I don’t have to tolerate unacceptable behavior

Many Al‑Anon members share that in Al‑Anon they began to realize that there is such a thing as unacceptable behavior and that they didn’t have to continue accepting that behavior. This Al‑Anon member shares about her journey of recognizing what behaviors were unacceptable for her and how she dealt with them. Her experience may help you with your own understanding of acceptable behavior.

If you have been affected by a loved one’s drinking, maybe Al-Anon can help you too. For Al-Anon meeting information:

This interview was recorded at the 2018 Al‑Anon International Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Members were asked to share about various aspects of the Al‑Anon program and their personal experience.

Members’ anonymity is protected so that they can share openly and honestly about their experience with a loved one’s drinking and with the Al‑Anon program.

The opinions expressed in this video were strictly those of the person who gave them.

Video Transcript

I don’t have to tolerate unacceptable behavior

MEMBER: didn’t understand unacceptable behavior before I came in these rooms. Both of my parents were addict alcoholics, so I was raised with a lot of chaos, and confusion, and lying. When I came into these rooms and you told me to “focus on myself” that was a new term, because my feelings were so shut down, I had no idea that I had feelings. And then the feelings of anger and resentment continued to surface, and I became aware of them. Some of the unacceptable behavior was that my partner was spending all of the money and we didn’t have enough money to pay our bills. We didn’t have enough money to get to the gas station, to get to our jobs, she would not come home or tell me lies of whatever she was doing and I found that I – and it wasn’t only just the financial part, but it was the emotional part, that there was no support, no communication, and I found that I was tolerating intolerable circumstances. And I found it wasn’t acceptable to spend all the money and have no rent, it wasn’t acceptable to spend all the money on drugs and alcohol. It wasn’t acceptable to spend money when we didn’t have it. And Al‑Anon taught me how, you know, to look at this realistically and realize that for me, this was unacceptable behavior. As I’ve been in Al‑Anon for a number of years now, I know what my bottom is, and my gut is always right. We are taught that it’s not, but it is always right. And so I started paying attention to my gut, and realizing that the behavior that I was tolerating in my relationships, and also with other people, was not healthy and so I learned how to take care of myself.