When Alcoholism Strikes (Step Twelve continued)

When alcoholism strikes, very unnatural situations may develop which work against marriage partnership and compatible union.  If the man is affected, the wife must become the head of the house, often the breadwinner.  As matters get worse, the husband becomes a sick and irresponsible child who needs to be looked after and extricated from endless scrapes and impasses.  Very gradually, and usually without any realization of the fact, the wife is forced to become the mother of an erring boy.  And if she had a strong maternal instinct to begin with, the situation is aggravated.  Obviously not much partnership can exist under these conditions.  The wife usually goes on doing the best she knows how, but meanwhile the alcoholic alternately loves and hates her maternal care.  A pattern is thereby established that may take a lot of undoing later on.  Nevertheless, under the influence of A.As’s Twelve Steps, these situations are often set right.

I include this paragraph mainly for the sake of thoroughness.  The only relationship I had when I was drinking was sick beyond sick, and was really child abuse.  I don’t know about the mothering instinct, and all that.  Maybe a parenting instinct?  I also wonder if women (or men) go on doing the best they know how or quit that a lot earlier these days.

Glancing ahead, I see the step doesn’t immediately talk about the woman alcoholic so I’ll take this chance to explain something on my side bar, my link to AAnohelp’s Weblog.  I don’t remember when or why I began reading it, but I sometimes look for blogs having to do with AA, just to see what’s out there.  I also read some anti-AA blogs.  This one isn’t that, though, I think the writer explained once or twice that his wife tried AA and it didn’t help.  Well, for a Stepper like me, of course I know that she didn’t work it.  Regardless, it’s a really heart-breaking record of a man living with his wife’s drinking.  I want to reach through the computer and take them both to a meeting.  Reading it never fails to fill me gratitude for the road I took way back when.

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