Welcome to the
Marriage Builders® Discussion Forum

This is a community where people come in search of marriage related support, answers, or encouragement. Also, information about the Marriage Builders principles can be found in the books available for sale in the Marriage Builders® Bookstore.
If you would like to join our discussion forum, please read the Announcement Forum for instructions, rules, & guidelines.
The members of this community are peers and not professionals. Professional coaching is available by clicking on the link titled Coaching Center at the top of this page.
We trust that you will find the Marriage Builders® Discussion Forum to be a helpful resource for you. We look forward to your participation.
Once you have reviewed all the FAQ, tech support and announcement information, if you still have problems that are not addressed, please e-mail the administrators at mbrestored@gmail.com
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 10 1 2 3 9 10
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,312
_
_Ace_ Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
_
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,312
EDITED TO ADD: ***Many posters have made this a 5 Star Thread. Hopefully it helps others as much as it's helped me. Ace***

Hey Life Choice and other MB posters,

I saw your statement on Rock Solid's thread this morning:

Quote:

There is a fine line between enabling and being a cheerleader, don't enable her. Does that make sense?




I agree with it but I struggle with that 'fine line difference' between being a supportive 'cheerleader' for my FWH (and others) and being an inadvertent enabler.

What are some examples that show positive encouraging verses negative enabling?

Thought I'd ask here to get ideas from all so I don't TJ Rock's thread. He needs alot of assistance, especially since it's the slow weekend.

Thanks,
Ace

Edited to change sub-title periodically.

Last edited by Ace_in_bucket; 11/23/07 02:16 PM.
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 805
S
Member
Offline
Member
S
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 805
I've struggled with this quite a bit- not with my husband but with my brother, who has a mental illness.

I was a lifeguard and the first thing we learned was "don't make one victim into two." That means help... but don't put yourself in danger as well. This applies so well to other life situations.

support for significant others

This link explains the line I draw between being supportive and being enabling of my brother. It IS difficult, and so hard to watch when someone you love is in pain.


Me: 45
Him: 47
married 23 years
Two wonderful sons
D-day for my EA: 8/15/04
D-day for his PAs: 8/16/06

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
An enabler is someone who helps another BE BAD, a person who aides in their self destruction and PROTECTS them from the consequences of his actions. For example, a person who keeps the secret of an adulterer, which enables him to continue his affair. Or a person who calls in sick for her alcoholic husband because he is too hungover to go to work.

A real friend would help that person BE GOOD by exposing his affair and refusing to call in sick for the drunk.

A cheerleader is someone who helps someone BE GOOD and aides them in endeavors that are positive. For example, a person who cheers me on when I am training for a marathon.

The difference to me is whether the subject is positive or negative.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,454
B
Member
Offline
Member
B
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,454
agree with Mel.


~ Pain is a given, misery is optional ~
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 672
_
Member
Offline
Member
_
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 672
Interesting thread topic Ace.

Mel said
Quote:

An enabler is someone who helps another BE BAD, a person who aides in their self destruction and PROTECTS them from the consequences of his actions.




I think that puts it pretty succintly.

I do think that situations that have gone on for long periods of time with little or no change, as in Rock's situation, have a lot to do with the BS being unable to finally draw that line in the sand and say no more.

There are a lot of situations where support and encouragement yield positive results. However when you have gone on for a protracted period of time and being supportive has gotten you nothing but being walked on again and again, it's time for something different. Especially when there are kids who are being hurt in the process.

In Rock's situation I think some of the posters are possibly not aware of how long she has been behaving like this...and that she had indeed cut herself quite some time ago and she assured Rock then it would not happen again. Her potential alcoholism has been an issue for quite some time as well. All of this besides the infidelity, which has an extremely addictive nature to it, it is not that she falls in love with one man, she takes attention from whoever will give it.

If Rock came here last month as a newbie, my advice to him (as it was a long time ago) would be more along the lines of trying to support her and assist her with getting help.

Quite clearly that has failed to accomplish anything. Continuing to do nothing else is simply enabling her to have her cake and it eat it too, imo.

Again, good topic. I think this will be an enlightening thread.


Me, 43, 2 online EA's 2006
DH, 45, 2DDs, 16 & 9
Married 23 years.
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
M
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 92,985
Likes: 1
The big question in my mind is WHY a person enables others? Do they do it because they want to be liked at any cost? Do they do it because they somehow don't comprehend that handing a gun to a suicidal person might not be good for that person? Or do they do it because its much easier to say what the person wants to hear and not risk their wrath because the enabler really doesn't give a damn? Or maybe they get some selfish personal payoff from it, such as: 'if I continue to give this bum narcotics, he will stay with me.'

