Every aspect I’ve been able to accomplish for my own mental health, has been aided by God, who has helped me to become a fully balanced individual. I will always be changing, growing and becoming, the knowledge will always be evolving, but God orchestrates many aspects during the crisis that will never change going forward, and one of those is learning how to love, while still remaining detached. ((HUGS))
Everything we do, everything we are, and everything we become, originates from within our Self, and that includes making a choice to love people in spite of being in total detachment.
If you choose to do so, you can remain in total detachment indefinitely. It’s up to you, although God may have something different to say about that, when He deems the time is right for you to be encouraged, or “nudged” out of detachment. Detachment cannot be used to regulate your emotional connection to your spouse. God doesn’t allow for that. Why? Because you cannot be detached, and emotionally attached at the same time–it has to be one or the other, not both. If you have any emotional attachment remaining, you are not fully detached from the hurtful behavior, and drama of the midlife spouse.
There came a right time when God nudged me forward out of detachment, then helped me further, as I began to learn how to attach, and detach at a moment’s notice. When the time was right for both of us to begin connecting again, but still protecting myself from being emotionally drawn into his still ongoing drama, God began teaching me to walk an emotional tightrope that allowed me to attach as needed, and then detach as needed.
Like Total Detachment this particular emotional skill isn’t something one can develop overnight–it takes time to perfect the art of attaching, and then immediately detaching the instant a particular situation starts going south–or “out of control.”
You’re deliberately choosing your actions, reactions, responses to what is still your spouse’s midlife crisis. In addition, your detached way of relating to her immature struggles is also a conscious choice.
Everything becomes a choice, when you realize that nothing you do, nothing you say, and nothing you feel is going to make any difference to the rebellious midlife spouse. They want what they want when they want it, and you’re choosing NOT to respond/react to them in the ways they would really like for you to (they want and need for you to help justify their sinful rebellious ways). You’re simply standing to the side,(detaching from the situation) and allowing them to fall and bump their heads as they’re struggling to emotionally grow up.
With everything being a conscious choice on your part, then Unconditional LOVE also becomes a conscious choice. Just like God, who CHOOSES to love us in spite of ourselves, in spite of our actions, our fallen human state, but remains detached to our behaviors, we are also learning to become more like God. As we navigate the process of completing the necessary separation of behavior, vs. the hurting person, we should learn to choose to love the person while hating their behavior.
Along these same lines, we learn to choose to love our midlife spouses as God does, but we’re also learning to choose to love ourselves enough to continue standing clear of (staying detached from) their destructive behaviors.
I can honestly say, that the only time I ever really “lost” my love was when I was navigating through the intense fires of my own rage that resulted from truth, that transformed into the reality that everything I once knew was gone, lost, and nothing would ever be the same.
After I learned to get control of my rage, and navigate out of that aspect, total detachment took over at a much deeper level, because I was struggling to continue healing. As I continued healing, Unconditional Love was born within me–a feeling I’d never had before in my life….but it was a continued commitment, and a continued choice on my own part to love this man in spite of everything he had done, and was still doing against HIS marriage, while I honored MY marriage.
In time, I learned even more as I continued to separate everything out into aspects. I then began to learn that each aspect had two parts—two halves of a whole. There was His, Hers, Mine, and Yours. He had his half, I had mine. There was my contributions, to the breakdown of our marriage, and there was his. We each had half contribution that we were supposed to own for ourselves as the individuals who were still married on paper, even if not married emotionally.
As I continued dealing, and existing, within total detachment, it would have been all too easy to cross the line into the exact opposite of love, which is indifference. However, I knew what outcome I was hoping for. I also knew that no matter what happened, or how the hard the road became to walk, the one thing I couldn’t stand to lose, was the love I still had for my husband.
When love is gone, all hope goes with it, and so, when completely detached, love becomes a choice, rather than a feeling.
So, to compensate for this lack of emotional feeling, I consciously made a choice to continue to love my husband, even though I knew he didn’t love me back at the time I was choosing to make this commitment. This was not a “heart” choice, because total detachment doesn’t allow for emotional feeling, but the mind “knows” intuitively HOW you’re supposed to feel. So, this “mental choice” chooses to view love, as an action word, a choice, instead of an emotional feeling.
It’s a concept that isn’t widely known about, because I haven’t seen anyone yet that has explained it like God has enabled me to. It would be very easy for me to remind people that love truly is a choice, and not a feeling…but then, what you’re asking is HOW would you do it, so that you don’t slip across the line into indifference.
