A Chronic Enabler

(Baltimore, MD)

In my search for love at an early age (child), I have learned to be an enabler. Because situations beyond my control, I began to look for love in all the wrong places. To the point of doing things that I didn't wan to do, but doing them anyway because I was looking for love.

As a young adult I continued the behavior throughout a physical abusive marriage. Always thinking that it was going to get better, making excuses, and going along with whatever the situation, I was still being an enabler.

I've recently became aware that I an enabler to my children who are now grown. Now, I realize that I need to break the cycle. That my search for love and approval has to start with self love and approval. The only problem now is where do I start?

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Sep 20, 2010
I have been an enabler in all but one of my relationships.
by: Anonymous

I have finally woken up to a very bad nightmare of all but one of my relationships, as an enabler. My wife of five years, had a drinking problem, and she went back to Ontario, where she was from, after living in B.C. with me for those five years. Don't get me wrong, we did have some great times, but the abuse, and drinking got out of hand. She is know happy in her life, and sober, but continues with abuse over the phone at times, but I put a stop to it! Most of my relationships, have had a pattern of this, and at 48 I have woken up, as it is never to late. What really woke me up, was after my wife left in April of 2010, I went onto facebook, and wanted to rekindle some past un-healthy relationships, by trying to have closure. Well, it turned out amazing in the begining with one ex partner from 10 years ago, that I left from a drinking problem, but she was clean for 5 years! hay people can change. I was weak, as I had just lost my wife of five years, which was not very healthy over all. Sure enough I explained to my ex that I did not want a relationship, but she was persistant, and I allowed her to pray on my weaknesses, as I am just as at fault with this, but I will not beat myself up, or at least try to. I was jobless, due to moving back to the coast to a position that did not fall through, also door after door closing on my face, financial difficulty,and a rent that was high, as I was left with all the bills, and all. My ex was supportive, and caring, but did not want to hear the word no! meaning I did not want to get involved in another relationship, sure enough it got nasty with words, and threats from her, and she would not leave, it became verbally abusive, and we both hit one another, and she would still not leave. She said that she did not want to see me fall! Well, it's done now, and there is hurt once again, as it was ten years ago. I will never go back, and I need to see the signs in the begining, and to walk the other way. It is time for me to be alone, and to put down bounderies, and stay away from addictions. Myself being an enabler most of my life, I have an addiction also.I feel like I have waisted allot of my years, but it is never to late for happiness, especially from within myself first.

Dec 03, 2009
Hi There
by: Lyn

Well done for reaching out to others who are also in recovery for enabling behaviours. I have been in 'true' recovery now for around 14 months and I have done this through finding a great therapist, joining a select few support groups where there is genuine community, wisdom and care - like this one. I also practice mindfulness meditation and keep building my healthy boundary systems where before I had none at all.

All this takes time so something very important to keep coming back to is to be kind and gentle on yourself, watch out for that inner critic, yelling and judging inside the head! I keep working on transforming my own inner critic and I am now so much more forgiving and easy on my own 'mistakes', I put the big stick down much quicker than I used to! In fact before I didn't even realise I was beating myself up half the time! Welcome, and I look forward to sharing recovery stories with you along the way.

Dec 02, 2009
The Makings of Something Special
by: Don Carter

Hi "Chronic"...it sounds like you have earned your seat in our little group. And we're glad you're here! Keep reviewing this site, do the others things mxkx & momforlife recommend, and KEEP sharing & asking questions here -- It helps us as much as it does you. We keep what we have in recovery by giving it to others.

I have been sitting back, watching how these forums are doing and I have to say that I am truly amazed. I've said prayers that God would bless this effort by creating a special place where people could come and find the help they are looking for.

I knew He would listen, but I never imagined it would happen this quickly (when will I ever learn?). Our group here is quickly becoming the kind of community where true healing can occur!

Mxkx, Lyn, Angie, Mr Fix-it, Mom for Life, and all the others who have participated in these past several weeks can be very happy -- the seeds they are sowing are creating something very special that I pray continues to grow.

I have always said if we only help one person that will be worth it -- But it is not hard to imagine that this oasis could become the doorway to healing for who knows how many??

Thanks guys and may God bless you over the holidays!

Dec 02, 2009
Bless you!
by: momforlife

Well Baltimore, You are in good company ... and large amounts of it! You are never too late to work on yourself. My mother just turned 64 years old and has been an enabler and codependent for as long as I've been alive - and longer.

But with Don's help through this program, she has come further in the last 3 years than she has in her entire life. Whatever be the motivation, treatment is always a step in the right direction. You may not feel like congratulations are in order... but you've made a big step in the right direction. Stay on this path with us. We're all walking together!

Dec 02, 2009
Welcome and Congrats!
by: mxkx

Congratulations on realizing that you have been an enabler! That alone is a huge step in the recovery process. You should definitely be giving yourself a pat on the back for making this realization!

Personally, I devoured almost everything on this website before I made a decision about what the next step needed to be, and doing so helped me tremendously. It not only made it easier to make the decision as to the next step to take, it also made it easier to tell my therapist what I needed. I also think it may have helped my recovery go a little faster than it would be going if I had just walked in after reading a page or two on this site.

I have also continued to use this site as a therapeutic tool. The material helps keep me refreshed on what I have learned along with gaining new insights on my experiences and the forums help me vent my innermost thoughts and feelings when ever my therapist isn't available and I am really feeling that urge to talk and get things out.

Based on my experience, I believe the next step is something that you and you alone should decide. There's several methods to recovery and what works is different for each person. Some people require everything together and others only require one or two methods.

Some of the most common methods are research and self reflection, therapy (specifically psychotherapy and/or hypnotherapy), and support groups.

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