What is the Betrayal of Disengagement? In its article The Worst Kind of Betrayal, Psychology Today posted a great review from Brené Brown‘s book Daring Greatly. The full definition of this betrayal is spelled out. In a nutshell:
I’m talking about the betrayal of disengagement. Of not caring. Of letting the connection go. Of not being willing to devote time and effort to the relationship.
It’s the behavior of putting yourself first instead of investing in the little bonding moments of the relationship. While Husband #2 was losing faith in me I was losing my faith in him. He was more interested in his computer, his tablet, his customers than he was with me. Even though we were sitting on the same couch, at the same time, we were far removed from each other. He’d search the internet for anything. He is a news junkie. I’d sit and watch TV. We didn’t connect.
His fear, as voiced in therapy, was that I would overtake his life. What I wanted was beyond his capabilities, his ability to give, or his desire to give. He had ideas of what would make me happy that were far beyond what I really needed. And so he gave up and disengaged. He withdrew and I was essentially alone in our marriage.
If he had asked, he would have been surprised to hear what I wanted from him. Maybe these actions would still have been beyond his ability to give, but at least he would have known for sure what I wanted instead of guessing all the time. But for whatever reason, he wouldn’t ask and I wouldn’t tell. We were both at fault.
I wanted to feel like I was one in a million to him. I wanted to feel special in his world. I wanted him to:
- tell me how much richer his life was with me in it
- grab me out of the blue and hug me, kiss me, take me
- tell others how I go above and beyond to make sure his Father’s Day is special
- tell me how he thinks about me when we’re apart
- tell me how I hurt him so I could be more careful
- tell me I’m the only woman who turns him on
- kiss me goodbye when he leaves
- touch me softly, like I’m fragile
- shoot me a playful glance every once in a while
- whisper something naughty in my ear, even if it’s just that he was looking down my cleavage
- recognize that I have hard days too
- make time to have fun together
I wasn’t asking for diamonds, or lavish parties, or fur coats, or for my problems to be solved. I just wanted to be noticed. Valued. Played with. Loved.