Anyway, I decided that in order to move on and clear the slate I would make amends with all my exes. So I consulted my teachers.

aa making amends to an ex

Marianne again. By letting go of the past we make room for miracles to replace our grievances.

A Study of Step 9 in A.A.

So at first I thought, should I write everybody a letter? Hmm, it felt kind of like a wimpy way out, like I could just get something off my chest without hearing their potentially not so charitable side of the story.

aa making amends to an ex

So instead I reached out to what had been my biggest primary relationships individually, and suggested we sit down for a drink. Wine, my friends. So I sat down with my first ex. After that she wooed me with a Jaws movie night complete with steamed crab legs and champagne, and we fell in love.

She was the kind of person who danced with me to Motown in the kitchen, ate gluten free because I did, and gave me orgasms where I legit saw rainbows of light. So it was real RUDE of me to ghost on her. For yelling at you. Being mean. And for checking out when things got tough. I am truly sorry. Next I saw the guy who was my last boyfriend before I somehow gave up men and dated women for six years.

With him, I was a little bit nervous. We met at a dive bar. Even hotter now. Should I wear lace panties just in case? Then he scooted off to help another ex gf move house. Hmm, not so fast…. Next was the hot, fast, love affair that happened the summer I was living very gypsy-like, i. She was going through some dark stuff, I was going through a rough patch with my family.

aa making amends to an ex

I recognized that I had to get it together which I thought meant cutting her out. So I blocked her. And from then on, anytime people said her name it was like horror film music started to play…. But I did my energy protection ritual, marched in, drank only half a glass of wine for safety and told her I was sorry and that she caught me when I was in such a dark place.

We both were. Eventually she caught on.Subscribe To Step 9. I was married to my 1st wife for over 20 years. Throughout this period, I caused a lot of emotional damage through my selfishness, ego, unreasonable demands, self-pity, etc. I was a daily drinker the entire time.

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I wanted more than she could give. I did a lot of yelling and broke a few chairs during my tirades. But, never threatened or physically hurt her.

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I just drank more and more. We divorced and I immediately started dating my 2nd wife - we have now been married for 10 years. I've since joined the fellowship and through the steps understand the damage I caused during my first marriage. I am at a lost at how to make an amend to my ex-wife. I would appreciate any insight from the more-experienced. I have no expereince with amends to ex's. I'm sure other members will be along who do Welcome to our recovery community All my best to you and your wife.

Joy In AA Recovery! Robert a few things 1. Were we kind and loving toward all? What could we have done better?

Making Amends

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Forum Rules. Find a Facility.Ten years ago, after several unsuccessful and painful relationships, I met a great guy, but he was a bit of a drinker.

Then he suddenly dumped me and married someone else within six months. I became ill and so upset that I had to leave my job temporarily. What do I say? Your ex-boyfriend is taking The Twelve Steps, which is a series of edicts laid down by Alcoholics Anonymous to help its members stay sober.

This is the problem with guilt. Once you shed it, it has to have somewhere to go. The other person is left feeling not only injured but in a terrible double bind, finding it difficult — because of the apology — to summon up the healing and justifiable anger. Be as hurtful as you like.

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Naturally, I would suggest that you wait a month before sending it, because it could be that just writing it will make you feel better, and I doubt that you want to post off a raging letter that you might regret.

Though I suppose, after writing it and sending it, if you did regret it, you could give him a taste of his own medicine by following it up with another apologising for it and asking if you could make amends for it! Betrayal and being betrayed seems to be part of the human condition. My own advice would be to tear the letter up and either send it back to him or put it in the bin.

Your guy was in the grip of a progressive illness when he was drinking. He is now part of a fellowship that expects him to acknowledge his defects and make what amends he can for harm done. He knows that if he wants to stay sober and avoid hurting yet more people, he has to do this.

For his sake and your own, please give him this opportunity. I wish you every happiness. To me, your question has two parts. AA is clear that amends should be practical restitution.Making amends may seem like a bitter pill to swallow, but for those serious about recovery, it can be good medicine for the spirit and the soul.

Step 9 is another one of the 12 steps, that initially appears most difficult, but the rewards of putting this principle into practice can be immense.

Making amends to ex-wife

The spiritual principle involved is that of forgiveness, not only from others but forgiveness of self, which can bring healing to both parties. After completing Step 8 —made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all—the next logical step is to make those amends if possible, and the suggestion is to do so directly to those who have been harmed.

