How Al-Anon Can Help Your Marriage
Al-Anon Family Groups (also called Al-Anon) is a 12-step program for individuals with loved ones who abuse alcohol or are recovering from alcoholism. According to the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, it is the “most widely used form of help by people concerned about another’s drinking.” While AA and Al-Anon can both help you and your spouse individually as you go through your recovery, the latter program can be just as helpful to your marriage in general.
Understanding and Unity
One of the most important principles of Al-Anon is that family members and loved ones of addicts who attend the meetings are able to hear the 12 steps read aloud and are then asked to practice these steps as well. The understanding this can bring to a marriage is incredible, as many individuals struggle when their spouses do not appreciate their process through the 12 steps. Deciding to take this journey together, while one of you attends AA and the other attends Al-Anon, can cement your commitment to recovery and to each other.
Having this kind of understanding between both individuals in the marriage can unify them in a common purpose of recovery and wellness. It can be hard for one person to go through a 12-step program alone, especially if their spouse does not support them, and in turn, both individuals can feel supported in their journey––not only by the other members of their specific group but by each other. Both members of the marriage do not have to attend Al-Anon and/or AA together, but it can be very beneficial to their overall situation.
Being able to attend AA and to share what you have been through with a friendly, supportive group of individuals who are going through the same thing can be extremely beneficial to alcoholics and alcohol abusers. Many times, there isn’t a way for loved ones of addicts to share their feelings with others who understand them in the same way, but Al-Anon allows individuals to share their issues and feelings anonymously the same way AA does; this means other individuals who see you in meetings will not share your experiences or compromise what you’ve said in either type of meeting.
This kind of participation and discussion with people who understand your situation can allow you to feel supported and heard when you are struggling at home. In addition, just listening to what others in the meetings have to say can help you reflect upon your own life and how you can make a difference in it. Sometimes it can be hard to listen to one another in a marriage under the weight of addiction, but attending these meetings can open you to hearing your partner better and to be ready to discuss your feelings as well.
Al-Anon Can Improve Your Marriage
The program isn’t a solution or a treatment; advice and directions are not given, but individuals with loved ones who are alcohol abusers can begin to reach out to others who understand their situation. Many times, these individuals are able to find better, more effective ways to support their spouses while also figuring out how to take care of themselves. If you would like to learn more about Al-Anon, call 800-839-1686.