How Al-Anon works for me

When I first came to Al-Anon, I was so empty inside I didn’t even know who I was anymore. I couldn’t believe that my husband’s drinking was going to end the day he entered Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.). He promised so many times to stop drinking, and now A.A. was going to help him and not me. As for our three children, I felt that I didn’t have any control over their behavior.

Slowly, I started to listen to the Al-Anon members in my weekly meeting. Gradually, I came to understand that alcoholism is a disease. I repeated over and over that I can’t control it, I did not cause it, and I can’t cure it. My group said, “Let A.A. take care of him, and let Al-Anon take care of you!”

Al-Anon helps me to look back on my behavior, particularly my behavior with my children. It was hard to admit that I probably harmed them more than my husband did. They knew their dad drank, but they wondered what was wrong with me.

When I heard people in Al-Anon share about growing up in an alcoholic home, it helped me realize that I, too, was a child of an alcoholic. This is what I brought into my marriage. I couldn’t blame everything on my husband anymore.

In the beginning, I used my Al-Anon group as my Higher Power. Today, I call God my Higher Power. God used my Al-Anon group to help me. Through God, and with Al-Anon’s help, I made it through a son’s attempted suicide, my parents’ death, the early pregnancy of a teenage son’s girlfriend, our two sons’ drinking and drug abuse, and going to court to fight for grandparents’ rights. Al-Anon has helped me keep my serenity.

Today, I am still in Al-Anon. I’ve held many service jobs in my group, district, and Area. I love reading the books and pamphlets of Al-Anon Conference Approved Literature. When my Al‑Anon friends share their stories, they give me a step-by-step approach on how to gain back my self-respect and self-esteem, and on how to keep them. The Al‑Anon program works, and I am proud to call myself an Al-Anon member.

By Carol R., Minnesota
The Forum, June 2016

2017-08-14T16:09:21+00:00June 10, 2016|Categories: Alcoholic Spouse or Partner|


  1. Jenny October 2018 at 1:09 am

    My Mother was an alcoholic. I have severe anxiety and it’s so hard for me to trust people. I second guess myself, lash out when I don’t get my way, and have a lot of trouble finding places where I fit in. I bring overbearing people into my life, have little support and very little structure in my life. Sometimes I just get so angry that this has been my lot in life. It’s so hard to function. Does anyone understand me?

  2. Lori A. August 2018 at 10:56 am

    My husband is an alcoholic. Im at the point that I simply cannot bear it another day. It is destroying my health, physically, mentally, spiritually. From the moment I hear the first beer can open. I HATE everything it does to him, and takes from us as a family. Our 15 year old daughter has to bare witness to his drunken mumbling, manic behavior, passing out etc. I know it’s a disease. I have read all I can on it. I have empowered our daughter as best I can by providing alateen info and we discuss it. I have no money or I’d have given him an ultimatum a long time ago, “Your beer or us, get sober or we move out.” Now I’m going to have to try and sell the bluff of my life. I’m pretty sure I can’t even afford low income since I don’t work outside the home. But I’m not telling him that. Make no mistake I LOVE this man with all my heart. We’ve been together almost 32 years. When he is sober. He is my forever! I love and desire him as much as I did the day we met. But when he drinks…The man I love disappears only to be replace by this disgusting thing. It takes his dignity and with it more and more of my respect. Please pray for us. I don’t know how I am going to do this.There is a very real good chance that he is going to choose his beer and simply refuse to see he has a very real problem.

  3. Gerri July 2018 at 12:38 pm

    I’m going to attend my first Al-Anon meeting this week. My husband is an alcoholic and been in recovery with relapses. It has been tough for both of us. He also has severe depression/anxiety, which is a giant battle, but I have found a psychologist who is going to meet with us tomorrow–I’m shedding some heavy coats of worry myself. When I emailed our local Al-Anon Chairperson she was quick to respond. In her message she spoke about a couple books. I searched them out and am glad for the resources. I truly have light to handle this struggle.

  4. Jeannie M. December 2017 at 10:04 pm

    I married an alcoholic thinking we loved each other so it would be OK. Now, here I am 11 years later wondering if we can make it. I never dreamed how mean and hurtful this man could be or how humiliated I would feel at his controlling behavior. Next week will be my first meeting because I need to learn how to live again.

  5. Kari B. September 2017 at 1:41 am

    My husband is an alcoholic. He is very successful but how he is with his clients and staff is so different from the way he is at home. It’s hard to listen to people telling me how wonderful he is. Can anyone relate?

  6. Cathy September 2017 at 11:09 pm

    Al-Anon has provided me with more support than I’ve ever had. I no longer feel isolated and have found ways to care for myself I never knew possible.

  7. Christine September 2017 at 5:54 am

    I am struggling with a similar situation. Only my husband is a meth addict. He admits he is an addict, but won’t get help. I don’t even know where to start. He isn’t the same man I fell in love with. I know I need a support group, or something. It’s all we argue about. It’s all I think about, his sobriety. I just don’t understand. He knows it’s gonna cause major issues and destroy him, but he still does it. I’m so lost.

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