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Post Info TOPIC: Acceptance and Unacceptable Behavior
Bo


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Acceptance and Unacceptable Behavior


Do you know the difference between the two? Are they separate and distinct with you? I've long talked about acceptance, immersing yourself in it, and laying down the sword. I've said when someone hits you the ping pong ball, you put down the paddle, when the tug of war starts, you drop the rope. Step One says admitted, but beyond that is acceptance. Acceptance, one this it was for me was surrendering that I could not control, fix, or do anything about the alcoholic and his/her drinking...and I stopped trying! That is when I knew I truly and completely had acceptance. And so on and so on. There is so much we can talk about in and around acceptance.

Now, we also have unacceptable behavior. Sure, intellectually, we know the difference. But in day to day practical application, real world, in the weeds, etc. -- do you know the difference? Are they separate and distinct with you? I wanted to ask others about their experience, strength, wisdom, etc. -- and how you handle the two.

Thank you in advance.

 



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Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 



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Great topic this AM Bo. Thanks for this.

I think when I look at unacceptable behavior that means different things to different people as certain abuses become the "new norm" so I have to be very vigilant in what is someone's quirks and that just irritates me because it's leaving dirty dishes in the sink or is it blatant disregard for the boundaries that are in place for me. Name calling, bringing unnecessary drama into my home/environment, things that disrupt my serenity. That's unacceptable behavior .. I have a right to be happy, healthy on all levels of my life and if something is unbalanced and I have looked to myself first and that's not the issue then I say ok .. what is off. I'm just going to say chopping wood at 3AM is unacceptable behavior. That was something my X did.

It's not just other people who exhibit unacceptable behavior .. I do too.

I'm telling on myself .. LOL .. I had a moment yesterday where I was just out of line .. with everything that is going haywire in my life. I actually drove into work and got into a fight with my BF over a trash can and was close to tears .. it's like I just can't take anything else right now .. LOL. A flipping trash can at 6AM .. ugh .. not a conversation I even wanted to have at that moment. I honest don't need someone at work trying to micro manage me and what they think I should be doing .. get in your own damn hula hoop and stay out of mine .. I did snap and while on one hand I wasn't out of line .. I was in regards to my behavior. I have a right to say how I feel about something I don't have a right to be rude and I am stressed big time .. it doesn't matter. I can control me. So today, I came into work and apologized first thing told the person I was wrong and now we move forward. I also admitted I was wrong about the trash can .. ugh .. that was a hard one to swallow.

I can accept the fact that we all have our quirks and that I really need to live by the slogan how important is it. I have to accept people do not think like I do .. I have to accept that I am not always right ... and I have to accept that I will fall down. I can surrender and I still hate that word with a passion it sounds so damn passive .. and I'm just not made to be passive. So really for me acceptance is more about me than other people when I think about it because it is my thinking. Again .. I don't have to accept someone chopping wood at 3AM (in the house .. yes .. that was a good times). Do you know what I accepted that because that became the "new norm".

So take what you like .. LOL .. that's what I think of when it comes to unacceptable behavior and acceptance for me.

Hugs S :)

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"I cannot learn other people's lessons for them.  They must do the work for themselves, and they will do it when they are ready." - Louise Hay



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I do what I can to keep it simple. I trust the higher power of my understanding. What I've come to accept is it's not my job to look at the behaviors of others, and deem them acceptable and unacceptable. Instead, when I am uncomfortable for any reason at any point in time, I consider my choices and do what it takes to get back to my serenity spot.

I personally retired from the right-fighter committee shortly after entering recovery. I had an awesome sponsor who just kept asking me why I continued to focus for answers, clarity, etc. outside of myself. She also suggested there is more unacceptable behavior than acceptable happening every day all around me to differing degrees. The only unacceptable behavior I should examine and/or consider changing was my own....while this baffled me for a long while, it's so spot on for serenity in recovery.

