To detach with love from the alcoholic means to not allow what they do while drinking harm your emotional and or spiritual well being.
Detaching with love is something learned that over time becomes a habit-a good habit actually.
To understand how detaching with love works, we must first understand what not detaching is, and what it does to us, as well as the alcoholic you live with. When we don’t detach we get angry, resentful, and sometimes fearful over the behaviors of the alcoholic. This happens because we are “too” consumed with the behaviors of the alcoholic or better known as the symptoms of the drinking.
Spouses of alcoholics, especially tend to be overly attached and focused on the alcoholics negative behaviors that stem from his or her drinking, which makes a negative impact on the life of the spouse-they may feel hatred and contempt for the alcoholic. But lashing back in anger or feeling resentful over the alcoholic’s negative behaviors is making you sick with the alcoholic. This is why loved ones must learn to detach emotionally from the drinking alcoholic.
Only by detaching do you help yourself as well as the alcoholic. When loved ones stop reacting, negatively to the behaviors, the alcoholic begins to “see” they do have a drinking problem and hopefully they will take responsibility for the problem.
A loved ones only responsibility to an alcoholic is to make sure they do not hurt themselves or anyone when they are drinking and to be loving and supportive when they alcoholic decides to get sober. Love the person but detach from the disease or the condition of alcoholism.
For further information see:
How Do I Detach From my Alcoholic Spouse?