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Ok, another question... what the heck is detach with love?? Detaching to me means silent treatment for fear of losing my temper. It means ignoring him while he's drunk... which results in more aggressive, hateful words from him. It means taking the dog out for a walk to get away from him and the madness. None of that sounds like love to me.
Hugs NS, Detaching to me is someone else's behavior does not define me. Just because my AH has a bad day (pretty much fill in my AH's name with my kids, my mother, my friends, whomever) I can still have a very good day or I can continue having a bad day it's all my choice. The difference is I can continue on with my day without giving away my power. If he were actively drinking, just because he drinks I can choose what kind of moment i am going to have, before, during and after. Detaching with love for me means I have choices in how I"m going to react to a situation. I own my own power, I do not give it all away and fly around at loose ends. It is not angry, brooding silence. Yes, I can be angry, sad, mad, glad, happy, .. lol .. you get my drift, they are only feelings and feelings do not define me or continuing on with whatever my plans are or the continuance or conclusion of my whole personal day. Hugs P :)
I meant to add, it's treating my AH with kindness and compassion without taking on his issues (personal responsibility), again can be applied in so many areas of my own life.
Stepping onto a brand-new path is difficult, but not more difficult than remaining in a situation, which is not nurturing to the whole woman.- Maya Angelo
There are some great posts about this a month or so ago when I was asking the same question
I still don't fully have it but I think I try to separate the addict from my husband. I love my husband very deeply and he is the most wonderful and kind caring man in the world. His addict that comes to visit is a bit of a (insert your own negative verb here)
I can love my husband, when the addict comes, I dont engage with the addict, I look at him and think, my husband is in there and I will give my husband a kiss and walk away and allow him to deal with the addict that he has in there.
On this board, I do not say 'my AH', I always call him 'my husband', because for me, I am here on these boards for me and for my marriage to my husband. The addict comes with that at times. I have to remind myself that and when I forget, and put them both together, then I am being mean to a wonderful man that I married. That is just my opinion and I note I am the only one that does it so maybe I am wrong in that thought.
Others on here have said, say what you mean, mean what you say, but don't say it mean
I too used to do the silent treatment because that is what he deserved for smoking pot. He deserved that I don't talk to him to teach him a lesson. I don't think I was detaching, I think I was getting embroiled into making my moods about what he is doing. I am allowed to be in a bad mood if I want to be in one. But not to show him a lesson. It never worked, it never did any positive change. So I am trying this approach for a while to see if this works. So far there is no change, but I am feeling much more happier and I actually smile a bit more now.
Linda - a work in progress
The way I see it, detachment means I don't let the A's emotions become my emotions, the A's anger make me angry, or the A's dysfuction make me dysfunctional. If he's having a bad day, my own serenity isn't damaged. If I'm detached, I don't take his behavior personally. I don't try fruitlessly to control it, and it doesn't get me bent out of shape. At first we can detach this way with indifference. When we really get good at the tools, we can keep in mind that they're in the grip of the disease and the insanity, and that nobody in their right mind would choose to end up this way. So we can feel sad about the situation, but not so sad that we're not in touch with the joy in our own lives. We can feel our caring for them as well as our knowledge that they're in the grip of their insanity. That's detaching with love as I understand it.
Some people are able to detach with love while staying close to their alcoholic/addict -- by close I mean while living in the same house. In my observation, it does involve a diminishment of intimacy, because they can't be available the way a sober person can. Their first priority is always their drug of choice. So detachment means giving up on the unrealistic expectation that they can be there for us in a reliable way. We detach from expectations and find other ways to get our needs met, with family, friends, hobbies, etc. I myself was not able to achieve detachment while still living with my A. I had too much anger about being the only "adult" in the house. Now that we've split up, he's still avoiding adulthood, but since it doesn't impact me directly, I'm usually able to look on it with a mild sadness and even sometimes amusement rather than disappointment and anger.
Let go and let God...Let it be... let it begin with me...
Detaching for me means no longer taking responsibility for the alcoholics actions. I'm an engineer, a large part of my job is identifying problems, and if they fall in my area of expertise than I can control and fix them. For a very long time (and still now sometimes) I applied this to alcoholism. Since I wanted to fix it so bad I took the responsibility even though it wasn't mine. Essentially I tried to be my wife's higher power. Detaching simply means I can't be my wife's higher power. The love part is my choice, I can continue to express my love or not.
detaching with love is about self-love. Rather than be affected by an alcoholic's actions I choose to take care of myself. That doesn't mean being affected by resentment, anxiety and anger. That means taking care of myself. If an alcoholic drinks I will not drive with him. He/she is responsible for getting behind the wheel. I am responsible for deciding whether to join them. I no longer join them.
Detaching with love means holding to a higher ideal than reacting which is the norm.
Self love is important in a relationship just as important as the love you give to someoneone else.