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Author Topic: Discussion What is Detachment for you? How did you do it?

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Discussion What is Detachment for you? How did you do it?
#100: March 13, 2024, 02:43:48 AM
I think this is such a rich thread. This is something we all uniquely share and so, for me, it's really important to read other people's experiences. And weirdly reassuring that most of us, despite being treated horrendously, still found (find) it hard to cut the dealer of bad deeds out of our emotional lives. If at all. For me, there has been a really frustrating cognitive dissonance. Seeing clearly the behaviours but not being able to marry them to the person I knew all those years.

And as for “thinking” myself into detachment or trying to make it happen. No $&@#ing way!  I knew exactly what I needed to do but you can’t just wave a wand and make it happen. It genuinely was a function of time and the result of certain external events.  It’s something you can’t force.   

I relate to this. What has helped me is to keep telling myself to have Zero Expectations. This is an easy mantra for me, and when I feel myself going into the psychic realm of speculation, I repeat it and then try to insert some white noise into my brain  :) I am just over 1.5 years in, so I am fresh out the gates in this fun run we call MLC, but I am gradually reshaping my life, filling the hole left by my H with new experiences and love from family and friends, old and new. There is still pain, but now, I can genuinely say, I have more joy than pain and I like my life.

I also really respond to Evermore's 'squirmy' feeling about the past. I guess, after time, we can see the dynamics of the relationship much clearer, see ourselves and our spouse's roles and personalities. I always knew subconsciously that my H was the more passive player in the R - in many ways he kind of grafted onto my life, because he never really had a strong sense of direction. I was the navigator I suppose, and we went on many exciting adventures because of my job. But I would have done the same things with or without him. I know this. Not true the other way around though. So I don't regret much in that respect, but I do have lots of fuzzy question marks now about the depth of his love. At this point in time, I feel like I was a good navigator for him, until I wasn't.

For many of us, our spouse was the person we matured with, and so, for me anyway, I don't have another significant romantic relationship to compare it to. I can only know the marriage I had with H. That's something I think I need to reflect on as part of, not detachment, but maybe moving and evolving forward.
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« Last Edit: March 13, 2024, 02:45:26 AM by KayDee »

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What is Detachment for you? How did you do it?
#101: March 13, 2024, 03:44:46 AM
We can surmise from the quote above that detaching from the situation and MLCer frees some energy toward LBS’s own mirror work. 

It is my view that one of the first steps in mirror work is to fully accept the facts as you see right in front of you — your spouse (as did mine) told you your marriage is kaput; he loves you but not in love with you; he left physically or emotionally (while living under the same roof); ‘friend zoned’ you, etc.

Acceptance is essential and a necessary first step to detachment, which I see as an integral part of mirror work.  It may also be beneficial to consider the scenario where LBS may have fully accepted indisputable and unvarnished facts and yet remain firmly attached to MLCer, the minute details of the situation and the outcome, and that is where LBS’s hard work of detachment is, I suggest. 

I would not be presumptuous to suggest that everyone will be able to detach just because some of us did.  Nor would I suggest that other LBSs can not attain detachment through hard work just because some of us could not.  The main thing is to be informed about detachment and give it a try.  You may be pleasantly surprised at what you are capable of in terms of emotional strength and growth. 

I wish you nothing but the very best!

((((HUGS))))

It’s actually something I never thought too much about before, but the importance of really separating “acceptance“ and “detachment“ as two very distinct separate activities might have helped me in the very early days. Trying to force myself to detach from something that I was struggling to see as reality was very difficult. In nonattachment there’s the concept of “self as context” that has been key for me, and the idea that experiences, thoughts and feelings are ever changing. Having a fluid perspective on things takes a lot of practice, for me anyway, but starting from a place of acceptance makes it possible.