I always wonder about the motivations of an enabler. Their actions serve EVIL and I wonder how many know this and just don't care?

People of the Lie by M. Scott Peck talks about enablers and the subject of evil. I will have to dig that out and dust it off again.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

Exposure 101


Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,602
L
Member
Offline
Member
L
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,602
Quote:

An enabler is someone who helps another BE BAD, a person who aides in their self destruction and PROTECTS them from the consequences of his actions.




I agree 100%. I also view an enabler as someone who tries to fix things for someone who has no desire to actively participate in fixing things for themselves.

To me a cheerleader is someone who is showing support for someone who is actively trying and doing what it takes to help themselves.





Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,602
L
Member
Offline
Member
L
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,602
Quote:

The big question in my mind is WHY a person enables others?




IMO, it can be all of what you said or a combination of them. I also think for some it's the easy way. Sort of like a spouse of an alcoholic who runs to the store to buy beer so they don't have to deal with the alcoholic's attitude when they don't get to drink.

LC





Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,454
B
Member
Offline
Member
B
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,454
Enablers enable for lots of reasons.

I generally find that the underlying cause is fear - fear of not being enough.


~ Pain is a given, misery is optional ~
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,312
_
_Ace_ Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
_
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,312
Thanks for the insights Mel, BR, LC, SR and Mazzy,

Quote:

The big question in my mind is WHY a person enables others?




In addition to 'fear of not being enough' I've seen (and experienced) enablers operating for multiple reasons:

* Habit learned from growing up with enabling parents/family.

* Desire to please.

* Conflict avoidance personality.

* Fear of the unknown, desire to remain status quo.

* Unaware that it was destructive.

* Unwilling to pay the price of confrontation.

I don't have any solutions, just more questions. It could also be driven by similar WS fog (and even BS fog) that clouds judgement of cause/effect processes.

What else?

Ace


FWH/BW (me)57+ M:36+ yr.
4 D-Days: Jun-Nov 06 E/PA~OW#2 (OW#1 2000)
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,454
B
Member
Offline
Member
B
Joined: Dec 2000
Posts: 3,454
Quote:

Thanks for the insights Mel, BR, LC, SR and Mazzy,

Quote:

The big question in my mind is WHY a person enables others?




In addition to 'fear of not being enough' I've seen (and experienced) enablers operating for multiple reasons:

* Habit learned from growing up with enabling parents/family.

* Desire to please.

* Conflict avoidance personality.

* Fear of the unknown, desire to remain status quo.

* Unaware that it was destructive.

* Unwilling to pay the price of confrontation.

I don't have any solutions, just more questions. It could also be driven by similar WS fog (and even BS fog) that clouds judgement of cause/effect processes.

What else?

Ace




All of these are rooted in the fear of not being enough. These are ways that people react to that fear.


~ Pain is a given, misery is optional ~
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 672
_
Member
Offline
Member
_
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 672
Interesting responses.

Would it be a stretch to say then, that the fear of not being enough is related to low self esteem? The cause of which would encompass a whole thread in and of itself.

Maybe not feeling they actually deserve better.

Maybe willing to settle for less then they deserve because they are afraid it's better than nothing, afraid of being alone, afraid no one else will want them...

and I agree with LC about it sometimes just being easier to give in and do it rather than deal with the fallout, like giving in to a tantruming toddler just to shut them up, you know it's wrong, you know it's not teaching them anything, but you want the fit in the middle of the store to stop.

I guess this is where you have to intellectually set your priorities (not react from stress or feelings). The most important thing is teaching your child appropriate behavior, regardless of how embarassing or annoying it is, there is a bigger payoff in the long run to do the right thing.

Mazzy


Me, 43, 2 online EA's 2006
DH, 45, 2DDs, 16 & 9
Married 23 years.
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,516
M
mvg Offline
Member
Offline
Member
M
Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 1,516
After reading this I'm an enabler. I don't want to be any more.


EA4-7/07,Dday7/29,NC 7/30/07
ME 47 WH 48
Married 30 yrs.
2 DD,4 GC
Found out
Learning
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,312
_
_Ace_ Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
_
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,312
Quote:

After reading this I'm an enabler. I don't want to be any more.




Me neither, mvg.

So what's the solution, BR et al?

How does one become an FEB (Former EnaBler)?

I am not enabling FWH anymore, which helped him earn his F after 4 D-Days. But I was enabling a friend. (She was there for me when I needed her, and I told her I'd be here for her on the condition that she stop certain behaviors that she is in denial about being destructive.) I'm looking forward to learning how to quit enabling, period.

