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How to stop being a codependent enabler

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Adult Videos How to stop being a codependent enabler.

Enabling is a term often used in the context of a relationship with an addict.

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It might be a drug addict or alcoholic, a gambler, or a compulsive overeater. Their behavior starts as a well-intentioned desire to help, but in later stages of addiction, they act out of desperation.

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The family dynamics become skewed, so that the sober partner increasingly over-functions and the addict increasingly under-functions. Yet, codependents feel guilty not helping someone, even when the person caused the situation and is capable of finding a solution. The pressure to enable can be intense, particularly coming from suffering or angry addicts, who generally use manipulation to get their needs met. Examples of enabling include: This might sound cruel, but remember that the addict caused the problem.

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Because the addict is under the influence of an addiction, accusations, nagging, and blame are not only futile, but unkind. All these inactions should be carried out in a matter-of-fact manner.

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Nor is it for the faint of heart. Aside from likely pushback and possible retaliation, you may also fear the consequences of doing nothing.

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For instance, you may fear your husband will lose his job. Yet, losing a job is the greatest incentive to seeking sobriety.

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You may be afraid the addict may have an auto accident, or worse, die or commit suicide. Knowing a son is in jail is sometimes cold comfort to the mother who worries he may die on the streets. You may have to weigh the consequences of experiencing short-term pain vs.

It requires great faith and courage not to enable without knowing the outcome. Although enabling can prolong the addiction, not all addicts recover, even despite counseling and going to many rehabs. This is why the 12 Steps are a spiritual program.

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The desire for sobriety must come from him or her. Allowing the addict to drive you or your child while under the influence is life-threatening.

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On the other hand, taking on the role of designated driver gives the addict free license to use or drink. The spouse might refuse that enabling role by taking a separate car. If the addict is charged with DUI, it might be a wake-up call. Sometimes, Plan B might be going to a Step meeting or just staying home and finishing a novel.

Having some recovery under his belt, one husband resolved to remain on vacation with the children when his alcoholic wife suddenly decided she wanted to return home. In another situation, an alcoholic husband picked a fight an hour before guests were arriving for dinner.

He threatened to leave unless they were uninvited. When his wife refused, he stormed out and hid in the bushes, while his wife enjoyed herself. Feeling ashamed, he never repeated that ploy.

Learning to be assertive and set boundaries are often the first steps in stopping enabling. Darlene Lancer is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and expert on relationships and codependency. Lancer has counseled individuals and couples for 28 years and coaches internationally.

Tips for Ceasing to Enable...

Are You an Enabler?. Retrieved on November 8,from https: Find help or get online counseling now.

They may have blackouts. Are You an Enabler? Hot Topics Today 1.


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