From AA’s “Big Book” We must be entirely honest with somebody if we expect to live long or happily in this world. The benefit of talking to another person is that we can get his direct comment and counsel on our situation, and there can be no doubt in our minds what that advice is.
Only by discussing ourselves, holding back nothing, only by being willing to take advice and accept direction could we set foot on the road to straight thinking, solid honesty, and genuine humility. Step 5 of alcoholics anonymous says “Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.”
Now, this step of course will be a lot easier if you submitted to steps 2 and 3, coming to believe in a power greater than you and turning your will and life over to it. Admitting to God and to yourself can maybe be the easier parts, admitting to someone you trust not so much. The principle behind this step is not to just let the inquiring mind know your personal business.
That is where the trust part comes in; you need to feel that trust. The best case scenario is that the person you choose had walked through the issues that need to share because what you are looking for is total honesty from this person even if they step on your toes.
They do not need to agree with you on all your defects of character, they need to offer an open and bias opinion on what you have shared. If you are controlling, judgmental, impatient or egotistical they need to offer their point of view and suggest that you take another look at the issues at hand.
And hopefully they will help you walk through other scenarios. The “exact nature of our wrongs” does not have to big and obvious it could be as small as sarcasm, being short with someone or just a condescending tone to your voice. You will never convince me that any “wrongs” I have mentioned do not effect marriages and I did not even mention addiction.
Whether I am at New Life meeting hall over on Beverly Dr. or Solutions on 5th street, I have even seen it my own Celebrate Recovery meeting at Heritage Church, people work these steps with addiction in mind. The Celebrate Recovery curriculum will after awhile help you dissect issues and apply these steps to them.
Step 6 says “We are entirely ready to have God remove all these defects character.” “Entire” willingness to be rid of defects of character is a product of thorough work on steps 4 &5. I’ll never forget the feeling near the end of my first step 5, that obsessions with addiction and guilt could be removed.
Entire willingness to proceed had occurred! Are you ready to have a different marriage spiritually? Being able to stop some defects in behavior might come fairly easy when applying these steps. The character defect that you should fear the most are the ones created by you that are used as permission statements, the one you use to make it ok to behave curtain ways.
The ones that make you the victim like resentment, shame, guilt and fear. As long as you hold on to negatives of you past and the resentments attached to them you will always create excuses for being angry or hurt because “no one understands what I’ve gone through” when really what is happening is you are wallowing in self pity in hopes of receiving pity from others.
You have to let go of and allow God to remove every character defect. This is a continual process because you will either revert back or create new ones. If one of your character defects is close mindedness you will have to start with that one and to you I say good luck.
The 12 step program is a program of suggestion so I suggest to you that you find some sort of self help group, Wichita Falls has many, some faith based and some not. As big as Wichita Falls is you can find someone who can and is willing to help, you marriage may depend on it. Keep in mind that pride is a character defect as well, can you step over yours.