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Al-Anon Forum Magazine Featured Article

The Simple Solution
"Doesn't turning a deaf ear allow conditions to get even worse?"
Three years ago I married a man who bowled me over with his charm and romance. Almost immediately after our wedding a drastic change came over him. Instead of charm and romance, he gave me only criticism and anger. The whole family walked on eggshells trying to pacify my very unhappy husband.
Eventually I was able to share this explosive relationship with my Al-Anon group. They supported me lovingly. However, when they suggested I that use detachment I became more confused. When someone is screaming obscenities in my face, towering over me with intimidating language and gestures, following me to describe my total uselessness in foul and loaded language or threatening my physical safety, how am I supposed to use detachment? Wouldn't walking away from an onslaught enrage him even more? Doesn't turning a deaf ear allow conditions to get even worse?
At one Al-Anon meeting I expressed my anger and confusion at the simple solution called detachment. After I cried and wailed at the injustice of it all the group became very silent. A gentle voice stated, "Detachment does not mean accepting unacceptable behavior. You always have choices." It was as if the woman who said it had snapped on a light so my life could begin all over again.
I learned that detaching is keeping the focus on myself so another's moods and needs don't flail me about like dust in a windstorm. Detachment is simply minding my own business. I also learned that abuse isn't limited to alcoholism. It is a serious and dangerous issue no matter where it occurs.
Heather F. - Ontario
Alcoholism is a family disease. Those of us who live with, or have have lived with, this disease as children or adults sometimes have problems which the Al-Anon program can help us to resolve. If you have answered yes to some of all of the above questions, Al-Anon may be of help to you. You can contact Al-Anon by checking your local telephone directory, or from the Resources page. Phone numbers and Contact Information for the Austin Area are listed on the Contact Page of this website.
These articles were reproduced with permission from 'The Forum', the monthly inspirational newsletter of Al-Anon. Al-Anon World Headquarters, Inc. is located in Virginia Beach, VA. See www.Al-Anon.org for more information.