Moody, dramatic husband
I am living with my husband overseas in an intentional community. Our roles here involve working on the farm, in workshops and caring for people we are living with.
My husband has experienced depression, and is currently on medication. Both of his parents are alcoholics and varying degrees of depression and anxiety.
I have recently realized (consciously, although I think subconsciously I've known for some time) that I am enabling him. He has such low self esteem and confidence in himself, and in wanting him to develop confidence I have got in the habit of protecting him from situations he may fail in.
I will always take the phone when he calls, repeatedly, to ask for advice and sometimes leave what I am doing to help him. I will 'hang around' when he is with people who can be difficult, just in case something happens that he will need help with. I often find articles, books and podcasts on self help topics and ask that he reads/listens to them, only to get angry and, admittedly manipulative when he doesn't.
Although I am trying to take a step back and let him deal with things himself, I am finding really difficult when living with and caring for people. In one way it's been helpful living here - everyone knows everyone's business, so there's no 'covering up' for bad moods, inability to communicate effectively or inappropriate behaviour.
On the other hand, being friends with and living with the people I am also working with and for is proving difficult. I am looking for some strategies that will enable me to do this, while at the same time ensuring the continuing care of the people we live with.