I can be hurt and/or angry by the actions or words of others. Yet, the only person hurting is me - they have clearly moved on to their next 'right thing for them for the day'. What within me holds on to these and makes them bigger than they really are? If I want to maximize my serenity in recovery, I can't spend time ever analyzing what is acceptable or unacceptable, instead I accept what has happened happened, and determine what is best next for me.



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Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 



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Great topic Bo. This really made me think. I look at acceptance more in the light of accepting the situation for exactly as it is. I feel that before I can truly change anything I have to first accept that something has happened or something is happening or that a situation is exactly as it is. My natural instinct is that if something I don't like is happening is to fight against it or refuse to accept it. I heard an analogy somewhere describe acceptance as this; you are on a hike in the wilderness and you realize that you are 50 miles off course. If you refuse to accept it it's going to take you longer to get back on course because you will keep walking in the wrong direction. The sooner you can accept that you are off course (even though it's something you didn't want to happen and may be scary or very inconvenient) the sooner you can make plans to correct it you are more likely to save yourself. To me it is completely separate from condoning something. I whole heartedly agree that no one has to accept unacceptable behaviour but I look at that more as tolerate or endure instead of acceptance. Before Al Anon I tolerated and endured a lot of unacceptable behaviour because I just couldn't accept that the person was really treating me that way. It felt better to fight with, argue, cajole, try to reason with someone who treated me badly instead of walking away and taking care of myself. Now I practice a lot of putting down the paddle or dropping the rope but I also walk away so I don't get hit with that ping pong ball or pulled with that rope again. I do something to take care of me and protect me. I may even say to that other person that what they did hurt me but not engage in a back and forth. I find it much more effective in protecting myself rather than getting into a battle with someone who is attacking me or trying to start a fight. When I used to engage in the battle, pull my side of the rope harder, hit them back with 10 ping pong balls it did nothing to create any peace for me. It left me open to further attack, and then criticism for my aggression and anger. I have found that I can't address something in the moment I am being treated badly (verbally attacked, or emotionally pushed) I need to be able to step away, get some peace and then speak up later when I feel calmer. I'm very interested in other's perspectives on this.


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El


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Wow- great topic and ESH from those above.  It has given me something to really think about.........

Great posts!

 

Ellen



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bud


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Wow- great thread! I'll take a stab at it - acceptance is understanding what is without judgement or attachment. Unacceptable behavior is when a boundary is needed for self-protection.

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Bo


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Excellent posts...and thank you to everyone for your insight, perspective, experience, and more...thank you!

When I look at acceptance -- one thing I often try to remember, although I accept and have acceptance...that doesn't mean I have to like it. That doesn't mean I have to agree with it. That certainly doesn't mean it worked out, is working out, or will work out the way I had hoped. I am strong enough with my program, and how it works for me, that I can not like something, accept it and have acceptance, and not let it consume me or even impact me. That's my total and complete acceptance. I might be sad, unhappy, even angry -- but it won't consume me. It won't prohibit me from "doing the right thing" and being a man of class, dignity, integrity, compassion and respect. That is the way I live my life. I don't have to live my life that way because that is who I am. My 23 years in al-anon helped me -- tremendously -- so that I can "be" that person. The "new norm" as Serenity referred to it -- as it relates to unacceptable behavior -- used to be my enemy, and now has become a great friend and ally.

Yesterday, I had two clients -- one of which is a good friend -- lash out at me. I took a long hard look at myself and my role in all of it. Yet I still am able to recognize unacceptable behavior -- and not accept it. The quirks thing has never been that much of an issue for me. For me -- it was me! I was the one who lived in denial about unacceptable behavior. I justified it, vacillated, rationalized, made excuses, denied, denied, denied, and I was the one who made it all OK. Friends, family, loved ones, couldn't believe it...but I did it. Until, I got sick and tired of being sick and tired. Until, I realized...this is not right! This is not "normal" and this is not healthy for me!!!

