Does Detaching Mean Giving Up on the Relationship?

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Does Detaching Mean Giving Up on the Relationship?

I've been reading through this forum for a few weeks and read the detachment post, as well as many people referencing it. I definitely see the point of detaching for your own sanity, but it kind of sounds like it's kicking the problem down the road and not dealing with the issue? What's the end game? I've been starting to do it this week, and have been feeling like, if I'm detached and going through life alone while trapped in this marriage, why not just rip the bandaid and separate? What's the point of staying at this point?

My husband and I started dating when we were 15, so we've never known anything else besides eachother, and now that we're 25 and finishing school/getting careers established, we're supposed to be trying for kids in the next year or two. That's been the plan for years, and now that we're so close, the whole idea of having kids with him makes me feel so trapped and alone. And I want kids so so badly. 

I almost left about 6 months ago (shocker, he didn't even realize I was gone for almost an entire day), and got a hotel room to get some space, and the only reason I decided to come back was because he agreed to limit the games to 2 hours/day on weekdays, and 4 hours/day on weekends. He can't set his own limits, so that I thought that having an external limit would help him be conscious of how much he plays, as he tends to "snowball"-- 4 hours one day, 5 the next, then soon it's easily over 8 hours a day (I stopped nagging at him for 2 weeks to see if he would self-regulate like he said he could, but no surprise that didn't work-- he started coming home at 5pm, and got straight on the computer until 3am, going in to work late, and causing all sorts of issues). 

I thought that 18 hours/week was a plenty generous compromise, but he completely ignores it. Whenever I pop my head in his office (usually an hour past his limit, to see if he'll stop by himself), he just yells and shuts me down, with "shut up", "I'm an adult", "go away", etc. And even on days when I stand my ground despite the b****ing, he pouts for the rest of the night, so what's the point? 

He's always gamed a lot, but I sometimes wish that he'd shown how out of control he was sooner, so I could've had a chance to strike out on my own and be happy with someone else who doesn't treat me like I'm a nagging parent whose only purpose is to take time away from his computer and make him miserable. Except I'm so introverted that I feel like if I leave, I'll never find someone else, and just actually be alone forever, which is the only thing holding me back.

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Last seen: 1 day 17 hours ago
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Joined: 02/17/2014 - 11:33am
Welcome Arya

Welcome Arya

Thanks for sharing your story.

Keep coming back to read the forums ... it takes time to take it all on board.

The quick answer to you question is no; detaching does not mean giving up on a relationship. Its about acceptance that we have no control over what a person does and we cannot fix them. We love them, but we chose to learn to stop interfering in their business; the things we have no control over. Time we would be nursing and ruminating our pain about what they are doing with their addiction is now given to focusing on ourselves.

From what you say, there is room for you to look after yourself and get strong. Consider counselling therapy and esteem building activities. You will start to feel so much better once you look after your needs. You are still oh so young! Life is ahead of you and the world is your oyster.

You are correct that you may not want to live this way, detached in love, forever. You may want to put a mental limit on it.  He may never want to quit. He may never want to do what is right for a healthy relationship. Use the time of detachment in love, to make yourself strong so that when YOU are ready, you can take steps with confidence. You need to get healthy and strong so you can have a healthy relationship with a new person if there needs to be a next time. Sometimes the pattern repeats itself with a new relationship if we do not look at what has gone wrong. Getting strong and caring for you will pay off whether you stay or leave.

It is not you detaching in love that is causing the gap in the relationship, it is what you partner is doing by ignoring your reasonable needs for a healthy, equal and loving relationship. If you detach, you are giving space that he can be with you if he wants to. He is just chosing not to be with you when he games so much.

If you want to learn more about detaching then you may find it helpful to read the book " Codependant no more by Melody Beatie.




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