When the distortion has been great, however, a long period of patient striving may be necessary. After the husband joins A.A., the wife may become discontented, even highly resentful that Alcoholics Anonymous has done the very thing that all her years of devotion had failed to do. Her husband may become so wrapped up in A.A. and his new friends that he is inconsiderately away from home more than when he drank. Seeing her unhappiness, he recommends A.A.’s Twelve Steps and tries to teach her how to live. She naturally feels that for years she has made a far better job of living than he has. Both of them blame each other and ask when their marriage is ever going to be happy again. They may even begin to suspect it had never been any good in the first place.
This, again, is outside of my experience, and I’ve never known well the non-AA spouse of an AA member. This brought something to mind for me though.
I think a person can overdo AA. Now, the problem with this is that of course they are overdoing a good thing, and, since this person has lots of experience with overdoing at least one (probably more) bad thing, overdoing the good thing seems just so tame in comparison. And it is. And, I would suggest, overdoing the good thing of AA should lead to a better balance in the future, because I think that working the steps will improve all areas of life, balance being something that holds everything else up.
And the danger of not doing enough AA is terrible. The results are often awful, and we see this every day. The danger of doing too much AA is very mild by comparison. But it could also be serious, like the situation described in the book, it could threaten a marriage and a family.
In my time and place, we are so very fortunate to have really unlimited meetings, when you consider online meetings, as well as abundant opportunities for service, reading, fellowshipping and I don’t know what else. I am going to take the word inconsiderately, above, to mean that a sober person in AA can overdo it.