What this choice of love requires is a mental adjustment, that in time, becomes a habit, because choices originate within the logical thinking of mankind. So, you take this choice to love, and you mentally commit to it, hold onto it, and renew this choice daily. You will find that love becomes a consistent habit, rather than a feeling that comes and goes, like emotional feelings do.
I still choose to love my husband in such actions and ways that he never has to guess how I feel about him. It’s not just about looks of love–it’s all about ‘becoming’ love. God’s Word doesn’t speak of particular people, or even emotional feeling, when 1st Corinthians chapter 13 speaks of love, (charity), and maturity in regards to love.
I don’t exercise detachment in my marriage anymore—it’s been a long time for me, but the mental habit I went into in regards to not just choosing to love, but actually ‘becoming’ love, has not faded for me. I made this commitment, and I still uphold this commitment.
Now, my husband might decide tomorrow to walk out, not want to be married any more, but that’s true of every marriage in this world. I don’t have any control over his choices, but I do have control over my own actions, reactions, and responses. I will always love him, but I also love him enough to release him, if that is what he wants.
Unconditional love is not a prison with bars, and a locked door, nor is it a canary in a cage. Love must be free, giving, caring–never angry, prideful, nor arrogant. Love lets go–it doesn’t hold on, because that’s not love, that’s control, and control is not love at all.
Within my own journey, and all that I have learned about Unconditional Love, there are no “in love” or “out of love” feelings for my husband. I simply love him in his own imperfections, with full knowledge that I have no perfection of my own to offer. I can’t expect something from him, that I cannot give of myself. He accepts me for who I am, and I accept him for who he is.
Love does that–Love accepts people at every stage of growth they’re in, every point of struggle they’re trying to overcome. Love seeks to help, but in a way that never allows a person to take the easy way out of accountability. Love sets boundaries, because love must sometimes be tough.
You don’t want to deal with consequences that are not yours, so because you love yourself more, and because you know this is necessary, you love that person enough to say, “No. I’m not going to bail you out,” or “No, you have to do this for yourself,” or “No, I won’t carry responsibility that belongs to you.” This is all a part of choosing to love in spite of the fact you may have to employ detachment to further protect yourself from becoming hurt by their angry, and immature reactions.
Choosing to love, is completely separated from detachment. You can detach, but still love, AND still have compassion for a person’s pain, but all three of these aspects (detachment, love, and compassion) are completely separated.
The conscious exercising of choosing Unconditional Love also doesn’t allow for those kinds of emotional feelings that decide one day you’re “in love” and the next day, you’re “out of love.” If you have made love a mindful choice, it must be consistent.
It can’t be wishy washy, or allowed to put you on a roller coaster–but then if you were either of these things, you’re not detached in the first place, so, there’s that. 🙂
In my own learning, to choose to love, or not to choose to love is consistent–there is “either/or”—I either love him or anyone else, or I don’t. It has become a black and white kind of aspect for me. Though I am commanded to love people, I reserve a certain chosen love for my husband, that has chosen him above all others to be my husband, my companion, my friend, my lover, and someone who shares my life in ways no one else ever has, or ever will.
There are no gray areas when it comes to Unconditional Love—you’re choosing to love, or you don’t choose to love, and those choices are always reflected in every action directed toward your spouse, because actions do speak louder than words, and actions do reflect the state of your mind, and your heart.
When fully emotionally detached, the mind is utilized to make sure you consciously choose to love.
This was a “mind” choice, a conscious choice, a choice that only I could make, commit to, and continue to renew at the start of every day.
It sounds like a ritualistic kind of aspect–the concept of renewing a mindful, loving commitment–and in a very real way, it was that, until it became a lifelong habit, because I still do it. 🙂
However, during his midlife crisis, this same commitment to love was a point of reminding myself of not what I was Standing for, but for WHOM I was Standing. First God, then me, then my husband.
Remember that we love God–not because He’s special, gracious, loving, although He IS all these things and more–but because He first loved us. We become loved, because we chose to mindfully love without expectation, without becoming hurt, and without allowing the person who isn’t showing us love to hurt us…and that, my friend is how you can still love, while remaining completely detached from the midlife spouse’s actions, ways, and continued rebellion.
Matthew 22:37 says:
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
Food for thought.