Ace



FWH/BW (me)57+ M:36+ yr.
4 D-Days: Jun-Nov 06 E/PA~OW#2 (OW#1 2000)
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 7,093
W
Member
Offline
Member
W
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 7,093
Quote:

(She was there for me when I needed her, and I told her I'd be here for her on the condition that she stop certain behaviors that she is in denial about being destructive.)






Can you be more specific, Ace?

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,312
_
_Ace_ Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
_
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,312
Quote:

Can you be more specific, Ace?




Sure, you've got mail.



FWH/BW (me)57+ M:36+ yr.
4 D-Days: Jun-Nov 06 E/PA~OW#2 (OW#1 2000)
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,693
F
Member
Offline
Member
F
Joined: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,693
For me enabling was a learned behavior.

I learned the art of enabling by growing up with and Alcoholic father.

As an adult you don't even realize you are doing it. When and if you do realize it you don't realize the depth to which it permiates your life/relationships.

I noticed that with the enabling comes codependance and conflict avoidance.

Did I have self esteem problems or low self worth? I don't think so.

I think I just didn't know any better so it was NORMAL in my world.

Cleaning up the mess of others.

One of the trickier situations is when an enabler runs up against enabling a person for the sake of the family group.
In a marriage this is difficult. If you enable a person to be fiscally irresponsible by paying the bills on time, you are enabling but if you don't it impacts everyone.

A person with an enabler is with them for a reason. They are an enabler that will fix their problems and mistakes or at least not hold them as accountable as a non enabling person.

Now I TRY not to enable but I know I do in some cases. One fine day though.... LOL


BS 38
FWW 35
D Day 10/03
Recovery started 11/06
3 boys 12, 8 and a new baby


When life hands you lemons make lemonade then try to find the person life hands vodka and have a party.
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,312
_
_Ace_ Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
_
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,312
Hi Frog,

Thanks for your response:

Quote:

As an adult you don't even realize you are doing it. When and if you do realize it you don't realize the depth to which it permiates your life/relationships.




I felt the same way, but I'm examining the 'fear' aspect BR mentioned.

Ace


FWH/BW (me)57+ M:36+ yr.
4 D-Days: Jun-Nov 06 E/PA~OW#2 (OW#1 2000)
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,423
W
Member
Offline
Member
W
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 3,423
frog,

Quote:

One of the trickier situations is when an enabler runs up against enabling a person for the sake of the family group.
In a marriage this is difficult. If you enable a person to be fiscally irresponsible by paying the bills on time, you are enabling but if you don't it impacts everyone.




This is an example where my trouble is with enabling. I have yet to find the real answer.

Do you let the family as a whole bear the consequences by not enabling the fiscal irresponsibility of the spouse, thereby becoming fiscally irresponsible yourself?

Or, do you be fiscally responsible yourself and continue to enable the spouse?

This to me is the "fine line" of enabling vs cheerleading. Those others to me are obvious, i.e. handing money/drugs/alcohol/free time to an addict. There's no fine line...it's a pretty thick, obvious line.

THIS question you raised is more along the line of my own thinking/actions concerning enabling. Thank you for bringing it up and articulating it so well.

Quote:

A person with an enabler is with them for a reason.




AHA....

Fox

Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,312
_
_Ace_ Offline OP
Member
OP Offline
Member
_
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 5,312
Update and a new aspect:

Quote:

So what's the solution, BR et al?

How does one become an FEB (Former EnaBler)?


I am not enabling FWH anymore, which helped him earn his F after 4 D-Days.

But I once thought I was enabling a friend. I defined my boundaries and even though I didn't hear from her for a while, she emailed me and wants to get together.

Not sure if I was enabling, controlling, or what....?


How does controlling behavior fit in?





Ace


FWH/BW (me)57+ M:36+ yr.
4 D-Days: Jun-Nov 06 E/PA~OW#2 (OW#1 2000)
Page 1 of 10 1 2 3 9 10

Moderated by  Fordude 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Forum Search
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 34 guests, and 50 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
Lethabo, Livn1dayAtaTime, widup, Reggg, Endlessvow
71,682 Registered Users
Forum Statistics
Forums67
Topics133,528
Posts2,322,563
Members71,682
Most Online3,185
Jan 27th, 2020
Building Marriages That Last A Lifetime
Copyright © 1995-2020, Marriage Builders®. All Rights Reserved.  |  Web Development by SunStar Media.
Site Navigation
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5