By making direct amends to the person harmed the temptation to skirt the issue because of embarrassment or pain is avoided. But those making the amends find many times that the person to whom they have harmed is more than willing to accept those amends happily—and a healing process begins not only in the relationship but in each individual.

Sometimes the injured party is not willing to forgive and forget. Regardless, spiritual progress for those in recovery depends on doing their part right and making direct amends. This step does carry a condition—except when to do so would injure them or others.

The benefit of making amends to the recovering person does not outweigh the need to do any more harm. If the act of making amends will open old wounds or create new harm, then making direct amends should be avoided.

If your goal is to remain sober, then it's important to take this step to make amends when possible, because if you fail to do so, it could come back to cause you problems later. If you know that you caused harm to others during your drinking days or you borrowed money and never paid it back, and you don't try to set the situation right, then there is a very good chance the issue will arise again and when it does it could be a trigger for a relapse.

On the other hand, if you deal with the situation from the past, then there is no way for it to come back and bite you later.

You have dealt with it properly, you've kept your side of the street clean, and you've put the mistake from the past behind you. Alcoholism can be a fatal disease. Don't letting putting off making an apology or paying a debt you owe become a bigger problem in the future that could cause you to pick up a drink.

Visitors to this website have shared their experience with working Step 9. Here are some of their stories:. Oh, this is a hard step for me.

aa making amends to an ex

I tend to hide the memory of past transgressions under the ever-handy umbrella of "Didn't do it if I don't remember". Since I spent years in a boozy haze all sorts of hurts were ignored. During my drinking "career" I lived far away from my family, therefore, no amends were required.

Facing the fact that omissions can be painful made this a powerfully healing step to do.One of the telltale symptoms of alcohol or drug addiction is behaving in ways that go against your personal values and standards. That's why the Twelve Step recovery process includes the practice of recognizing how your behavior has harmed others and seeking to repair the mistakes and damage caused during your active addiction.

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Step 8: Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all. On the surface, making amends might sound as simple as offering a sincere apology for your treatment of others, but there's more to this cornerstone Twelve Step practice. In Twelve Step recovery from alcohol or other drug addiction, a direct amend refers to the act of personally addressing issues with people who have been harmed by our behavior or our treatment of them. The practice involves going back to those individuals to acknowledge the harm or hurt we have caused them and demonstrate our changed ways in order to provide them with the opportunity to heal.

Whenever possible, a direct amend is made face-to-face rather than over the phone or by asking someone else to apologize on your behalf. Think of amends as actions taken that demonstrate your new way of life in recovery, whereas apologies are basically words. In active addiction, our actions and intentions aren't aligned. For example, we might intend to go to a friend's birthday party but, in actuality, we fail to show up for the event.

While we might apologize later for missing the party, our apology consists of words rather than actions or changed behavior. In recovery, our actions and intentions are aligned. An example would be telling someone how sorry you are that you stole from them and actually giving back what you took.

Step Nine states that we make amends "except when to do so would injure them or others. Also, we might owe amends to people we can't reach. In those cases, we can make amends in a broader sense by taking actions such as donating money, volunteering our time or providing care. It's also important to take great care when making amends to someone who is in active addiction because our primary responsibility is to safeguard our own health and recovery from substance abuse.

No matter how much you feel the need to make things right, forcing another to meet with your or hear from you is not part of the Steps. When those we've hurt are not able or willing to accept our amends, we can still move in a positive general direction by taking intentional steps to be of service to others. Taking these actions helps us to separate ourselves from the disease of addiction.

We come to understand that we are good people with a bad disease.

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Step 8 and Step 9 help us to move out of the shame we have lived in, shame that feeds the cycle of substance use and addiction. We strengthen and reinforce healthy recovery whenever we do our part to repair relationships or reach out to others with support and understanding. It's important to have a plan in place before you reach out.

We can't know for certain how another person will respond—or even how the interaction might affect us emotionally. Remember, this is a Twelve Step process that can provide a platform for healing, but the person you are reaching out to may not be at the same place in healing as you are. We are only in control of our part—making and living the amends. We cannot control how others respond, whether they will forgive, or whether they will hold onto negative feelings or resentments. When first writing your list, don't worry about including everyone you have wronged.

Start by listing the people closest to you. Over time, as you strengthen and deepen your recovery from alcohol or drug addiction, you will undoubtedly revisit Steps 8 and 9 many times. Eventually, you will find you are making amends day by day through the positive actions you routinely take in living by Twelve Step principles.

There really isn't a "best way" for everyone. You need to find the approach that works best for you. Talk with your sponsor or others in your recovery community about what has worked for them.Making amends is one of the most important parts of 12 step programs.

