Post # 1
My friend is in a situation looking for advice, and I don’t know how to help her. Karen is married to Bill. They were both friends with Samantha, who is married to Tom (neither are close to Tom), and they have a small child. Bill is a recovering alcoholic, and about six months ago, Samantha entered alcoholics anonymous. Bill became Samantha’s sponsor. Samantha got very emotionally attached to Bill. This caused some fights between Karen and Bill, eventually leading to Bill no longer being her sponsor. Karen discussed this with Samantha, and Samantha told her that she was emotionally closer to Bill than her husband but that she wanted to work things out in her marriage due to their child. Obviously, this didn’t sit well with Karen, and the two are no longer friends. Bill is fully committed to Karen, and considers Samantha a friend he wanted to help, but isn’t that emotionally close to her. He has distanced the friendship some but they are still friends. I know Bill well, and I am 100% sure he is being honest with his wife.
Now Samantha is considering leaving Tom. Samantha is telling Bill all the bad things Tom does- he is emotionally unhealthy and refuses to work on it, and rarely helps with their son. (I know there is no abuse or infidelity on his part), and Bill has encouraged her to get a divorce. This is really bothering Karen- she feels like Bill is “being a homewrecker.” She thinks that Samantha and Tom can’t work on their marriage if Bill is still in Samantha’s life since it is an emotional affair. She feels like if he doesn’t respect their marriage, how will he respect his own? I don’t know what to tell my friend. What advice would you give? Thanks!
Post # 3
I would tell Bill to stay the hell out of it. Their marriage is none of their business and all he is doing is hurting a friendship (and his own marriage) rather than helping.
Post # 4
I think that Bill needs to distance himself from the whole mess. When you said Bill was no longer her sponsor I thought “Good, that is a very mature and proper approach to the situation.” But then when you said that Samantha is confiding in Bill I thought “Wait, why the hell is he still making himself available to her like this?”
Post # 5
@zippylef: + 1 I think you hit the nail on the head.
Post # 6
I agree with the others: Bill needs to stay out of it.
And Samantha needs to be talking to her HUSBAND, not to Bill.
Post # 7
OP, I couldn’t tell until the very end of your post whether you were looking to see if Bill or Samantha was a homewrecker.
My opinion is Samantha is being a bit of a “homewrecker” herself. Sounds to me like she’s making a play for Bill.
Bill needs to stay away from Samantha, not because of her marraige, but for the sake of his own marriage, which should be paramount to him.
Post # 8
If she’s as emotionally attached as you say she is, and is obviously going through a very trying time she is going to say whatever she needs to say to manipulate Bill into “rescuing” her. Bill is doing more harm than good by letting her confide into him and encouraging her to leave her husband. The more he encourages her to leave her husband the more likely she is to believe that Bill is getting feelings for her and the more likely she is to mess up Bill’s marriage. She needs help outside of AA, if her husband truly is horrible to her only a professional counselor trained to deal with those types of things will be able to help her through her situation. I hope Bill or her husband or Samantha herself can get her help and hopefully Bill will be able to realize he needs to step out of the picture while she heals herself.
Post # 9
Bill sounds like a really nice guy. And Samantha sounds like a screwed up woman with a lot of problems. I think it’s only natural that he’d want to help her and be supportive as she goes through something that he’s been through (dealing with her addiction). I don’t think calling Bill a homewrecker is helpful, it sounds like he’s got Samantha’s best interests at heart, and he’s not trying it on with her.
But I don’t think he’s helping her either.
She’s already formed an inappropriate attachment to him while he was her sponsor. I think she probably does need someone to talk to about her marriage and her problems, but I think she needs to find a counselor or therapist that has experience dealing with addicts and understands how the recovery process will affect her relationships. Preferably a woman therapist.
Post # 10
Agree with all the PP’s! I doubt that part of a healthy sponsorship is crushing on your sponsor. Bill needs to remove himself completely from the situation for his own marriage. Samantha should be assigned another sponsor and should work on her marriage and herself.
Post # 11
- Wedding: August 2018 - Oakland Manor
ditto, Bill needs to get out of Samantha and Tom’s life. Bill is probably trying to be helpful, but it’s a really bad idea for him to stay involved like this. 🙁 I don’t get the impression that Bill is a homewrecker, but that he wants to help, doesn’t know what to do, and is trying to be supportive even though Samantha is taking that the wrong way.
Post # 12
Why did she have a male sponsor in the first place? She needs a new FEMALE sponsor immediately and needs to go to as many meetings as she can for the next month. Bill~ oh, I am so angry right now~ absolutely must remove himself completely for the sake of her RECOVERY!!! Emotional attachment is just another form of addiction for her right now, and her fixation on Bill is a replacement for her drug of choice.
It also sounds like she and/or her husband need additional marriage counseling to make this decision calmly and rationally. If the cost of counseling is keeping her from going, there are sliding scale fee and free therapists, check your local MMHR.
Life feels like it’s getting worse when you first try to kick a habit… she needs some solid guidance….
Post # 13
Agree with the others. I think Bill’s heart is in the right place, but he needs to butt out of Samantha’s marital problems and distance himself from her. It’s bothering his own wife, and her feelings come first.
Post # 14
I don’t think Bill is a homewrecker at all. He is just trying to help a friend.
That said, I agree with the PPs that he should distance himself from the situation because he may be doing more harm than good.
Post # 15
As far as I know, in AA it is strongly advised that sponsors are same sex, to avoid this situation (not to exclude GLBT, but the reverse would apply in that scenario).