Change occurs constantly throughout our lives and we barely perceive it because it happens organically - and incrementally. But this change, it truly is like a bomb dropping onto our lives and demolishing everything all at once. For many of us, It’s not just the loss of our partner, but the loss of many of the things we have come to rely on as foundations in our lives: our homes, many of the comforts of every day life, our stability, our sense of safety, and we had attachment to all of these, and sometimes we can detach from some aspects easier than others. It all *feels * unacceptable. It all feels unfair, because it is. It’s completely understandable to be rocked by all that. I think sometimes when we think of “detachment,” we think it means we should no longer have feelings about it, that it shouldn’t hurt at all anymore. But I believe detachment is more about recognizing that we are still our core selves even without the things that we were attached to that are now gone. It’s about moving forward, which can happen in steps, and sometimes it’s going to hurt, but the key is to keep moving forward. I think this experience in a sense will always be there, and having feelings about it makes us human. So if you still find yourself shedding a tear now and then, it doesn’t mean you’re not detached. It means you experienced something.
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« Last Edit: March 13, 2024, 04:07:50 AM by Nas »
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What is Detachment for you? How did you do it?
#102: March 30, 2024, 10:50:18 AM
I want to add in my simplest terms on detachment is that I found like Treasur  hanging on to  pieces of my old life and not wanting  to let go of it.  Wanting to save my MLCer , but also my children. The affects of what was happening to everyone’s lives. When I Finally let myself off the hook of trying to be the sole savior of the situation it all changed. He was going to do what he was going to do. I can’t make someone change how they feel ( whether it is real or deluded)  why was I fighting so hard to keep someone who was telling me they didn’t want me?

I  also couldn’t change that I may be taking a hit from my kids and their pain that is unfairly directed at me. The biggest thing that helped me to detach besides time of course,  was the reality of my expectations. I knew how I would handle it  and  when my XH, Daughter, Son, in-laws didn’t react or respond I was only hurting myself by my own expectations of how  “I” thought they should be based on my own morals or character.  Accepting the situation and that you can only control yourself with no expectations. It was always there, but understanding how I was affecting myself and also how I and I alone could not save the life we had.

We hear so early on detach, detach. DETACH!!!!, but I think it is different for us all. You have to really look at what is affecting you the most on all others interactions with you.  In each situation  that you have anxiety or get upset, that tells you everything to know about what “you” are doing to hurt yourself .
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#103: March 30, 2024, 11:13:59 PM
To me, detachment and acceptance felt different. To me, detachment happened with actions I took and with time. After each action, I felt a bit of relief from the intense pain. For example, when I defriended him on Facebook, I had a lot of anxiety build up to do that, but huge relief once it was done. When I had emails go to a folder that I could check at set times when I could go for a run afterward, then I felt relief. When I would redirect my thoughts with math problems, I felt relief. When I did enough snooping to identify OW and then stopped snooping, I felt relief. I began really paying attention to what caused me pain and took steps to stop that if I could.

Every step slowly helped me claw my way out of the abyss and stabilize me, inch by inch. That was detachment for me.

Acceptance was realizing that he is a grown adult and he could choose his path even though it was not a path I wanted him to choose. He could choose another person, place to live, etc. That is his right. Hard to accept, but I came to accept that.

Acceptance was also realizing that there was no going back to how things were. Even if he "came back", things were irrevocably torn, different, and that healing took time and work and there was no snapping back to what was. That was gone.
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« Last Edit: March 30, 2024, 11:25:30 PM by Reinventing »

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What is Detachment for you? How did you do it?
#104: April 01, 2024, 01:19:49 PM
I want to add in my simplest terms on detachment is that I found like Treasur  hanging on to  pieces of my old life and not wanting  to let go of it.  Wanting to save my MLCer , but also my children. The affects of what was happening to everyone’s lives. When I Finally let myself off the hook of trying to be the sole savior of the situation it all changed.

I  also couldn’t change that I may be taking a hit from my kids and their pain that is unfairly directed at me. The biggest thing that helped me to detach besides time of course,  was the reality of my expectations.

