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One Day at a Time in Al-Anon:

Once upon a time a Frightened Woman came to Al-Anon with a shocking story. Her husband was violent and often beat her, there was never enough money for food, he tangled with the police, and time after time they were evicted for not paying their rent.

She might never have had the courage to come to Al-Anon if her husband hadn’t been away in jail.

After she began to acquire a bit of confidence, she wondered whether it might not be better after all to take radical action. One day she asked her sponsor, “Shall I get a divorce?”

Her sponsor said: “This is a decision only you can make. Other wives might have given up long ago. But are you ready for a complete break? What does your heart tell you?”

Without hesitation, the woman said: “By all right and reason I know I should separate myself permanently from him, but you see, I love him.”

She had found her own answer, as all of us must. Who can understand it? Who is wise enough to make a decision for another? Surely none of us in Al-Anon, for we are taught that no situation is really hopeless.

As it turned out, this one was not, either. As she overcame her fear of her husband, self-pity yielded, too. She stopped involving herself in his disasters, and taking part in arguments that used to end in violence. Her husband was compelled to face his own problems, and happily, he learned to face them in AA.

From the book “One Day at a Time in Al-Anon”. © Al-Anon Family Group Headquarters, Inc. 1973