What I couldn't stand -- what caused me to be very unhealthy...was when the two merged. I started to accept unacceptable behavior...and it became my norm. I had acceptance, around all the unacceptable behavior that I was experiencing, allowing, etc. That is not healthy! I used to say "but she's sick" and "she doesn't know what she's doing" and "she would never done any of these things had she not been drunk" and "she's an alcoholic, she didn't mean it" and so on and so on and so on. That is when I made acceptable behavior -- my new norm -- and it became acceptable. I am grateful for the rooms of al-anon, all the meetings I've attended, and still do, my sponsor, and some very amazing people in the rooms...all of which I can never thank enough.

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Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 

Bo


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Gotta run, but wanted to throw up one more post...I like what Iamhere said...yes, one of my mantras is keep it simple. I find for me, when I am focused on me, then I am not focusing on others. I've never been judgmental to the point where I focus on them, allow that to impact me in that type of way, etc. I don't look at others behavior and deem it acceptable or not -- but I look at how I am treated. But first, I look at how I treat others. If I don't like the way I am being treated -- vis a vis unacceptable behavior -- then I act and react accordingly. I explore my options. So, I like what Iamhere said very much.

I like the perspective of why focus on answers, explanations, clarity, etc. -- outside of myself. Excellent insight. I love looking at my own behavior and making sure I am treating others properly, with compassion, respect, etc.

Thanks again...more to follow.

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Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 



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I read here almost everyday but never have posted. UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR topic.... hooked me!!!, especially coming from you Bo, as so many of your post have helped me , dig deeper into myself and work harder to work my program and focus on me,
My A husband, 40 plus years, began drinking heavily 2002. At the time he was dealing with professional disappointments.
Three years ago I discovered during this time he also chose to sooth himself with weekly prostitute visits , 12 years , 200-300 expensive escorts $100 - $300, 12 years total spent$100,000. For the past three years I gave him the gift of staying in the marriage, to allow time for each of us committing to individual recovery with individual therapy and also couples counseling.
The unacceptable behavior I'm facing with him now is almost worse than his secret life for a third of our marriage. He has chosen to continue to lie, no longer commit to his recover work as a alcoholic and sex addict to the extent he promised he would. This behavior concerning his choices is finally Unacceptable. I have filed for divorce . Moved to a apartment and try to spend as much time as I can at our farm taking care of it and three horses I rescued 7 months ago, who are returning the favor , by helping me recover now.

To answer your question I am accepting of his unacceptable decicision making, and no no longer try and change him or his choices.
I am choosing what is Unacceptable behavior in my life , be it him, a friend or a horses. So AH SA husband -divorcing, old friends -making new ones , pand if it's a horse, well I've not yet invested the time and effort as I've done with the others, so they get to stay longer.

Would also like to add my personality is such that I have to know I have been diligent in doing my part of the work, leaving no stone unturned to actually know the Behaviors are truly Unacceptably and will not change, to allow myself to walk away from. Ann

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Welcome to MIP Ann - love, love, love your avatar! Glad you found us and so glad you joined right in. Your last paragraph sums up my style better than I could put words to....I too am one who has to know deep within that I allowed no stone left untouched/unturned. Lovely way to put that!

I thank you for sharing your story - your recovery and commitment to it is very inspiring! Please keep coming back - enjoy being a part of our family!!



-- Edited by Iamhere on Wednesday 9th of August 2017 05:07:14 PM

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Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 



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For me, acceptance simply means that I have stopped fighting the battle. I've seen the reality and have decided to keep the focus on myself and to act in my own best interest.

Again unacceptable behavior here it is my definition of what is acceptable and that can become problematic. However, someone's behavior is unsettling. I use Al-Anon tools, detach, respond in a healthy manner and not react.

I am more leaning toward the fact that I am experiencing less unacceptable behavior because I've become less judgmental, critical. Thank you alanon



-- Edited by hotrod on Wednesday 9th of August 2017 07:32:09 PM

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Betty

THE HIGHEST FORM OF WISDOM IS KINDNESS

Talmud


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Iam

I don't want to break any rules or thread highjacking. Thx for the welcome and I will start posting. Avitar is a painting I did



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~*Service Worker*~

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No worries - we welcome folks in any thread they 'arrive' in! Glad you're here and again - love, love, love the avatar!!

