Pg 86-88 Big Book

Title: A Comprehensive Analysis of Pages 86-88 of the Big Book: Understanding the Path to Recovery


Pages 86-88 of the Big Book, titled “To Wives,” delve into the experiences and challenges faced by the families and loved ones of individuals struggling with alcoholism. In this article, we will explore these pages in detail, highlighting their significance in the recovery process. Additionally, we will provide five unique facts about this section, followed by a set of 13 frequently asked questions and their corresponding answers.

Understanding Pages 86-88:

Pages 86-88 serve as an essential guide for spouses and loved ones of alcoholics, offering insight into the effects of alcoholism on relationships and providing a path towards recovery. The section emphasizes the importance of empathy, understanding, and support while acknowledging the struggles faced by both the alcoholic and their partners.

Five Unique Facts about Pages 86-88:

1. Addressing the Co-Dependency: These pages recognize the co-dependent nature of relationships affected by alcoholism. It highlights the tendency for both partners to enable and become dependent on unhealthy behaviors. By acknowledging this dynamic, the Big Book encourages spouses to embark on their own healing journey alongside their alcoholic partners.

2. The Power of Unity: Pages 86-88 underline the significance of unity among spouses and loved ones of alcoholics. It emphasizes the strength and support that can be found in sharing experiences with others who understand the challenges faced by partners of alcoholics.

3. The Role of Al-Anon: These pages introduce Al-Anon, a fellowship designed specifically for the families and friends of alcoholics. By providing this resource, the Big Book acknowledges the need for support systems that cater to the unique experiences of those affected by alcoholism indirectly.

4. Empathy and Compassion: The section emphasizes the importance of empathy and understanding for both the alcoholic and their partner. It urges spouses not to judge or condemn but instead to approach their loved ones with compassion, recognizing that alcoholism is a disease rather than a moral failing.

5. The Promise of Recovery: Pages 86-88 offer hope to spouses and loved ones, assuring them that recovery is possible for both the alcoholic and themselves. It highlights the transformative power of the 12-step program and encourages partners to embark on their own journey of self-discovery and healing.


1. How do I cope with the emotional turmoil caused by my partner’s alcoholism?
– The Big Book suggests seeking support from Al-Anon, where you can connect with others facing similar challenges and learn healthy coping mechanisms.

2. Can I overcome my co-dependent tendencies?
– By acknowledging and understanding your own behaviors, attending Al-Anon meetings, and working on personal growth, you can break free from co-dependency.

3. How can I support my partner through their recovery without enabling their addiction?
– The Big Book advises setting healthy boundaries, practicing tough love, and encouraging them to seek help through Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).

4. What should I do if my partner refuses to admit they have a problem?
– It is crucial to focus on your own well-being and attend Al-Anon meetings to gain support and guidance. You cannot force someone to recognize their problem; they must come to that realization themselves.

5. How can I rebuild trust in my relationship after years of alcohol-related issues?
– Rebuilding trust takes time and commitment from both parties. Open communication, couples therapy, and attending Al-Anon meetings together can help facilitate the healing process.

6. Is it common for alcoholics to manipulate their loved ones?
– Yes, alcoholics often resort to manipulation as a means of maintaining their addiction. Al-Anon can provide strategies to identify and address these manipulative behaviors.

7. Can my partner’s alcoholism be cured?
– Alcoholism is considered a chronic disease and cannot be cured. However, with proper treatment, support, and a commitment to recovery, individuals can lead fulfilling lives in sobriety.

8. Should I confront my partner about their drinking problem?
– While it is important to express your concerns, it is advisable to approach the conversation with empathy and compassion, avoiding judgment or criticism.

9. Are there specific strategies for handling relapses?
– Al-Anon provides guidance on how to navigate relapses, including the importance of self-care, setting boundaries, and encouraging the individual to re-engage in their recovery journey.

10. Can Al-Anon help with addressing the impact of alcoholism on children?
– Yes, Al-Anon’s resources include support for families with children affected by alcoholism, providing guidance on how to address their unique needs.

11. How can I let go of the guilt associated with my partner’s addiction?
– Attending Al-Anon meetings can help individuals understand that they are not responsible for their partner’s alcoholism and provide tools to cope with guilt and self-blame.

12. Can Al-Anon meetings be attended online?
– Yes, especially in today’s digital age, many Al-Anon meetings are available online, allowing individuals to connect with support networks from the comfort of their homes.

13. Is it possible to repair a relationship that has been strained due to alcoholism?
– With dedication, open communication, professional help, and support from Al-Anon, it is possible to rebuild and repair relationships damaged by alcoholism.


Pages 86-88 of the Big Book offer valuable insights, guidance, and hope for spouses and loved ones of alcoholics. By understanding the co-dependent nature of the relationship, seeking support from Al-Anon, and practicing empathy and compassion, partners can embark on their own healing journey while supporting their loved ones on the path to recovery.