Topics and discussions related to being single and or dating while in recovery
I was raised Roman Catholic and to be a gentleman. I am a practicing Roman Catholic and also compose myself as a gentleman.
One thing that has bothered, disgusted and confused me terribly since coming to AA is the apparent attitude most men seem to have about women. Or, more so other men. There seems to be a real attitude among men that the only reason another man talks to a woman is to "get into her pants!" It seems everytime I've talked to a woman in the program after the meeting I've had someone accuse me of just that. I'm completely disgusted by it. I had it happen recently too.
A few weeks ago I had coffee with a lady after a meeting. After the meeting. at the club still, we were talking about missing our children and parenting in general. We continued our discussion over coffee. Coffee lasted 1/2 an hour.
It wasn't 3 days later and I had somebody accusing me of "trying to take advantage of her". Somebody who should have known something of my character by now. She was apparently given hell too.
The only thing I've been able to conclude is that most guys in the program did only view women as "sex objects" before they came into the program. The other thing I've observed is that many times the accusastions are based on jealosy. ie, The folks doing the accusing are doing exactly what they accuse others of.
To be honest I've been so repulsed by this mentality among the men in the program that I haven't gone to a meeting in a while because of it.
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My homegroup is very friendly and we all support each other. Sponsorship mostly remains men with men and women with women (one woman with 16 years is sponsored by a man with 30), but as friends and as support, we communicate with each other.
At the same time, we all respect the vulnerability of a newcomer and leave them to be tended to by their own sex...yet most certainly still welcome them when they walk in and wish them a good night when they walk out.
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Drunks judging other drunks -- how ironic is that?
One thing to keep in mind is that perhaps these other men don't know that you were raised to be a gentleman, and that you behave as one. Perhaps they are projecting their faults onto you. You assume that they know something of your character, but as we all know, occasionally character defects come up.
Also, you didn't say if the woman you had coffee with was a newcomer or someone with some time. If she was a newcomer, I can understand the concern that you might be "taking advantage", no matter how well you comported yourself. A lot of women who come into the rooms are extremely vulnerable due to a lack of self esteem, or perhaps they were in a violent relationship, or they lost their husband and/or family as a consequence of their drinking.
This is not to say that men aren't vulnerable for all the same reasons, and female predators abound in the rooms as well. That's why it is generally suggested that women stick with the women, and men with the men.
I see no harm in people of opposite sex having a cup of coffee together, provided they are both at a stable stage of sobriety. I have seen many loving relationships blossom between people in the rooms, but I have also seen broken hearts and shattered self esteem from those who entered into relationships before they even knew themselves.
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What you described happens in Cleveland all the time. We call it "Cleveland A.A." They have a set of rules up there that they just made up. It reminds of something puritanical.
Anyways, it doesn't matter that you were raised and lived as an upstanding Catholic gentleman. It wasn't because you were the perfect alter boy that got you into an AA meeting.
And there is where the "problem" if there is one lies. If you are a real alcoholic, then you know how the "abnormal effect of alcohol" on our brains has this peculiar tendency to change our personalities somewhat. The thing that I think I already know about you is what I already know about me. That is, if I take one drink, all bets are off. I can become something of a monster that my upbringing or churchgoing or whatever has nothing to do with.
I think we have the capacity to do anything when we drink - how many times have you heard someone say that they've done things they swore they'd never do? I know for me, I can get so god-awful ugly when I drink - well lets just say that alcoholics like me understand the concept of "mandatory sentencing". If you do too, then you might have an idea why the guys might think that way about you.
When I'm seeing things like this that bug me, I remember two words: have mercy. If I didn't get Grace and Mercy, I'd be dead. So it becomes my job to "give it back" to others that don't necessarily deserve it. I didn't deserve it either.
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Don't worry about it. In your heart of hearts -- you know the truth -- and you are the only person on this planet who will know your truth.
A sick person sees a sick world. They can't help it. And, if you happen to be in a world that a sick person is looking at -- it makes you sick, too -- in their eyes.
But, you didn't get sober to see the world through their eyes. You got sober to see the world through your eyes.
It sounds to me like a bunch of nothing about nothing. People talk. A.A.'s are notorious for it.
If you're doing something that shouldn't be done -- you have a God. If you are comfortable with your God -- don't let it bother you.
Some unhappy people just hate it when they see someone happy and having fun. They'll go to any lengths to pull them down.
Some unhappy people -- who are the predator type themselves -- see others as predators.
None of us have any business of judging the motives and intentions of anyone other than ourselves. We take our own inventory -- not the other persons inventory. And, it's amazing how happy, joyous and free we can be -- living this simple principle.
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