Acceptance The ability for me to develop acceptance and compassion for my husband has been huge in my own recovery. I believe compassion and acceptance go hand in hand. According to the Oxford dictionary, the definition of compassion is "sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others". The definition of acceptance is "the action of consenting to receive or undertake something offered". What drives a person to do something like this? They must be sick in the head, right!?! I believe that every human being has the ability to become a murderer, a thief, an adulterer, a slanderer, a narcissist, an addict, etc. At EMS Weekend, we were reminded that “If we were all perfect, why in the world would we need Jesus?” I know from my own eating disorder journey that addiction can make you do crazy things any logical person wouldn’t even consider doing. I distinctly remember sitting in the middle of my dorm room eating straight from a box of dry cake mix. Yuck! I was feeding my addiction. I’ve heard of people binge eating food out of the trash can, stealing food from roommates, and eating toilet paper in order to avoid food. Gross, right? When my spouse was feeding his addiction he was in a different state of mind. He even told me that once, when he was in the car, he looked at himself in the mirror while he was acting out and the face he saw in the mirror didn’t even look like him. The face he saw was twisted, full of desperation, carnality and it scared him. He felt like a different person, hence the saying, “I was leading a double life.” Whether I like it or not, the temptation in this area is a part of my spouse, his “thorn in the flesh.” I can choose to romanticize about being married to somebody who doesn’t have these “issues” or accept him for who he is, warts and all. I can also choose to have compassion for him when he tells me he has been struggling with wanting to act out. If he ever were to relapse, which I recognize to be a part of the recovery process, I want him to be able to tell me, not keep it from me. It doesn’t mean I can’t tell him it hurts me, but I can help him through it by praying for him, keeping him accountable, and making sure he stays connected to his accountability group. I don’t want to minimize any part of what we are going through. Our spouse’s addictions are such that they personally broke part of the marriage vow and wounded us in the process. The pain and hurt is unimaginable, I’ve even developed PTSD because of it, and it’s not something I take lightly. I also recognize it is a different ball game for people whose spouses are unrepentant. My spouse is repentant and working hard towards his own recovery and for that, I am grateful. I just know from my own experience, that the more anger and un-forgiveness I hold in my heart, the less progress I make in my own recovery and the recovery of our marriage. My therapist reminds me, “It’s not about you. You could be Marilyn Monroe and he would still do it.” He’s right. It’s not about me. It’s about something deeper. I pray we can all find a way to be compassionate for our spouses and also compassionate for ourselves as we continue our journey toward healing.