someone in his co-ed AA meeting, but will almost be a certainty. If your husband, or anyone else, for that matter, doesn't take extraordinary precautions to avoid an affair, they'll end up having one because they're so common and so tempting. From my perspective, it's that simple. By the way, I've known for years that co-ed AA meetings are notorious breeding gounds for affairs. In fact, they are often the primary cause of the divorce of couples who have just been through treatment.

Best wishes,
Willard F. Harley, Jr.


O.k., I agree with Dr. Harley 100%, and he validated what I already knew, and validated what I thought he would say.

I guess my question is.....

I know the big issue here is my husband trampling on my feelings. That aside, I'm curious if anyone is recovering with spouses in co-ed AA meetings? I guess we'd need to assume that the non attending spouse didn't have a problem with co-ed meetings.......

For those that know me, I don't need to tell you that my husband believes it's my lack of healing, and lack of closeness and trust in God, that is the problem. He has stated "he isn't doing anything wrong".


Husband was unfaithful to me before and after our marriage, at least 7 times. I found out 13 yrs into the marriage. Trickle truth for an entire year. Several different d-days, so it was more like a d-year. Difficult recovery.



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mopey Offline OP
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Oh, and one more question please.....

If you've attended co-ed AA meetings, just how intimate do the co-ed meetings get?


Husband was unfaithful to me before and after our marriage, at least 7 times. I found out 13 yrs into the marriage. Trickle truth for an entire year. Several different d-days, so it was more like a d-year. Difficult recovery.



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Quote:


I'm curious if anyone is recovering with spouses in co-ed AA meetings?



Yes.
H attends co-ed meetings.
He also attends "men only" meetings.
His "home" group is co-ed.
He often goes out after a meeting with either his sponsor, or one of the men he sponsors.

Yes.
It bothered/worried me during our early recovery.
Not so much now.
I still pay attention to what goes on.


Yes.
Based just on what you have written, I think your H is not very considerate about your feelings.

Does your H have a male sponsor?

The problems happen not during the meeting, but after a meeting.
Sometimes, a woman might come up to your H, or mine. and ask for his help, compliment him, and otherwise behave inappropriately.
That's what alcoholics are famous for. Behaving inappropriately.
Alcoholics are not known for their firm, solid boundaries.

I think you are wise to be cautious and skeptical about the co-ed AA meetings.

One of the amusing things about my H's home group is this .... because of where we live, about 50% of the regulars are either gay or lesbian.

Makes for some interesting "share" moments.

BTY, is there any way you can attend these meetings with him?

Here is a fact.
If I told my H that I wanted him to stop going to a particular AA meeting, he'd find another meeting. His sobriety need not be compromised. He'd FIND a meeting that would not cause me concern/worry.

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Originally Posted By: mopey
Oh, and one more question please.....

If you've attended co-ed AA meetings, just how intimate do the co-ed meetings get?



Sometimes ... the 'share' can be alarmingly intimate !
The key members of any given group often sway the members to behave more appropriately.

Example:

My H told me of a guy in a co-ed meeting sharing stuff that was WAY too indiscrete in a meeting with women. H said he could 'see' the women bristling and getting upset.

After the meeting, the 'senior' male members had a little 'chat' with him.

Again, you are SMART to be wary.

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Thank you very much for the response Pep.

I do believe the difference between your situation and mine is that your H WOULD stop co-ed AA meetings if it bothered you. BIG difference.

In fact, it is my H's refusal to resolve this and other conflicts that keeps me in a place of not trusting him in situations like the co-ed AA mtgs. To me it just reminds me that he comes first. A selfish trait. A wayward trait.

I could see myself trusting him more over time, if he didn't trample on my feelings. But, that's not happening. Neither is true recovery.

His sponsor? Last I heard, his sponsor dumped him awhile back. I wonder if I'd get a truthful answer as to why he dumped him if I asked. I don't know if he has a new sponsor. I highly doubt it though because I believe he would have mentioned his name from time to time.

I agree that the most innapropriate behavior would happen before or after the mtg, while they talk amongst themselves. My H has said that he will not have private conversations with women, but will have conversations in a group setting, even if it's outside the meeting. But because he's not willing to POJA this with me, I don't trust him period.

Can I go with him? I guess I could go with him to the open meetings. I have a few times in the past. That's why I know that personal stuff comes out in those meetings. I don't want him to become emotionally attached to any women, even in the rooms of AA just by listening.

My H did tell me once that he couldn't be as open while I'm there. Yes, that points to a direct lack of openess and honesty with me. That isn't lost on me. Maybe I could broach the subject with him again in an effort to resolve this.

I am angry and hurt that he doesn't try to come up with solutions. Only me. I feel that I have to do all the work.

However, I don't really want to go and be seen as a baby sitter either. He'd have to want me there, and I don't think he does because he can't be as open.

There are some meetings that are co-ed that are closed to non-alchoholics as well.

Thanks for taking the time. I have been hurting deeply.