So much so, in fact, that there are two steps dedicated to it. But, what does it actually mean to make amends? As relates to your addiction, this means compensating those that your addiction has hurt. In order to truly understand this concept, it is important to really understand the steps involved, and how it helps to complete them.

Before starting anything, it is wise to prepare for it. As far as making amends, this where the 8th of the 12 steps comes in. This step involves a number of things, including:.

It is important, during this process, that you understand that a simple apology is not enough to undo the damage you have done. Rather, you need to make a more concrete and serious effort to express that you know what wrongs you have done, and that you have changed, and want to make things right. Reconnecting with loved ones is part of making amends. After preparing to make amends, the next step is to actively make those amends.

This where the 9th of the 12 steps comes in. There are many different ways to make amends, including:. One of the most important things to remember is that not everyone will be accepting of attempts to make amends. Also, you should never attempt to make amends where doing so is likely to cause further harm, such as making direct amends to someone you injured in a drunk driving accident. Instead, consider becoming an organ donor, or donating to charities that support victims of drunk drivers.

The whole point of making amends is to acknowledge the harm that your addiction has caused, and put it in the past. This way you can move forward with your recovery, without worrying about past action dragging you down. Any 12 step sponsor will tell you that it is easy to get bogged down in the 8th and 9th steps. Remember, however, that you can only do your best to make the appropriate amends to the people you have wronged.

Their acceptance or forgiveness is desired, but not necessary. Only your own forgiveness for yourself is absolutely essential for you to continue your recovery. For more information on joining a 12 step recovery program call us at Who Answers?

Making Amends

We can help. For those seeking addiction treatment for themselves or a loved one, the AlcoholicsAnonymous. Our helpline is offered at no cost to you and with no obligation to enter into treatment. Neither AlcoholicsAnonymous. If you wish to explore additional treatment options or connect with a specific rehab center, you can browse top-rated listings or visit SAMHSA. What Does it Mean to Make Amends? Preparing to make amends Before starting anything, it is wise to prepare for it.

This step involves a number of things, including: evaluating past behaviors, determining how those behaviors affected the people around you, making a list of all of the people that were hurt by those behaviors, determining exactly how those people were hurt by your behaviors, and deciding what actions would best make amends for those people, and categorizing them accordingly.

Different types of amends Reconnecting with loved ones is part of making amends.Has the damage been done? Is there anything you can do to make things better now? For others, however, there are some things that get in the way of doing that.

A Letter of Amends

Things like pride, embarrassment, or even denial can keep a person from trying to make amends with the person they hurt. If you want to move past this period and eventually rebuild a solid relationship between you, the issue is going to have to be addressed. In fact, if it remains unaddressed, it can give rise to a deep sense of resentment towards you in your ex.

This resentment will make it much harder for you to break down his or her walls and build a healthy relationship again. I work with a lot of people who had trouble saying sorry. They know that they did something wrong, but they struggle with admitting it to their ex.

You want them to understand that you respect them, that they can trust you, that you are not selfish or prideful, and that you have the best interests of the relationship in mind.

I want to warn you against doing this, because it is sometimes a coping mechanism. I recently worked with a client, Carlie, who contacted me for help in making amends with her ex boyfriend. They had been dating for a few years and they broke up because of a few different reasons, one of which was lack of proper communication. Long story short, she asked me for help in making him understand that she was truly sorry, but I also saw that she was handing all of the power over to him.

In working with her, we dissected what she could have done differently in the relationship and worked on finding solutions. Keep in mind that this is a two way road and the meaning of amends is that you both make peace. Keeping your eyes open and being honest with yourself about the entire situation is crucial.

When you want to get back together with someone, you are going to have to work on forgiving one another for the past, define long term, concrete solutions, and work together to develop an entirely new relationship. One of the absolute best tools for making amends with someone is the handwritten letter.

Now is the time to give your ex some time and space so that both of your emotions can calm down. When it comes to how to apologize to an exthis is one of the absolute most powerful things you could possibly do.

Writing an apology letter to the person you love allows you to. Writing a letter to your ex is a non aggressive way to get them to hear you out. Your emotions on the subject should be mentioned, yes, but it should not be the focal point. Thanking her for helping you recognize them 3. Apologizing for not recognizing them in the relationship 4. The fact that now you understand and you are currently working on rectifying them 5. Bonus: 3 advanced strategies that will turn you into a Human Relationships Expert and give you the tools to get back with the one you love Let's Do This.