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Practice the PAUSE...Pause before judging.  Pause before assuming.  Pause before accusing.  Pause whenever you are about to react harshly and you will avoid doing and saying things you will later regret.  ~~~~  Lori Deschene

 

 



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Alcoholism and drug addictions make fertile grown for infidelity no matter how it is explained.  When I learned that alcoholism is a disease of the mind, body, spirit and emotions I accepted that everything about the alcoholic gets weak and out of kilter which was a huge notice about what came after.  My alcoholic/addict wondered why she could not or ought not have "other partners" besides me while I had the moral of "never" on either of our parts.  Her questioning put me on alert that I had picked the wrong partner and as long as there was no change we/I would have deep splits in our relationship.  Contacting STDs was another justification and as the justifications grew divorce became the reality.

For me there are many sorts of unacceptable behaviors that will destroy the relationships.  My wife the alcoholic/addict use to also go roaming in the dark night in the forest which had all sorts of wild animals including other alcoholics and addicts...Gad what a disease!! 

Learning about what was and wasn't acceptable made knowing what to do next easy as long as I did it.

Great post and replies.   ((((hugs)))) smile



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thanks for this topic, Bo. much food for thought on my learning curve.

i think for me acceptance means the acceptance of reality - what is happening that i don't want to see, what do i see when i drop the denial and the wishful thinking and the effort i'm putting in to change a situation i think needs change. so acceptance is seeing what IS and recognizing what's happening. it also most likely requires acknowledging my powerlessness over a situation or person.

i struggle with unacceptable behavior, big time. i have excused it away like you mention... that is, i have clearly stated THIS IS UNHEALTHY and unacceptable and not ok in any way... buuuuuuuttt, i've moved forward after such talks with thinking -he's not well, he's dysfunctional, acting out of insecurity, etc.  at first i took things somewhat personally ("you don't trust me?! what reason have i given for you not to trust me?") but after many such incidents i knew it had nothing to do with me and the unacceptable behavior was all about his own unresolved issues. because i didn't take it personally, it made it easier for me to move past it. however, each incident was a red flag. and then they kept coming. until it piled up and became too much for me.

but i SO struggle with the fact that This Is A Disease (can you struggle with a fact?!). i struggle with wondering how much control he had over his own actions. but even if there was no control (mental illness? addiction?), i came to realize that you're traumatized when hit by a car, even if it's an accident. it doesn't have to be intentional to harm you. i believe my empathy has been on overdrive, to my own detriment... but i still find the disease issue confusing. furthermore, figuring it out is impossible anyway - you can't be in someone else's head. and i can lose myself in that attempt (and i have). hope that all makes sense. it's late and i'm processing "out loud".



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Bo


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Thank you to everyone -- and a special welcome to artandsoul. Thank you so very much for the kind words -- and I am so glad my topic prompted you to post and that many of my posts have helped you. If my posts help people dig deeper as you call it, work on yourself, focus on you, etc. -- that's what we are here for. The pay it forward kind of thing. But this is a topic for another thread, LOL.

To me, acceptance was the key to success for me and my recovery. Nothing, nothing happened, without acceptance. I was not able to detach, I continued to enable, and contribute to the drama, chaos, and turmoil that was occurring, I had a major role in perpetuating everything that was going on, I could not get past the anger and resentment, and so on. Once I got a true handle on acceptance -- everything else fell into place. It was like that first domino -- once it fell, wow, all was good. Anyway, my point is -- acceptance allowed me to not only to accept, but to have acceptance. It allowed me to put down the sword and stop the fight. I was able to drop the rope in the tug of war, and stop battling -- battling everything, everyone, etc.

Part of it was surrendering. I had to surrender to my feelings, and rather than fight it, I just admitted and accepted that I felt it. Anger for example. And then -- I was able to get past it. I found I couldn't go around it, under it, over it...I had to go through it. And I did.

When I focus on me -- it is also healthy in that I am not judging, analyzing, etc., the other person.

