Author Topic: Disengagement - must-read  (Read 242 times)

Offline Orkide

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Disengagement - must-read
« on: Wednesday, May 3 2017, 06:59 »
A post by furiousgaystepdad drew my attention to this article. I think it's a must-read for every SM, that's why I'm posting it again.

Fortunately my situation is not terrible, most of the time my role in the family is a kind of prompter for my BF. But I did find inspiration in the article and can definitely learn from it too. Read it!

http://www.fillingyourniche.com/the-disengaging-essay/
Me: 45 - SM every other week
OH: 40 - a great, fun, understanding man
SD1: 11
SD2: 7

BM: a loose cannon.

Offline MAH

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Re: Disengagement - must-read
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday, May 3 2017, 07:15 »
Really good. 

It does miss something I think is important.  Disengaging or detaching doesn't mean you don't care.  It means you recognise that you can't fix it.  That only the parents can fix it.  I think some people struggle with the idea that if the detach that means they don't care and they do care. 
Me 54, DH 71, SS 31, my two furbabies are 8

Offline furiousgaystepdad

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Re: Disengagement - must-read
« Reply #2 on: Sunday, May 7 2017, 23:27 »

It's brilliantly written and parts of it make me choke, and look over my shoulder to see if I'm being watched, as it feels written precisely about me and my situation.
Of course, it was a big adjustment to realise that i wasn't the only one who was going through this - and I feel very naieve now in retrospect!

Thank you for posting it again as the more people it reaches the better - in the short time since I've been on the forum i've seen several 'newer' people write posts and I feel for them, and would have wanted them to see this - i hope more of them do, and maybe this needs regular reposting, as the advice is so solid.

I'm keen to print this off and give a copy to my OH as it would remove anything personal or emotional from me if he read it on his own and saw for himself a documented account that i could say I felt summed up my situation. I detached without knowing it was a 'concept' or a 'thing' - it was more about self preservation, and so i did it in a very stubborn right-that's-it! hysterical way that probably was and has been interpreted that i don't care anymore - so MAH's point is a good one too.

It can feel like a REALLY harsh thing to do, but for me the longer I waited the more I felt manipulated by the Skids AND my OH, until i snapped.
It can be done, as the article correctly says, in a calm and rational way that won't cause an explosion in yourt relationships with the Skids or the OH - but having this article as back-up will, I'm sure, be comforting to a lot of people who finmd the concept scary.

Thank you again for putting this up. I am stronger for reading this.

Offline Suo

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Re: Disengagement - must-read
« Reply #3 on: Monday, May 8 2017, 00:54 »
Love it.

Lone Wolf vs Tiny Dictator.

What speaks to me most is the following (as I yet again sat away from the happy couple last night, waiting for skid to go to bed so I could finally sit on my own couch)

"In a divorced family, the bio parent and the kids form their own team. A stepparent enters the game as the lone wolf outsider, not belonging anywhere. Parent, stepparent, and kids all need to realize that the name of the new game is Blended Family, and everyone plays an equal part."

However what I still struggle with in this article is when they say things like, 'if you don't do the dishes as you were supposed to, I won't set a place at the table for you the next day' or, 'if you don't clean up your stuff by 9pm, it'll be gone the next day'. That's still disciplining and parenting in itself, isn't it?

Me 47 - very happy with my 2 big dogs, kitty, and a gazillion chooks
OH 46 - loving, kind, generous, genuine
BM - Narcissistic psychopath
SD10 - Narcissistic psychopath in training

"A lie doesn't become truth, wrong doesn't become right and evil doesn't become good just because your mum says so"

Offline newbie14

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Re: Disengagement - must-read
« Reply #4 on: Monday, May 8 2017, 02:06 »
This is very helpful! Thank you for posting!!
Me: 51
DH: 53
Married in July 2013, met in August 2012
SS15 (ADHD) and SD17 (Borderline):  Every other night (for another few years--counting the days)
BM: unstable, poor parenting skills; complete narcissist.

Offline Orkide

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Re: Disengagement - must-read
« Reply #5 on: Monday, May 8 2017, 06:47 »
However what I still struggle with in this article is when they say things like, 'if you don't do the dishes as you were supposed to, I won't set a place at the table for you the next day' or, 'if you don't clean up your stuff by 9pm, it'll be gone the next day'. That's still disciplining and parenting in itself, isn't it?

I think this has to do with basic respect in the first place. I tell the skids things like "I don't want to see traces of your using my side of the bathroom. You can use it, but I just don't want to have to notice anything. The rooms we have to share need to be respected, if you really want to make a mess, do it in your own room. If I see stuff I don't need to see in my space, I'll throw it out".
I did take some time and I've had to repeat it but now it's working most of the time.
Me: 45 - SM every other week
OH: 40 - a great, fun, understanding man
SD1: 11
SD2: 7

BM: a loose cannon.

Offline MAH

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Re: Disengagement - must-read
« Reply #6 on: Monday, May 8 2017, 06:58 »
However what I still struggle with in this article is when they say things like, 'if you don't do the dishes as you were supposed to, I won't set a place at the table for you the next day' or, 'if you don't clean up your stuff by 9pm, it'll be gone the next day'. That's still disciplining and parenting in itself, isn't it?

I agree with your point.   My view would be if the skids don't do stuff that impacts me, OH needs to step in and do it.  OH, the dishes need doing.  OH, you need to tidy the lounge.    if he refuses to do it then I'd make sure he felt the consequences.  I'd not set the table for anyone.  I'd probably not bother cooking for anyone.  I probably wouldn't throw things away but they'd be in a bin bag somewhere not obvious.  Or some favour he wanted wouldn't get done. 
Me 54, DH 71, SS 31, my two furbabies are 8

Offline Cherry Blossom

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Re: Disengagement - must-read
« Reply #7 on: Monday, May 8 2017, 13:48 »
Ha this bit's highlighted in bold specifically for my DH "When a partner doesn’t give us support in an active way, they’re giving their kids permission to ignore us, dismiss us, or reject us."

It's amazing how much of it is still true even when the bio parents split before the skid was born and the stepparent (moi) has been in the kid's life from day 1. See quote above, I guess.
Me - 28
OH - 30
SD - 4
BM - 23

Access EOW
Married OH Oct 2015 together since Dec 2012
OH had split from BM before he met me