Husband was unfaithful to me before and after our marriage, at least 7 times. I found out 13 yrs into the marriage. Trickle truth for an entire year. Several different d-days, so it was more like a d-year. Difficult recovery.



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mopey Offline OP
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I am so happy that your spouse cares enough to listen to your feelings that you trust him enough to go to the co-ed AA mtgs, knowing how they can be intimate.

I'll be back in a few hours....


Husband was unfaithful to me before and after our marriage, at least 7 times. I found out 13 yrs into the marriage. Trickle truth for an entire year. Several different d-days, so it was more like a d-year. Difficult recovery.



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Originally Posted By: mopey
I know the big issue here is my husband trampling on my feelings. That aside, I'm curious if anyone is recovering with spouses in co-ed AA meetings? I guess we'd need to assume that the non attending spouse didn't have a problem with co-ed meetings.......



co-ed meetings are breeding grounds for affairs. I have seen so many happen over the years. Dr Harley is right about that. Not only is there is sharing of personal stuff, but the people there are the sickest of the sick. I am talking about the CLOSED meetings.

Open meetings are not in same league, IMO, because that is when you just go and listen to a speaker and leave. There is no personal sharing.

But truly, mopey, the real isse here is not the meetings but a husband who refuses to consider your feelings.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


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Hi Mopey,

You've heard me say it before;

I have enthusiastically agreed to only attend All-Male Meetings or Open Meetings that my wife attends with me. Without POJA, you will forever be tramppled upon.

I would ask that if he has no sponsor then why is he bothering to attend meetings? Physician-Heal-Thyself diets will not lead to 12 step recovery.

Take the time to read Mulans recent thread about Damsels -in- Distress....... I think you'll find it insightful and may see Windstopper's character defects being discussed too.





Recovery began 10/07;

Meeting my wife's EN's is my "thank you" that refuses to be silenced.
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{{{{{{{Mopey}}}}}}}

Nothing to add.......just wanted to say you've been on my mind....... kiss

Not

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Mopey, I think that Windstopper is too caught up in being in control of everything, including you, to ever consider ANYONE'S feelings other than his own. The impression I get is that if anyone objects to ANYTHING Windstopper wants to do, no matter the reason, Windstopper seems to think that the other person is the one with the problem and not Windstopper.


"Your actions are so loud that I can't hear a word you're saying!"

BW M 44 yrs to still-foggy but now-faithful WH. What/how I post=my biz. Report any perceived violations to the Mods.
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Quote:
I do believe the difference between your situation and mine is that your H WOULD stop co-ed AA meetings if it bothered you. BIG difference.


Crucial difference.
I trust my H to consider my feelings.
He's proven this to me time and time again.

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Quote:
But truly, mopey, the real isse here is not the meetings but a husband who refuses to consider your feelings.


EGG ZAK LEE

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mopey Offline OP
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Sorry gang. I didn't think it'd take me this long to get back here. Looooong day. I went shopping after work for a sundress to wear for my birthday tomorrow, and I had to look in more stores than I wanted to. Ugh. HOWEVER, I did find one that's cute AND I found a cute little black dress for $13.00!!!!! Gotta love it. Besides, it was great therapy. smile



Quote:
But truly, mopey, the real isse here is not the meetings but a husband who refuses to consider your feelings.


We're all in agreement here, including myself and Dr. Harley.

And since this issue has been eating me alive, I had a talk with WS this evening about whether or not he could committ to poja in our relationship, because I can't live in it without it, happily and engaged that is.

He agreed, reluctantly, to poja in the relationship.

He also agreed to poja the co-ed AA mtg issue, and we did. He'll go to men's AA mtgs, and co-ed AA mtgs IF I go with him. I also told him if I feel a threatening situation in the co-ed AA mtgs, then I would not want either of us to go to the co-ed mtgs. I don't know if there would be any other solutions after that that he could be remotely happy with given his mindset.

I am relieved he agreed to the pojaing in our relationship, because at least now I can somewhat live with myself. I hated his control over the relationship, and myself for putting up with it. I know deep inside that I would have, in the not so distant future, left this relationship. I've spent the last 7 months in the best therapy I could have received, for me. (Not2Fun, I'll have to tell you about that later.)

****edited to add........

We had a prior past agreement in place wherein he would not attend co-ed AA mtgs. That lasted for about a year I think. Then we hit a rough patch, was divorce bound, and "all bets were off" according to him (in relation to the AA issue). Even after we decided to give the marriage another go. That lasted about 3 wks due to my supplying him with pure grace, until my giver gave out.

However, I am extremely skeptical about Windstopped's "committment" to poja. Immediately after his agreement with all of this, he copped an attitude, with p/a behaviors and responses.

So, he's not happy. I guess it wasn't a very successful poja. He'd only be happy if he could do whatever he wanted to do, and me be happy about it.

So what do I do with that? I've decided to ignore his pouting and P/A behavior. If he's not happy, it's his responsibility to renogiate. However, I do fear that he'll just go back to IB. He's done that before.

LC,Pep, Mel, HPB, N2F.....thanks. Thanks for the repsonses. I really appreciate you taking the time to help.

