Should I Try to Get My Spouse to Go to Al Anon?

Should I Try to Get My Spouse to Go to Al Anon?

You are going through the steps in AA, and that's great. Now, you want to know if you should try to encourage your spouse to go to Al Anon.

Have you been going to Alcoholics Anonymous and seeing positive results? Are you wondering if you should try to encourage your spouse to go to Al Anon?

If so, we applaud you for taking the steps to conquer your addiction, and we're glad you're thinking about the health of your relationship.

But you know that choosing to go to Al Anon can be an incredibly difficult and personal decision. So how hard should you push for your spouse to go?

Hopefully, we can answer this question for you. 

You Can Ask Them If the Timing Is Right

Think about what you're going to say first.

Plan out your conversation as well as you can. Focus on choosing gentle words and gentle but direct delivery. If needed, rehearse what you're going to say with a trusted friend.

If you are on your own path to sobriety, think about your pre-sober self and the things people said to you that weren't helpful. Avoid saying those things to your spouse.

Next, pick a time when your household is relatively peaceful and quiet, not when there are other things going on. 

Have the conversation as honestly as you can, putting the emphasis on your care for their well-being. Make your stance clear, but do your best to not come across as forceful.

Don't Force Them to Go to Al Anon

Don't get us wrong: going to Al Anon is a wonderful thing. It has helped thousands of family members learn to thrive when they have been impacted by someone else's drinking.

It might have even affected great change in your life.

But it's important to also acknowledge that people cannot be forced to change, especially if the change will be difficult. True change comes from a person's ability to, on their own, recognize that they need help.

This is why the first of the 12 steps in AA is always to say "I am an alcoholic." It demonstrates self-awareness and a willingness to put in the heavy work.

Pushing someone too hard might also push them away from you. You want to be able to be a safe space for someone who is struggling, not make them feel pressured.

Of course, always maintain healthy boundaries and be honest with yourself about your own mental health in the situation as well.

Be Aware of the Dynamics in Alcoholic Families

Did you know that many non-alcoholic spouses go to Al Anon?

This is because alcoholism doesn't just affect the alcoholic. Often, people who are alcoholics develop co-dependent relationships with their spouses.

Typically, this takes the form of the spouse caring for the alcoholic person. These relationships can be difficult to disentangle once the alcoholic person becomes sober.

So, if the dynamic in your relationship seems to have changed in ways you didn't expect, talk to your spouse about going to Al Anon.

Al-Anon offers a safe space for the families of alcoholics to share their experiences and draw strength from others.

If you want to, you can also attend an Al Anon International Convention.

Want More Support on Your Sobriety Journey?

Al Anon is a fantastic tool, and we're happy that you are considering it for your family.

The journey toward sobriety can be difficult, but it is worthwhile. Your life is important, and becoming sober is an important part of living your life to the fullest.

When you're sober for a while, though, you'll want to buy something to commemorate your achievement. Here at The Token Shop, we sell recovery coins to help you celebrate your sobriety. Check out our tokens today!