Alcoholics and Half-baked Relationships Part 5: Conflicting Recipes

If his arrangements would only stay put, if only people would do as he wishes, the show would be great. Everybody, including himself, would be pleased. Life would be wonderful. ~ AA p 61
The reason that many alcoholics live with half-baked relationships is that they interfere in the relationship process! If every recipe for Grandma’s bread were interrupted by someone else who thinks they know best, but really don’t even know the difference between yeast and baking soda, then my bread would be ruined. If they are trying to get me to alter the proven method for great bread because they like to be in charge but not because they know anything about baking, then we have an altered recipe and a certainty of failure.
In trying to make these arrangements our actor may sometimes be quite virtuous. He may be kind, considerate, patient, generous; even modest and self-sacrificing. ~ AA p 61

The front is impressive, but only the front.

This is confusing. It seems that building a good relationship with someone who has these qualities would be easy. Shouldn’t we be happy with the kind, considerate, patient and generous person? The exception is when all that modesty and self-sacrificing behavior is only an illusion—an attempt at building an image. Ask yourself, Are these true character traits or are they false, like the facade on the face of a building? The best way to know is by observing how this person reacts when he’s away from others and things are not going his way. Don’t confuse the public persona of an alcoholic with the reality of who he is in private. It’s our private behavior that defines our true character.

Don’t count on face-book or twitter #’s to tell you who might make a good friend. In fact, the more important their image, the worse your chances.
Why is that? People with an impressive image to maintain are tempted to maintain it at any cost. The greater the disparity between their image and the person they really are, the more desperate they become to be in control of everything, and that includes you. The recipe they are following is the recipe for image and control.
Therefore, even if you know the recipe for a great relationship, you will soon be getting a lot of interference in the process. You will be criticized, manipulated and cajoled into being the kind of person that best fits their recipe for image enhancement, not relationship. All of this has nothing to do with your ingredients. Even if you have the best heart and the kindest intentions and all the love possible for this person, it is not going to turn out like your recipe says. Honestly, it won’t turn out like theirs says, either because you are going to be interfering with that. You will not be cooperating and working together, but will be at odds, trying to win the battle over recipes: Recipe for Relationship vs Recipe for Control.