We hear so early on detach, detach. DETACH!!!!, but I think it is different for us all. You have to really look at what is affecting you the most on all others interactions with you.  In each situation  that you have anxiety or get upset, that tells you everything to know about what “you” are doing to hurt yourself .

This has been the hardest for me for sure in terms of acceptance and detachment > the kids.   As a LBS, we're often blamed for EVERY wrong thing that ever happened in the relationship (and then some).  When the kids get pulled into the middle and that's all they hear from he MLC spouse, it warps their perception of the LBS spouse.  It's frustrating to no end, and so incredibly sad to see them pulled into a false narrative, and taking part in the MLC's resentment / bitterness. It leaves the LBS spouse in a very difficult position.  We so badly want the kids to see that the MLC's issues are the true source of all of this, but at the same time the LBS actually has empathy and doesn't want to hurt the MLC spouse, or pull the kids into any more turmoil.

Detachment and acceptance in this situation is very difficult. I'm finding it almost impossible. How does one accept that the MLC spouse may behave like this forever moving forward? How does one accept that the MLC spouse may behave like this for years to come?  My thought is that I don't want to fight this battle.  If the kids chose to buy into her false narrative and embitter themselves against me then it's out of my control. Somehow I need to accept that this may be a reality moving forward, albeit a very painful and difficult one.

At some point there needs to be a lot of patience and trust that the truth will somehow prevail...

This is some crazy monk level detachment and acceptance here.
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#105: April 01, 2024, 08:46:43 PM
I need to know what to do with the kids too.  I have stood by my MLCer.  But if she spins the false narrative to the kids and hurts my relationship with them.  I will take a flamethrower to everything around us.   I will not stand by while she spins that garbage to my kids….   For better or worse.  I will not let it happen. 

What’s the best way to handle this type of situation and minimize the carnage?
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#106: April 01, 2024, 10:22:18 PM
Quote from: Hopeful5
This has been the hardest for me for sure in terms of acceptance and detachment > the kids.   As a LBS, we're often blamed for EVERY wrong thing that ever happened in the relationship (and then some).  When the kids get pulled into the middle and that's all they hear from he MLC spouse, it warps their perception of the LBS spouse.  It's frustrating to no end, and so incredibly sad to see them pulled into a false narrative, and taking part in the MLC's resentment / bitterness. It leaves the LBS spouse in a very difficult position.  We so badly want the kids to see that the MLC's issues are the true source of all of this, but at the same time the LBS actually has empathy and doesn't want to hurt the MLC spouse, or pull the kids into any more turmoil.

Detachment and acceptance in this situation is very difficult. I'm finding it almost impossible. How does one accept that the MLC spouse may behave like this forever moving forward? How does one accept that the MLC spouse may behave like this for years to come?  My thought is that I don't want to fight this battle.  If the kids chose to buy into her false narrative and embitter themselves against me then it's out of my control. Somehow I need to accept that this may be a reality moving forward, albeit a very painful and difficult one.

At some point there needs to be a lot of patience and trust that the truth will somehow prevail...

This is some crazy monk level detachment and acceptance here.
Regarding the relationship between our spouse and our children, we can do nothing : we can be sad when it worsens, but it is not our responsibility to fix it or to save them.
Then, regarding our relationship with the children, yes it is our responsibility IMO to be a stable and affective parent who provides a healthy environment to them. I don't believe your assumption is true : kids hate when someone badmouths one of their parents, so IMO they will never buy false narrative.

Quote from: WHY
I need to know what to do with the kids too.  I have stood by my MLCer.  But if she spins the false narrative to the kids and hurts my relationship with them.  I will take a flamethrower to everything around us.   I will not stand by while she spins that garbage to my kids….   For better or worse.  I will not let it happen. 

