Detaching with love

Last night I got to thinking about my silent treatment post. I felt confused and conflicted because he’s my father and I love him, despite his mistreatment. I then thought back to the days when I was married to my alcoholic ex and I attended Alanon meetings. They constantly talked about detaching with love. They would say – tell the alcoholic ‘I love you, I just don’t like your behaviour right now’ .

I never understood the concept at the time, but as of late, I have. And I realised that’s exactly what I can do with my father. I don’t have to oust him from life or go no contact. I can still love him, yet not accept his damaging behaviour. I can still see him and talk to him as long as I have healthy boundaries in place to protect my well being. I need to strategize now, think what my boundaries will be and how and when I will enforce them. I feel at peace now. I love him, I just don’t like his behaviour. I won’t allow him to break me down anymore.

South African band, Seether and their song ‘Breakdown’ wraps it up nicely for me





  1. Love this post!!! Detachment can work in all areas of life!! It can also help (at least it helps me) not take things personally. This is not about me. This person is sick. I’m not participating in these types of interactions. Etc.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Excellent first step. I had to set boundaries with my dad. When he would act inappropriately I wouldn’t cause I fight or create drama, I would simply say it was time to go and leave. I did the same on the phone. Had I not taken those steps, I don’t think our relationship would have lasted until he died.

    Love reading about your growth,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s nice to know you’ve travelled this path. I love the steps you take. Very good ideas. Over time I’ve distanced myself from him. We have very little contact. He lives over an hours drive from me and he won’t phone and I don’t have the money to. So our communication is very basic – texting. Over time, he has just hurt me too much. Yet he can still get to me just via text. I guess that’s life, hey.


  3. I love this. Sometimes it takes a different type of situation for advice to make sense to us. But, it doesn’t matter if that advice helps you now. It only matters that you have it in your pocket to use when it will be useful.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for this post! Detachment has always felt so coldhearted to me before. I couldn’t understand how I could detach from someone that I love?? Now I’m getting it more and more. It’s not the person that I’m saying no to, getting away from, it’s the behaviour.


      1. Thanks! It’s SO true. The first step is the hardest. The realizing. But also to constantly practice what I’ve leaned. Sometimes I think…once I know it I’ll just naturally learn it and apply it…but it really is a conscious and effort full decision every time. To detach and not react

        Liked by 1 person

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