I'll try to start a fresh new day tomorrow and see how it goes.



















Last edited by mopey; 08/20/10 01:05 AM.

Husband was unfaithful to me before and after our marriage, at least 7 times. I found out 13 yrs into the marriage. Trickle truth for an entire year. Several different d-days, so it was more like a d-year. Difficult recovery.



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mopey Offline OP
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Pep...I'll know I'm in marriage recovery when I see this....

Quote:
I trust my H to consider my feelings.
He's proven this to me time and time again.


Husband was unfaithful to me before and after our marriage, at least 7 times. I found out 13 yrs into the marriage. Trickle truth for an entire year. Several different d-days, so it was more like a d-year. Difficult recovery.



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LC,

Quote:
Mopey, I think that Windstopper is too caught up in being in control of everything, including you, to ever consider ANYONE'S feelings other than his own. The impression I get is that if anyone objects to ANYTHING Windstopper wants to do, no matter the reason, Windstopper seems to think that the other person is the one with the problem and not Windstopper.



How do you get someone to see this? I see it too. I'm guessing he isn't far enough along in his recovery to see this. And he doesn't respond well with me pointing things out.

He won't come here. No surprise there. In fact, that's a perfect example of the above. He thinks this forum keeps me from recovering. He can't see what he's doing that's keeping the marriage from recovering. Or, he just won't admit it.


Husband was unfaithful to me before and after our marriage, at least 7 times. I found out 13 yrs into the marriage. Trickle truth for an entire year. Several different d-days, so it was more like a d-year. Difficult recovery.



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This is just a little too close to home Mopey. I'm dealing with a similar-different issue.

You might check out my take-my-own advice thread from a little over a week ago.

The solution is simple but not easy.

She who cares the least about a relationship has the most power.

We've been care-givers for our marriages for too long and they know we'll blink.

We have to stand our ground with recovery.

My husband needs a sponsor and he needs to be humble enough to work the steps. And right now he's not. His smarts get in his way of working the steps in any kind of recovery way. So I know he'll slip again.

My siggy line has changed as a result. Change is coming.


Cafe Plan B link http://forum.marriagebuilders.com/ubbt/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=2182650&page=1

The ? that made recovery possible: "Which lovebuster do I do the most that hurts the worst"?

The statement that signaled my personal recovery and the turning point in our marriage recovery: "I don't need to be married that badly!"

If you're interested in saving your relationship, you'll work on it when it's convenient. If you're committed, you'll accept no excuses.
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Quote:
I would ask that if he has no sponsor then why is he bothering to attend meetings? Physician-Heal-Thyself diets will not lead to 12 step recovery.



In your experience, have you seen others at the meetings try to do this?

He had the same sponsor for a long time in the early years that he attended AA.

He didn't go to meetings for years (12 years maybe?), unless it was to pick up a yearly chip. Things changed when his sister entered AA about 3 years ago. He went with her, all the time. That was also the year we lived apart. He's been going often ever since.

He did get a new sponsor when he started back, but from what I understand, the sponsor didn't want to sponsor him anymore.


Husband was unfaithful to me before and after our marriage, at least 7 times. I found out 13 yrs into the marriage. Trickle truth for an entire year. Several different d-days, so it was more like a d-year. Difficult recovery.



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Oh, and I'll read Mulan's thread. I'd already read a few pages of it and was enlightened on a few things. In fact, a lot of her posts lately I've been able to relate to.


Husband was unfaithful to me before and after our marriage, at least 7 times. I found out 13 yrs into the marriage. Trickle truth for an entire year. Several different d-days, so it was more like a d-year. Difficult recovery.



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Sorry to hear you're in a similiar sitch Kayla. It does boil down to who cares the least. That has been apparent in our relationship. You wanna guess who held all the power?

Quote:
We have to stand our ground with recovery.


That's what I keep trying to do. It gets a little easier the more I learn and heal. I don't take lightly to disrepect. I may not have left him yet, but I don't cower either.

If there is anything that WS has taught me, is that I have to rely on myself if I ever want to feel completely and totally safe in this world. So, in my own ways, I'm working on that. (And no, I don't buy that he has no responsibility for my safety.)

Quote:
My husband needs a sponsor and he needs to be humble enough to work the steps. And right now he's not. His smarts get in his way of working the steps in any kind of recovery way.


WS states he has worked the steps, and continues to work them. I don't see how you can do that without accountability.


[quote] So I know he'll slip again.

Yes, and it will hurt us. I fear hurt. WS thinks the fear is there because there's something lacking in me. crazy


Husband was unfaithful to me before and after our marriage, at least 7 times. I found out 13 yrs into the marriage. Trickle truth for an entire year. Several different d-days, so it was more like a d-year. Difficult recovery.



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I won't be around much the next two days. I have a lot going on. But I will try to catch up by Sunday night if I haven't before then.


Husband was unfaithful to me before and after our marriage, at least 7 times. I found out 13 yrs into the marriage. Trickle truth for an entire year. Several different d-days, so it was more like a d-year. Difficult recovery.



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