Sylvia grew up in a relatively poor farming family that avoided alcohol and she met and married a farmer when she was in her early twenties. She soon had three children and her husband’s drinking wasn’t a problem until the children left home. Sylvia’s marriage then slowly deteriorated and a tennis friend suggested that she go to Al-Anon Family Groups to get some help. She now understood how the family disease of alcoholism worked so that when her husband eventually divorced her she was able to use Al-Anon to rebuild her life.
Maree grew up with an alcoholic grandfather and as a result her father was a very controlling teetotaller. She thought hers was a normal family but found it increasingly difficult and she was able to leave home eventually when she married at 21. Maree’s husband’s drinking was not problematic initially and she had 6 children. After twenty years into the marriage, around when the kids were working or at university, his drinking had seriously progressed and Maree contacted Alcoholics Anonymous to get help. AA directed her to Al-Anon and Maree found through that by attending meetings she could continue to stay in the marriage, even though he still drank, and still have a good life.
If someone else's drinking is causing you a problem then you can phone the Al-Anon Family Groups helpline on 1300 252 666 or go online at www.al-anon.org.au.