Detachment Or Disengagement?

Every relationship has its emotional ups and downs. These are caused by any number of emotional issues. Some of the emotions that are evident in any relationship are: blame, anger, resentment, jealousy, happiness, joy, fear, guilt, emotional games, sadness, grief, pain, disappointment, unrealized expectations, cheerfulness and numerous others.

When I speak of emotional immaturity I am referring to inappropriate emotions given a certain activity, situation, or circumstance. For example, carrying resentment around for several years after the cause of the resentment isn’t healthy either physically or for the relationship. Blaming your partner for an action when they are just doing the best they can at the time with what they have is to invite a breakdown in communication and intimacy. Not being sensitive to your partner’s negative emotional state due to a situation in their career or life is to send a message that you are emotionally distant from their needs, desires, dreams, hopes, fears or feelings.

There is a dramatic difference between detachment and disengagement. Detachment is when I am not responsible for you.

-I am not responsible for your feelings.

-I am not responsible for your outcomes.

-I am not responsible for your attitudes.

-I am not responsible or the consequences of your actions.

-I am not responsible for the consequences of your decisions.

-I am not responsible for your behaviors.

-I am not responsible for your stress.

When I detach from your stuff, and it is your stuff, I let you grow and learn what life wants you to learn from your errors in judgment, mistakes and actions at any given point in time. I am there to support you, help you where you feel I can help but you must do the work.

Disengagement is where, not only do I detach, but I don’t even care what is happening to you or why or when or how. I have completely cut you off emotionally. I just don’t give a rip.

Detachment helps others grow, learn and develop if you will only let them. Disengagement puts distance, often un-repairable distance, between you and your partner.

Emotional maturity is bringing the right amount of emotional support, connection or outlook to any situation. It is seeing clearly that this STUFF is in your life to help you grow. Each of us can contribute to our partner’s growth or we can sabotage it. We sabotage it when we play emotional games and stay stuck in negative emotional manipulation. We help them when we help them see clearly how their emotional state has contributed to their situation or how it keeps them stuck in the past or in negative issues.

Detachment can often be perceived by others as disengagement when they have a great deal of emotional work to do on themselves. When you detach they will often default back to blaming you for their conditions, circumstances or outcomes. It is at these times when we must be strong not only for ourselves but for others as well.

We all have to learn life’s lessons sooner or later. We can learn them the easy way or the hard way but life doesn’t care. The lessons keep coming and coming. You can whine, complain, feel like a victim or you can get on with it. It’s your choice.