Diving in without a sponsor
Our AA brother had been sober for several months.
He did not have a sponsor nor anyone else with whom he could discuss Program issues. Unguided, he had a general knowledge of the Steps. Enough to be dangerous. Reflecting on it later, his wife’s reaction was predictable, though he did not see it coming.
He had heard the three core messages of modern AA frequently at meetings. Sobriety was going to meetings and not drinking, and all the answers were in the Big Book.
He now had the key; all he had to do was go to meetings, not drink, and read the Big Book.
He would automatically do the next right thing.
One day he read page 82 of the Big Book. That page dwelt on what a married couple with a history of shortcomings should do; in particular, with regard to marital infidelity.
It suggested, “each (husband and wife) must pray about it (the past affair), having the other one’s happiness uppermost in mind.”
Our young friend paid particular attention to this instruction because he had a secret history of affairs.
If only he had called a sponsor to discuss what he was thinking. The outcome might have been different.
But he did not, and in his mind, the next right action was clear. He and his wife had to pray about the past affairs, having the other one’s happiness uppermost in mind.
He sat his wife down, announcing, “we have to have a serious conversation about my shortcomings.”
Launching into what he conceived to be the ‘next right thing,’ he said, “I have had several affairs.”
Pausing to take a breath, he continued, “now, before you get excited, I have read the Big Book, and there are clear instructions.”
Reading from the Big Book, he told her, “we have to pray about this. And as we pray, we have to keep each other’s happiness uppermost in mind.”
He mistook her silence for agreement and her stunned look for acceptance.
Feeling the momentum of the moment, he concluded, “As I pray, I will certainly keep your happiness uppermost in mind; you should do the same for me.”
Her immediate reaction and the tone for the rest of the day suggested that she was not keeping his happiness uppermost in her mind.
Better late than never, when he next shared at his AA Home Group, he asked for help.
He said, “I think I need a sponsor; and does anyone have the name of a good divorce lawyer?”