“Detachment involved present moment living…living in the here and now. We allow life to happen instead of forcing and trying to control it. We relinquish regrets over the past and focus about the future. We make the most of each day.”
- Melodie Beatty
Detachment in relationships is often misunderstood. People think it means not engaging, perhaps losing interest in a partner. But what it really means is engaging only in constructive ways and focusing on those things that you do and should have control over.
This can be hard in ADHD-impacted relationships. Many non-ADHD partners spend a lot of time thinking about how they would like their partner to behave (I’ve been guilty of this) rather than thinking about whether or not it’s their role to do so. It’s hard to separate the “what would feel good to me” from the “what is my partner’s right to decide to do.” This is, in part, because if your partner decides not to do something (or wants to do it, but forgets) it feels as if the burden then lands in your lap. Or that something hurtful will soon happen.
That may be so, but that doesn’t change the landscape here. Even if the result isn’t ideal, that doesn’t change your partner’s right to choose how they will lead their own life.
The way to manage this, then, is to live more in the present moment and to constantly ask yourself…is this REALLY mine to manage? Doing this can be humbling and feel very uncomfortable. But it puts the burden on effort on the person who actually has that burden – the ‘do-er.’
The result might be that each partner takes more personal responsibility…since the buck actually does stop with them. It might be that the couple comes to a better understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of both partners and works that into their routines. It might be that the couple goes to counseling to work through issues around boundaries…and there are other options.
My point is this – detachment leads to healthier relationships by placing the responsibility for a person’s actions with that person – where it belongs.
Do you have healthy detachment in your relationship? And if not, would trying to live in the moment help?
For those in marriages impacted by ADHD
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