What’s the best way to handle this type of situation and minimize the carnage?
At this time, I have not experienced my spouse spinning a false narrative to the kids. I think this would be a dangerous thing to do for her and she would have to face the bad consequences if she makes this bad choice. If this happens, the best move would likely be to do nothing.
From my pov, my wife has no influence on my relationship with our children and I don't have on hers.
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What is Detachment for you? How did you do it?
#107: April 02, 2024, 02:30:43 AM
I need to know what to do with the kids too.  I have stood by my MLCer.  But if she spins the false narrative to the kids and hurts my relationship with them.  I will take a flamethrower to everything around us.   I will not stand by while she spins that garbage to my kids….   For better or worse.  I will not let it happen. 

What’s the best way to handle this type of situation and minimize the carnage?

You stand by your own truth and don't take the bait. Calmly and clearly state your truth and let the wild-a$$ed fantasy world implode on itself.....

How did the old lady in the "Wendy's" commercial say it? "Where's the Beef?"

If the narrative is false, it can be proven false....
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What is Detachment for you? How did you do it?
#108: April 02, 2024, 07:23:42 AM
It’s a tough old life lesson imho, one that comes along with detachment, to realise that one has pretty much no control at all over what anyone else says, thinks or does. What you CAN control is what you say, think and do. That’s it.

So, given that, I’d put the feelings about flamethrowers to one side, understandable though these feelings might be right now.

Have a non specific kind of phrase you use with your kids and others if they bring up things your ex/wife says….something like ‘well, people often see things differently from each other at times’. Or the Queen’s ‘recollections may vary’  :)

Say very little about your ex/wife, good or bad, to anyone involved especially your kids. Just bc you think it does not mean you are obliged to say it out loud. :)

Trust that your kids are capable of making their own judgements based on their own experiences. It may be a bit up and down in the short term, but you keep doing you consistently and give them time to see who you are. Jmo.

My perspective on detaching and accepting was pretty much the same as Reinventing described.
It is a process that can take you to some strange places and not always where you assume you’ll come to rest. It did seem to take an extraordinarily long time until I really honestly felt over the mountain on the other side, and I did not have kids or therefore any kind of ongoing contact.
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« Last Edit: April 02, 2024, 08:38:43 AM by Treasur »
T: 18  M: 12 (at BD) No kids.
H diagnosed with severe depression Oct 15. BD May 16. OW since April 16, maybe earlier. Silent vanisher mostly.
Divorced April 18. XH married ow 6 weeks later.


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Re: What is Detachment for you? How did you do it?
#109: April 02, 2024, 11:20:45 AM
I like Reinventing's explanation too. I also think detachment means different things as you go through the LBS journey. When you are dealing with an MLCer every day, when they're a clinger or still in-house, it's just as much a physical process as a psychological one. Later it may be way more the latter.

We do detachment in so many other relationships - our friends are gonna do what they're gonna do whether we approve or not, people with kids, definitely our parents or other extended family are people we naturally set boundaries with that are appropriate - but this one is different. We purposely built a *union*. And many times we think we know them better than they know themselves. That in itself is a lesson in this. As Treasur said, we don't control others, nor do we truly know what is going on inside of them.

Now I see healthy detachment like a business owner. There are companies where founders share leadership. That seemed to be our families before. All working together to build this common goal by utilizing the specialties and strengths of the individuals as something that makes the sum greater than its parts. But now we are sole proprietors. We may have "joint ventures" or "strategic partnerships" in the form of co-parenting or assets we continue to share. In those very different relationships, the individuals may be cooperative for *some* common goals, but the agenda for each is now truly unilateral.

That's why it's good to remember that your MLC spouse or former spouse is no longer working toward the attainment of YOUR goals. There is no shared vision or mission. They don't have an investment in your success or failure anymore. And this is whether they ever snap out of it or not - you have to face it as it is right now. It sucks, because you probably, at least for some time, care about their success or failure. You feel it is still tied to yours. Detachment helps you settle the psychological assets so you know that you have your own back, that it's okay for them to have theirs, and for you to be protected from any psychological, emotional, physical, spiritual, or financial fallout from any of that.
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