“‘Live and let live’ reminds us that tolerance is an important quality to develop. It liberates us from being at the mercy of other people’s behavior.”
Tools of Recovery, page 33
I have always prided myself on my tolerance of others, but it bothers me when my spouse shows intolerance with me. Why can’t she just get over it? It has been more than three years since I relapsed, and she has known about my addiction for twenty years. I am working my recovery through the program as I experience it, not as she envisions it. I wish she were accepting of the progress I’ve made rather than frustrated at my imperfection. I’m not the only one who’s hurting here. My addiction caused her great pain and maybe even trauma. I can no more dictate how or when she will be healed than she can with me. I heard somewhere that the one with the greatest need comes first. If I am truly tolerant of others, I can start at home with compassion and patience for my spouse’s pain and healing. If she’s in pain, I can practice patience and acceptance and try to ease her suffering if she wants help. If she’s abusive, I can gently set healthy boundaries. How would I like to be treated as I struggle? How might I react to others’ struggles if I were well and not afraid?
I bring tolerance into my life by practicing it.