The unacceptable behavior part can be somewhat perplexing, confusing at times. The behavior is -- then my reaction. I look at tools/slogans like -- how important is it, would I rather be right or rather be happy, let it go, and so on. That became easy for me to be in denial and make excuses. Detaching is not always the answer -- end all be all -- for unacceptable behavior. I detached every time my ex-gf treated me, did things, etc., that were unacceptable to me. Added all up -- we ended up not being together a great deal. Friday night and/or Saturday night dates were cancelled or didn't happen, because of unacceptable behavior. Sunday day away things got cancelled. Dinners, hanging out, going out, telephone conversations ended...all because of unacceptable behavior, treatment I would not accept from her, comments made, actions taken, I found them unacceptable. Looking at this objectively, I realized I was not happy. It was not healthy, for me. It was toxic. And I had to, and wanted to, end the relationship.

For me -- unacceptable behavior was a slippery slope.

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Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 

Bo


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Once I get into the weeds, I used to find that I struggled. Sure, there was always a black and white in certain aspects, but sometimes it was shades of and a large area of gray. I remember the infidelity issue. My wife was a drug addict/alcoholic. She has a disease. That doesn't make everything she does OK, acceptable, and so on. I accept she is an alcoholic and I had acceptance around that and all of what that means. However, when she started cheating -- that was unacceptable. Period. Nothing to discuss. Now, I didn't leave that day, file for divorce the next day, etc. I focused on me -- and made sure that I was OK, that I got better.

Then, I was able to arrive at a point -- a very healthy place -- where I had to look at how she was going to live her life. If she was going to continue, status quo, then I made a decision. If she was going to flip the switch so to speak, quit drinking/drugs, get clean and sober, live a life of recovery -- with sincerity and authenticity, as so many times before she had not -- then I made a decision. I didn't leave and file for divorce because she cheated. I left and filed for divorce because I no longer wanted to live my life that way. That was not the life I wanted to live.

As I said, the acceptance for me was accepting, and dropping the rope in the tug of war. I stopped trying to fix whatever was going on, stopped trying to control anything that was going on, stopped trying to prove my point, stopped trying to be right, stopped trying to stop whatever was going on, and so on.

The unacceptable behavior -- when I was in it, unhealthy, in denial, making excuses, etc. -- what got me out? OBJECTIVITY. I worked with and spoke with my sponsor. I remember asking him once -- where's the distinguishment between "how important is it" and "unacceptable behavior "would I rather be right or would I rather be happy" and "unacceptable behavior" or "let go" and "unacceptable behavior"...and we ended up talking for 3 hours about it. There was so much in and around this. It wasn't about the content of the conversation...it was about the context of the conversation. My experience --this  is not a do it yourself program. For me, objectivity, the help, experience, wisdom, etc., of others was my road to recovery.

As far as the alcoholic, I too struggled with "this is a disease" -- but I had to make sure that I didn't use that as an excuse!!! I gave up trying to "figure it out" (vis a vis her behavior, why she did what she did, what she did, etc.). I get that it's a disease. That calls for compassion. It doesn't call for me to accept unacceptable behavior, be abused, taken advantage of, hurt, treated poorly, disrespected, and so on.



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Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 



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I just actually did some journaling on this topic this morning .. reminder that there is still one person whom I regularly accept unacceptable behavior from 'me .. Pretty sure there's lots of great replies .. I wish I had time to read them all .. I will make time later this evening but for now ..  I like what betty wrote up there: "I've seen the reality and have decided to keep the focus on myself and to act in my own best interest". Again unacceptable behavior here it is my definition of what is acceptable and that can become problematic.''

This morning was reflecting on the 'blame game .. aka .. feeding denial .. others as well as ours .. making someone 'else be responsible for our happiness .. anger .. confusion and more .. alanon teaches blame is unacceptable .. when I blame too I make my life problematic and unmanageable .. I am also unwilling in 'those moment to be honest with myself, god, and others .. unwilling to be reasonable .. focused on me, etc ..

