Amends go wrong
Amends go wrong – Big mouth strikes again in AA
Just saw this in the New York times. Just shows how stupid some people are when it come to practising the steps of AA. Here is a great step 9! Now the person who was mentioned in the amends, has to make amends, for something that happened years ago! I wish more people would go to Smart!
I have copied it here as I am sure many will like this!
Years ago, as an unmarried woman, I lived with a man but had a brief affair with a younger man while we were together. My partner never knew about it — really — and we stayed together for many years. Ultimately, we broke up but remain friends. Recently, my former partner received an “amends letter” from my young fling, who is now in a 12-step recovery program. (Apologizing to those you have wronged is one of the steps.) In his letter, he outed me by apologizing for our affair. This has caused significant awkwardness in my friendship with my former lover. Does the fling’s recovery trump my private life?
Anonymous, New York
Many of us have witnessed the terrible price of addiction at close range. But you, my friend, may be the first piece of road kill I have ever spotted on the route to recovery. Of course your fling should not have implicated you in his apology. That’s common sense. We don’t reduce our naughty footprint in the world by sowing more naughtiness. (Will your fling now write you an amends letter?)
Even a cursory glance at the 12 steps makes this clear: Make direct amends to those you have harmed, except where doing so would injure them or others. (Hello, “other.”) And several commentaries provide an elegant solution for all of us called “Living Amends,” which advocates an amends-maker’s upright behavior in the future (by behaving more honorably toward your former lover, for instance, or not sleeping with people in relationships) as an alternative to inappropriate apologies.
But the question for you is: Now what? Try making your own amends. Apologize to your former partner and ask his forgiveness. And don’t scapegoat the poor guy in recovery too much. You did have an affair, after all. As Diane Keaton (sort of) reminded us in her strangely winsome serenade to Woody Allen at the Golden Globes: Some friends are silver, and others have big mouths.