Disengaging versus Emotional Abuse
Hello all, just joined so pardon me if this was a prior topic of discussion; I didn't find it in my cursory search.
I've got my own situation after recently becoming a new SM. During my last conversation with DH about our situation I caught myself saying, "I'm not sure how much more I can take before it starts to affect my interactions with them." That got me to questioning my intent of that statement. Which led me here...after relating an awful lot to the droves of SPs discussing disengagement.
Here is my question. I understand how disengagement can provide a sense of relief and control into a SP's life, but are there negative consequences? I ask this because I have always been taught (in college, life, etc.) that withholding attention, affection, interaction from someone that you have a close relationship with is considered to clinically be emotional abuse.
Are there any professionals or studies that have addressed this comparison and offered some tangible commentary? Sometimes I definitely feel like I just want to stop doing anything but the bare minimum for my SKs; but inside I'm struck with the understanding that this is abusive - especially when I have biological children that I wouldn't disengage from. Is this unhealthy for my SKs, our future relationship, or their relationship with their BF/my DH? Or is it okay to shrink back and expect that their BM fill that void just as I do for my biological children?
For what it's worth, we have sole custody of the SKs in question...with EOWE and some holidays being spent with their BM.
I certainly don't judge anyone who had to disengage in order to salvage their marriage. I'm just trying to make the most educated decision for our family. I'd love some input from those of you who did disengage as well as those who chose not to. Thank you!