I restarted the steps again with my sponsor .. on step 2 and beginning to really look at the insanity of the behaviors .. all the excusing and justifying .. also denial feeders .. when I don't work my own program everything becomes problematic (problem-addict ?) for me .. still moving through .. seeing it doesn't mean I can perfectly change it .. but it does mean on some level I am already beginning ..

criticism is also unacceptable behavior .. seeing how hard I am on myself and learned to be through the years .. with everything being about making others 'feel' better and ourselves .. before alanon .. just sayin .. we made the person .. (lost our focus) the problem .. we made them good bad unreasonable ungrateful .. uncool .. we judged 'hearts .. motives, etc .. we were also all victims .. look what everyone is doing to me or did .. they ? are bad .. so much to see in this .. anyway it's unacceptable .. still learning and have tons more to learn .. good post ..



-- Edited by MeTwo2 on Thursday 10th of August 2017 10:12:25 AM



-- Edited by MeTwo2 on Thursday 10th of August 2017 10:38:01 AM

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My analogy of these words. Unacceptable behavior I need to surround myself with a wall of protection around me. I see this as personal decision because of tolerance I may have unfortunately . Lines can be gray here. Acceptance has no walls, it's giving in, allowing what is so.

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Acceptance for me was when I understood that alcoholism is an illness. Something that I could not change. Making it an illness made it more powerful, I knew that I would never win in any battle against it. I am talking about this problem as an "it", not this person or that person. It is important to separate the disease from the person. That was acceptance for me. Unacceptable behavior would be hollering and berating someone. I do not want drama in my life. I do not want loud people around me. I have made a nice peaceful existence for myself and I do not want anyone to try and change it.

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Sharon 



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Thanks for your posts. I have acceptance that my AH is sick. The disease has a strong hold on him. I too want a peaceful home. Still trying to work on that. I have given my AH over to my HP and pray each day for guidance. I have been working on detachment but having difficulty when I am forced to do something I know is harmful to myself and my AH. I want to disappear. I feel like I am held hostage in my own home, broke and Alone. The change has to come from me I know. He hit me yesterday over money that is unacceptable behavior. Good part is I haven't seen him since. This is not the life I want. His family tells me to have him arrested. I know it is the disease causing him to behave this way. So where is the line?? I have to decide when enough is enough. To anyone who doesn't know my AH, they think he is the nicest guy ever. How can I be supportive loving and trusting of him with this behaviour?? I see my part,. I tend to tell the truth about situations and deal with reality, I get anxious about lack of financial stability and I stand up and fight for what is right. I have to stop doing that with AH. He doesn't want to hear it or be reminded of responsibility. Today I just rested and watched movies and read some recovery. Thanks for being here.

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(((flyfree))) I'm so very sorry you're going through this. You do NOT have to accept behavior that is unacceptable, and hitting is not acceptable, period. In Al-Anon we don't give advice, but physical abuse is my exception, I agree with your husbands family, I would call the police because keeping your hands to yourself is the law of the land. You don't deserve it regardless if you were being "anxious" or living in "reality", there's NO excuse. I love your use of program tools, taking care of yourself is so important. Please know you're not alone, we are a fellowship of like minded people that have suffered the effects of another's drinking, and we get healthy by working together. You're in my thoughts and prayers and I hope you stay safe.

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- Carrie

Stress is caused by being 'here' but wanting to be 'there'. Eckhart Tolle

Bo


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At the meetings I attend, we talk about not giving direct advice in the meetings, cross-talk, etc. Here, there are rules as well.

When I hear one thing -- and if I get banned, I will not only accept it, but I will invite it and wear it as a bad of honor -- I don't abide by any rules, and that one thing is domestic violence. Assault. Whatever you want to call it. I don't care if the person was drunk, they wouldn't do it if they were sober, it's not really who they are, I don't care about any of it.

If you get hit...take action! Period. Call the police. Then call friends. Explore all options for taking action for YOU. Leave no stone unturned. Again, for YOU. Not options for him/her, talking, fixing, etc. -- FOR YOU.

__________________

Bo

Keep coming back...

God, grant me the serenity...to accept the PEOPLE I cannot change...the courage to change the ONE I can...and the wisdom to know it's ME...

 

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