Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Learning To Tell The Truth.

When we have been in a relationship with an alcoholic for many years, have let unacceptable behavior go by unremarked to keep the peace, and bitten back our feelings more times than not, it can be quite an exercise to learn to be honest. Especially if we will be punished for the truth with stomping, slamming, being ignored, or worse.

When I continue to pretend, nothing changes. I must be willing to suffer the consequences of speaking up. I can say what I have to  without harsh words or character assassination. I can speak as kindly and with as much care for the other's feelings as is possible, without diluting my message to the point where it's unrecognisable.

If I want change, I must be ready to make those changes myself.
Waiting and hoping that the alcoholic will change, is an exercise in self-delusion.

We teach people how to treat us. I've had the uncomfortable realisation this past while, that I've been less than honest about my true feelings with an alcoholic - I was still people-pleasing. I allowed behaviors to go by unchallenged, and uncommented.

Now that I am speaking up more often, the alcoholic is feeling that I'm changing the rules late in the game. I can't help that - their feelings are their business. As long as I am saying what I need to say respectfully, I'm not responsible for how they choose to deal with it.

Beforehand, I ask God for guidance, and afterwards, I ask Him for comfort.

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