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Loving detachment; help me out here

Old 05-30-2012, 08:31 AM
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Loving detachment; help me out here

I've heard this saying thrown around the rooms of Al Anon many times but I still don't get it. Detaching with love? I just don't understand how to apply it. Right now, I feel like I'm walking around with an angry chip on my shoulder because of his relapse this past weekend and I have no idea how to be 'loving' or compassionate. It doesn't make any sense. My trust has been broken, my heart is grieving, and yet I am sitting here contemplating detaching with love? What gives?

Right now, I feel like we're roommates because I've 'detached' to the point where I don't even want to be touched by him anymore. I just don't understand how we can love and give of ourselves when all they do is take and then say that we are detaching with love. Am I mistaken here? What am I missing?
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:11 AM
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Wow, Anvil, that was a good read! Thank you so much for posting it. I think I really then need to learn what LOVE really is, because I am having trouble understanding how I can be loving towards someone when their choices negatively affect MY life and my child's life.

I guess I see love and detachment as two separate things. Either you stay together using mutual love and respect or you separate and that becomes your detachment. I haven't figured out how to be detached while still living under the same roof. Boy, do I have a lot to learn!
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:12 AM
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This is about acceptance that you cannot control what anyone else does, says, thinks, or projects. All you can control is your responses, reactions and choices.

You stand back, you watch and you learn. You make choices based on you.

Detachment is tricky, but I think the key really is in self knowledge and BOUNDARIES>
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:21 AM
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Dear Liz, from my experience, it is sometimes impossible to see the forest for the trees when you are so close and entwined in a bad situation. One has to stand way, way back to get accurate, objective perspective on what is really going on.

Detachment "with love" is a hard concept to grapple with. I have come to believe that the first step is detachment. With sufficient detachment, then, other pieces of the puzzle can fall into place. One gets more clarity, in other words. Just don't worry about the "love" part at this point.

Additionally, some people have more issues than simply addiction going on. Some issues are even more resistent to treatment/recovery than even addiction. My children's father has a narcissistic personality disorder. We finally divorced as I simply couldn't live like that. These many, many years later, he hasn't changed a bit. He still doesn't think he has any problems! By the way, he isn't even an addict.

I offer these comments simply as food for thought. I know this is a difficult time for you.

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Old 05-30-2012, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by lizatola View Post

I haven't figured out how to be detached while still living under the same roof. Boy, do I have a lot to learn!
That, my friend, is precisely why I am here. I'm glad you posted this thread.
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:32 AM
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Acceptance is the key. He has a right to be whoever he wants. Even if he wants to be a jerk. You have a right to live with a jerk if you want, or a right not to. However, changing him into whoever you want him to be is just not an option. He's perfectly happy being just the way he is. It's YOU who has a problem with him. Therefore, it's you who has some decisions to make.

As far as detaching while living together, I never managed that either. And even if I could, I just didn't get the point of being "detached" and married. Why even be married if you have to detach from your spouse?

L
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:39 AM
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I'm re-reading "Codependent No More" by Melody Beattie. And re-reading the chapter titled "Detachment." Check it out, it's very helpful.

It takes a lot of effort, this 'detachment with love' concept. I'm striving for 'detachment with lukewarm acceptance' at this point. LOL. Stupid bas-turd drunken husbands!
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:39 AM
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This should be a sticky!
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:13 AM
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A friend of mine in Al Anon told me that she experienced detaching with love as a process. She said it started as detaching with anger, creating physical space so that she could heal her emotional wounds and work on herself, then came the detaching with love. She explained that when she detached with love she had a softer attitude instead of anger and resentment.

I guess it's all a process and for me, my process really got started when he got the DUI back in February. It was MY wake up call as to how big HIS problem had become to OUR family and so, what am I going to do about it? How am I going to protect myself and my son from future alcohol related incidents? How am I going to stay in a marriage that is in crisis mode at the moment? And, above all else, how am I going to rely on my Higher Power and give my AH over to HP and feel good about releasing my control. Progress, not perfection, right?
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Old 05-30-2012, 01:44 PM
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This detaching thing is what I am also working on. What I'd like to know is if we can detach ourselves from the A and all the bull crap that goes with them, and still have a relationship that includes physical contact. I know that I can now look at my AH and think, "do whatever you want, but if alcohol's involved, leave me out of it", but what to do when the A in your life wants to have intimacy, and you're just not feeling it? Then the accusations fly. "I am being nice, and good, and you still don't want me to touch you. Don't you love me anymore?"
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Old 05-30-2012, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by anvilhead View Post
i've always been grateful there are no style points given for recovery, no awards handed out, no hall of fame balloting. often it has about the same amount of grace and elegance as the frenetic efforts of one who just ran face first into a spider web!!! much flailing and thrashing about, get it OFF me, GET. IT. OFF. ME!
omg, you had me snorting with laughter! (And thank you, I needed that good snort!)
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:52 PM
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Originally Posted by feelingalone43 View Post
This detaching thing is what I am also working on. What I'd like to know is if we can detach ourselves from the A and all the bull crap that goes with them, and still have a relationship that includes physical contact. I know that I can now look at my AH and think, "do whatever you want, but if alcohol's involved, leave me out of it", but what to do when the A in your life wants to have intimacy, and you're just not feeling it? Then the accusations fly. "I am being nice, and good, and you still don't want me to touch you. Don't you love me anymore?"
I think many of us can relate here. It's hard to be physically involved with someone when you just don't 'feel it'.
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:08 PM
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I second or third or fourth the sentiment about not being able to be intimate. I haven't had intimacy with my A in YEARS. I mean once or twice a year for three years being intimate is a DRAG. I can't be intimate with someone who is so cold and callous to me. I can't be intimate with someone who is sooooooooo drunk every single day. I can't be close to someone who only represents himself at a 'surface level' and won't communicate or talk to me, won't acknowledge my feelings. This isn't a relationship, it is a one-sided roommate situation, where I seethe with frustration at being taken advantage of daily. I find it really hard to detach with love. Like you liza, the detaching part has been going on for quite some time and the A in my life just can't seem to correlate the behavior from him with the detaching. He wonders why I am not just *nice* and accommodating like I used to be. Ummmmmmm, maybe because I got a clue?????
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Old 05-31-2012, 04:43 PM
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Liz

I think you have every right to be angry..

Trouble with the whole aa/ co thing - everything is put into bland clinical terms. For every action theres a said reaction.


Detach, boundaries etc etc I broke up with my AH partner after her 2nd relapse in a week after 3 months in rehab. I was angry but now its SO lovely to have a normal, balanced life.

We can get angry at friends and family but not our AH partners ? Personally thats a huge part of the problem as Detach is another way of saying Im not to blame.
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Old 05-31-2012, 07:06 PM
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Thank you for this thread. . .to accept & honor where people are in their addiction or recovery . . .
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