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Big Book Study - Post #33

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  • Jim K.
    Good morning everyone! Chapter 8 - To Wives begins on page 104. My comments are somewhat limited on this chapter, both here and at the face to face weekend
    Message 1 of 80 , Jun 2, 2003
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      Good morning everyone!

      "Chapter 8 - To Wives" begins on page 104. My comments are somewhat
      limited on this chapter, both here and at the face to face weekend
      Big Book Studies that Dave and I run. There is some historical stuff
      that is very interesting however. First, a trivia question: Who
      wrote this chapter? Most of us would immediately say Lois Wilson or
      Dr. Bob's wife Anne Smith, but, alas, we would be wrong.

      Originally Bill wanted Anne to write it. She had no interest in
      doing so. (I can see, in my mind's eye, Lois jumping up and down
      saying "I'll do it! I'll do it!" and Bill saying "I don't think
      so!") Bill decided that he would write it himself. No control issues
      there! Of course Alanon was formed in the early 1950's and became a
      society standing separate from AA. (As a historical aside it is
      interesting to note that spouses were very much involved with the
      alcoholic in the context of meetings at the very early beginnings of
      AA. This made this chapter even more appropo when it is viewed from
      this historical perspective).

      From the bottom of page 108 through the middle of page 110 Bill
      describes the four husbands illustrating the progression of the
      disease. The following paragraph is perhaps the most important in
      the chapter: "We never, never try to arrange a man's life so as to
      shield him from temptation. The slightest disposition on your part
      to guide his appointments or his affairs so he will not be tempted
      will be noticed. Make him feel absolutely free to come and go as he
      likes. This is important. If he gets drunk, don't blame yourself.
      God has either removed your husband's liquor problem or He has not.
      If not, it had better be found out right away. Then you and your
      husband can get right down to fundamentals. If a repetition is to be
      prevented, place the problem, along with everything else, in God's
      hands."

      This is from page 120, last paragraph. It mirrors paragraphs 1 and 2
      on page 101. Remember what we have discussed throughout this study -
      Bill will repeat important ideas in order to reinforce them to the
      reader. This is yet another example of this style of writing.

      Tomorrow we will continue with Chapter 9 - The Family Afterward.

      Jim
    • Jim K
      Good morning everyone! Most of the comments on this chapter were written by my friend and co-moderator Karen- Chapter 8 - To Wives begins on page 104. There
      Message 80 of 80 , Feb 6
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        Good morning everyone!

        Most of the comments on this chapter were written by my friend and co-moderator Karen-

        "Chapter 8 - To Wives" begins on page 104. There are some historical facts that are very interesting. First, a trivia question: Who wrote this chapter? Most of us would immediately think Lois Wilson or Dr. Bob's wife, Anne Smith, but that wouldn't be correct.

        Originally, Bill wanted Anne to write it. She had no interest in doing so. (Yeah, RIGHT! I can see, in my mind's eye, Lois jumping up and down saying "I'll do it! I'll do it!" and Bill saying "I don't think so!") Bill decided that he would write it himself. (No control issues there!)

        Of course Al-Anon was formed in the early 1950's and became a society standing separate from AA. As an historical aside, it is interesting to note that spouses were very much involved with the alcoholic in the context of meetings at the very early beginnings of AA. This makes this chapter congruous when it is viewed from this historical perspective.

        Since we play the role of the alcoholic, we must look at this chapter from that viewpoint. Here, we can examine the truth about how our active alcoholism affected our friends, our loved ones, our employers, our neighbors – or, to quote page 104, "nearly everyone bound by ties of blood or affection." This chapter helps us see ourselves while we were drinking through the eyes of others. It's not very comfortable.

        While studying this chapter, we may experience profound realizations about how destructive our alcoholic behavior truly was. It is not unusual to spot more amends that are owed. The chapter drives home the realities and consequences of living selfishly. If we didn't get the message in Chapter 5 (pages 60 to 63), then we get a second chance to take a look at what it all means in Chapter 8. No other illness destroys relationships as does alcoholism. Pages 104 through the top of 108 describe those realities and consequences in detail.

        From the bottom of page 108 through the middle of page 110 Bill describes the "four husbands"illustrating the progression of the disease. Then, on pages 110 through 114, practical suggestions are offered to help these husbands.

        Starting at the bottom of Page 114, the focus switches. Suggestions are offered to spouses regarding their own character defects. One paragraph on page 116 really stands out for me:

        "We have elsewhere remarked how much better life is when lived on a spiritual plane. If God can solve the age-old riddle of alcoholism, He can solve your problems, too. We wives found that, like everybody else, we were afflicted with pride, self-pity, vanity and all the things which go to make up the self-centered person; and we were not above selfishness or dishonesty. As our husbands began to apply spiritual principles in their lives, we began to see the desirability of doing so, too."

        The following paragraph is perhaps the most important in the chapter:

        "We never, never try to arrange a man's life so as to shield him from temptation. The slightest disposition on your part to guide his appointments or his affairs so he will not be tempted will be noticed. Make him feel absolutely free to come and go as he likes. This is important. If he gets drunk, don't blame yourself. God has either removed your husband's liquor problem or He has not. If not, it had better be found out right away. Then you and your husband can get right down to fundamentals. If a repetition is to be prevented, place the problem, along with everything else, in God's hands."

        For all of those who claim that there is no timeframe for doing the steps - here is an interesting snippet: "We do not like the thought that the contents of a book or the work of another alcoholic has accomplished in a few weeks that for which we struggled for years." From Paragraph 4 on Page 118. So the program is designed to work in a few weeks? Not a step a year or "a long slow recovery" - it does underscore that
        this process is meant to happen in a matter of *weeks and months * - not years!

        This is from page 120, last paragraph. It mirrors paragraphs 1 and 2 on page 101. Remember what we have discussed throughout this study -- Bill will repeat important ideas in order to reinforce them to the reader. This is yet another example of this style of writing.

        The chapters We Agnostics, To Wives, and To Employers all have something in common: you don't have to BE ONE to benefit from what is written!

        With our next post we will continue with Chapter 9 - The Family Afterward.

        Have a great day!

        Jim

        Weekend Studies of Emmet Fox's "The Sermon on the Mount" with Jim - visit: http:/groups.yahoo.com/group/The-Sermon-on-the-Mount
         




        It is better to be loved for what you have given
        than to be admired for what you have gained
         
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