Loading...
BYH, Trump. Did you think it would be that easy? That you could just be installed by Putin and his oligarchs, live a...

Girlfriend refuses to attend his AA sobriety birthday gathering

Carolyn Hax

Carolyn Hax

Loading…

Carolyn Hax

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Q I’ve been in a serious relationship with someone pretty wonderful for the most part of a year. We’re super compatible and it could be the real thing. But now something has come up that has made me question it.

I’m a recovering alcoholic, and got sober with the help of my family at a time when it threatened my life. It’s been nearly nine years. She’s been completely fine with it, thankfully.

My sobriety birthday is coming up. I have an Alcoholics Anonymous home group, though I’m not particularly active in it. Still, I have a lot of friends in the group, and I’m looking forward to my birthday meeting. I really want her to come with me, but she refuses. She doesn’t think she’ll be comfortable; brings up the image of the smoke-filled room with a bunch of Jesus (which my group is not); and is just not willing to budge.

The fact that she won’t spend an hour on something this important to me has me wondering what other land mines we might find in our relationship. It doesn’t feel as if it’s enough to break up over, but it feels like a bad omen. If she was, say, a breast cancer survivor and wanted me to meet her support group, I’d do that in a heartbeat.

Do you think this could be a sign of bigger trouble ahead? — Sober and Thankful

A I might be more concerned about it than you are.

There is the issue you identified perfectly, yes: This is clearly important to you, and she won’t give it an hour? Hm. I actually think this is potentially breakup-worthy, given how central recovery is to the life of any alcoholic and how central the support of loved ones is to any recovery. Don’t respond rashly, but don’t rule anything out, either.

On top of that significant issue, though, there’s also the issue of her refusal and her excuse-making in general, not to mention some ugly stereotyping of AA and its adherents, and that’s where your bigger challenges might lie.

“Refuses” is strong stuff. The right to refuse (anything, for any reason) is ours alone on principle, but in practice is best reserved for actions that compromise integrity, break laws or harm others. And believe me, these categories leave a lot of room for personal discretion — the integrity one especially. You can defensibly refuse to do the dishes, for example, of a housemate who doesn’t pull his or her weight.

She has refused your invitation for reasons that are, respectively, the emotional equivalent of a hangnail and breezily insulting.

And that leaves you two possibilities that aren’t terribly promising. Either these are her actual reasons and she freely prioritizes her hangnail over your emotional core, or she has excellent reasons and can’t or won’t articulate them to you.

Or, of course, a third — that she just doesn’t grasp how high the stakes are for you and/or you just haven’t made them as clear as you’ve thought.

For your own peace of mind, try to find out which of these applies. Spell out your concerns and ask for a reckoning: Is there more to this that she isn’t saying out loud? It’ll speak volumes how, in this context, she chooses to speak for herself.

Email Carolyn Hax at tellme@washpost.com, follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carolyn.hax or chat with her online at noon each Friday at www.washingtonpost.com.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Look

December 09, 2018

A Stokes resident and retired public school teacher recently published a novel based on a larger-than-life friend engaged marijuana smuggling in the 1960’s abd 1970s.

Life and Times in the Sierra Madres: An American Smuggling Story is written by Michael Biondi. It was published in November…

Michael Biondi

December 09, 2018

 

In the Spring of 1986 I was invited by the deputy chief of staff for Vice President George H. W. Bush to a meeting with the vice president in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building across from the White House. At the time, I was a young executive in the U.S. Department of Commerce working…

David Edgell

December 09, 2018

“There should be an historic plaque in Chapel Hill honoring George Bush.”

On the day after the former president’s death, Chapel Hill lawyer and chair of the town’s historic district commission, Bob Epting, was making opening remarks at a public seminar on preserving historic…

9780812979473.jpg

December 08, 2018

It’s an odd-ball sort of bush.

It’s a native species — nothing odd about that — and it was originally restricted entirely to the coast, from North Carolina all the way to Mississippi.

Now, though, it is common well inland within all of these states, and beyond, and appears…

120818mysteryplant.jpg

December 07, 2018

In the annals of potentially disastrous spinoffs, "Creed" surely stands as an all-time champion. Directed with finesse and sensitivity by Ryan Coogler — who famously went on to make the blockbuster "Black Panther" — the 2015 drama had it all: a classically contoured boxing story, a…

FILM-CREED-REVIEW

December 07, 2018

Over nearly three decades of “The Nutcracker,” it is hard to imagine that anyone saw the Dance Arts Theatre production more than Jeane Welch.

She watched the first performance in 1985 when her daughter, Marty, was a dancer. She was in the audience when her granddaughter, Holton, twirled…

120718gonutcracker1

December 05, 2018

Members of the cast of Magnolia Arts Center's “Elf Jr.” are too young to remember when Will Ferrell starred as Buddy the Elf on the big screen. The beloved 2003 movie, which cost $33 million to make, grossed more than $220 million at the box office.

The musical version, which opens…

December 05, 2018

Wasabi 88 Asian Bistro Sushi & Bar located at 1605 E. Firetower Road in Greenville is the place to go when you’re seeking fresh and flavorful sushi and a multitude of Asian favorites. Front house manager Shawn Grazier invites customers to come and taste the sea at Wasabi 88. They offer…

Crab Wonton.jpg

December 04, 2018

Dear readers, in time for you to read and think about before making New Year’s resolutions, find your personal physical activity recommendations at https://health.gov/paguidelines. Only 2 in 10 Americans get the physical activity needed to manage their weight, reduce risks for some chronic…

KolasaKathy

December 02, 2018

“Because he was a traitor and a pirate,” East Carolina University professor and leading North Carolina public historian, Larry Tise, explained to his sons why Sir Walter Raleigh spent 15 years in the Tower of London and was then beheaded.

In the Nov. 1 News & Observer, Tise wrote…

DGMartin.jpg
193 stories in Look. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 20
        Next Page»   Last Page»