Detaching From Unhealthy Relationships
There is no such thing as a perfect relationship. Every couple has issues. When we commit to loving another, we are committing to accepting the bad along with the good. There are some issues however, that cannot be faced as a couple, as they are challenges of the individual, such as abusive behavior or addictions. These are issues that are best dealt with alone because it is very difficult, if not impossible, to put the effort needed to conquer these personal demons while simultaneously trying to save a relationship.
If our partner is struggling with these issues, we need to learn how to detach with love. Detachment doesn’t necessarily mean we permanently leave the relationship. It simply means that we create the emotional distance needed for our partner to work on their issues without having to focus on the relationship. We may believe that our partner can’t heal without us. We may think they can’t survive, but the reality is that we can’t save someone from themselves. We can however, keep them stuck in their problems by trying to rescue them. And the more we try to save them, the more we lose ourselves.
In some cases, emotional detachment is not enough. It may be best for both parties to walk away. This doesn’t mean we have to say goodbye forever. We are simply acknowledging that for the time being, both people need to take care of themselves without the additional pressure of taking care of the partnership.
It can be frightening to put distance in a close relationship. We may feel that the relationship won’t survive this test. It may or may not, however we must trust that even if the relationship isn’t strong enough to survive that we are strong enough to survive any outcome.
Today, I pray for the willingness to detach with love.