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Diffusing Emotional Connection
Practical Applications to Detachment

By Kenda-Ruth Stumpf

I'm afraid if I detach I will distance myself from what I want and I will stop loving my MLCer.
Do you want your MLCer's emotions, confusion, cycling moods, guilt, projections...? You want your marriage and your real spouse, not her anger, confusion or mood swings. Detaching preserves love and is an act of both love and faith. Attachment is a fear-based action which clings. Fear causes desperation and panic and prevents Self growth and healing because its focus is external on your MLCer and circumstances rather than on Self.

Detachment is an emotional level wherein your emotions are no longer intertwined with your MLCer's emotions and rebellions. It does not mean you are not upset, hurt or saddened, but with Detachment you own your emotions.

Consider the emotional involvement of Attachment. Imagine performing open-heart surgery on your child. Your fear would be so great that even if you were the foremost heart surgeon in the world, your quaking hands would risk disaster. Your emotional investment in a positive outcome would be too great, hindering your objectivity and surgical skill. Though surgeons want positive outcomes in every operation, there is typically less emotional investment. They may have considerable empathy, but an emotional investment includes a direct involvement in your life. If a patient dies on the operating table, a surgeon may go through a sense of failure and grief and return to work tomorrow--losing a patient is part of reality. But if it were her son that died beneath her hands, she would have the grief of having lost her child and the additional guilt that it was she that failed to save him. It would affect the rest of her life; it might destroy her.

Detaching creates a gap between your emotions and your MLCer's emotions. It thus allows each of you the freedom to release to and embrace your emotions without concern of the affect on each other, or without feeling guilty for their actions and reactions to your actions, feelings and emotions. Your MLCer will succeed or fail based on themselves, not on you; detaching acknowledges each person's personal power, respecting the other and enabling you to focus on your Self, your independence and personal growth. It allows both of you to achieve your full potentials because it returns power to each personal core. In addition it is a self-protective emotional boundary that provides you with the strength to weather the cycling and chaos with grace. The boundary produces an objective lens because it removes your emotions from the fluctuations of the chaos, creating a less involved perspective through distance. Conversely, attachment enables obsession and abuse in both directions--from you to the object of attachment and vice versa; it abuses hope by keeping you in the emotional loop of personal interactions. Attachment is a rescuer or victim function, as a rescuer you remove personal responsibility from your MLCer, providing comfort in the crisis which enables him to remain stuck in a regressed and undeveloped state. Detached, you give him the freedom to remain stuck or progress of his own accord. As a victim, attachment is your means of control through helpless dependence. Detached, you are choosing to step into your own journey and grow into your potential. This is a relief to a partner who you previously made responsible for your feelings and happiness.

Attached you are constantly worried about outcomes--small and large. You wonder what everything means--he wore your favorite shirt today, he stole a glance; is he missing you? Maybe he had no clean laundry or he regularly wears that top and you happened to be in the path of his vision. Detach by doing things for yourself. Find new hobbies or resume former hobbies. Exercise--it's great for mental health. Go to counseling. Go to church. Try yoga, meditation, prayer, hypnotherapy...Do what works for you. It is not about severing a connection; it is about pacifying the energy. But how do you do that? Knowing what something is does not mean you know how to achieve it. Consider what you need to learn about your personal context and then what actions to take within that context. Below are general guidelines, you will need to personalize them as your answers generate additional thoughts and questions.

    Thought Processes
  1. Identify your attachments
  2. To whom or what are you attached? Go beyond the superficial attachment to your MLCer to determine how and why.
  3. Identify unfavorable belief systems
  4. Identify the relationship dysfunctions
  5. Present within the MLC and in the past prior to MLC
  6. List the benefits of Detachment and the detriments of Attachment
    Action Behaviors
  1. Set boundaries
  2. Take your power, return and refuse your MLCer's power
  3. Self-Focus
  4. Personal review: Accept responsibility for yourself and only yourself. His crisis is his responsibility.
  5. Embrace your feelings and emotions
  6. Release toxic guilt and forgive your Self
  7. Love your Self
  8. Find support and give support
I'm Kenda-Ruth and I believe in marriage.
Are you tired of hearing...
  • Once a cheater always a cheater?
  • You're better off without him?
  • She doesn't deserve you?
  • I guess it just wasn't meant to last?
  • Divorce is no big deal?
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