Comments on
How to Stop Enabling

How to Stop EnablingWhat is enabling?

Enabling isn’t the same as helping. Helping is doing things that others can’t do for themselves. Enabling is doing for others what they can and should do for themselves.

10 thoughts on “How to Stop Enabling

  • December 14, 2016 at 4:07 pm

    Sharon an empowering post; with so much great advice.

  • December 14, 2016 at 8:00 pm

    I wish this had been available 4 years ago when I found out my daughter was addicted to heroin. At first I thought the loss of her job was causing her problems. I began “helping” to ease her burden abs get through that rough patch.
    Then I discovered the truth. Being aware of “enabling” I was conscience of that behavior and tried to keep the line of helping and enabling clear. Ha! Joke was on me! With an addict there is NEVER a clear line, and trying to see that without professional help is foolish at best.
    It was by trial, error, and self preservation that I made my way to seeing where I was helping or enabling.
    After so much heartache I found my way to enacting each step on this article’s list…gee I wish it have to be by trial and error.

    My daughter is far from the stage of going into recovery, if she ever gets to that place before the unthinkable happens. But at least (for my own emotional well being) I know how to circumvent that very vague line of helping and enabling.

    I suppose I should be proud I was able to put these very tips in action without having even read anything like them before I found them within my own innate ability to save my sanity.
    I feel validated having read this article, and discovering these tips were naturally in me all along… I just had to learn them the hard way 😉

    • December 14, 2016 at 9:18 pm

      My heart goes out to you! I think it’s especially hard to stop enabling when it’s your child. I pray that she finds her way back to you and a healthy life.

      Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad the article matched your experience. And, of course, hindsight is 20/20, so be gentle with yourself for not knowing all of this before you learned it!

  • May 1, 2017 at 11:18 am

    This was the perfect post. I am in higher education, and I have struggled the past couple semesters with enabling students in the classroom. I needed this reminder that despite my desire to help my students learn, I cannot cover up their immaturity, irresponsibility, or under achievement. Thank you for your insight and wisdom! Now, it is up to me to learn how to stop being an enabler so I can get on with my life!

    • May 1, 2017 at 4:59 pm

      So glad it was helpful, Carol! Have a great remainder of the school year.

  • February 25, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    I cannot tell you or begin to explain what I have been doing to myself and my partner through codependency and enabling. It was only after the relationship ended….. finally, that I realised who and what I had become!!!!! If I had been aware that my family of origin issues had played a part or that I had had the ability to step outside my own being and realised the harm I was causing to him and more importantly to ME, I would have stopped IMMEDIATELY! I was blinded by love? Obsession? Infatuation? Fear and anxiety.

    Sincerely aware that there is a higher power in which I gently place my faith and future

  • September 24, 2018 at 7:30 am

    My long time bf enables both his adult kids .We had the youngest living wit us .He does nothing around the house .He does work only because my bfn got him a job where he works .The boy is 21 does not drive my bfn licenses more surpended I was driving them to work . My bf had a pinched nerve that cause him to not move his right arm . I told bf that his son need to clean my car .(bf pays for all gas if we stop at store bf pays for everything .) After a month I was sick of waiting so I did it .The following day his son put his drink on my bash I was passed and said get that off my dash his son went off said he was going to hit me and called me a Whore. Bf did very little I’m to the point I’m ready to walk .

  • October 18, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    I need this now I enable my daughters by loaning them small amounts of money usually 20 to 60 sometimes I get paid back., give rides to where they they need to go I always fit them in alot of times begrudgingly. I have had to use tough love on them both in the past but I never can seem to just say no without an excuse.

  • December 5, 2018 at 7:57 am

    Really appreciate your tips here- managing our own thoughts and feelings is a huge way to stop enabling. Your points apply to so many different kinds of relationships, even those in which the abuse is of the spouse, rather than a substance. Consequences are a loving and effective way to help someone, but it can be very difficult to wrap our minds around that! We incorporated suggestions like these and more on our domestic violence support blog, in a post entitled “5 Habits that Enable Abusers (+ 5 Ways to Stop TODAY).” We’d love your feedback.



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