New edition to an enabling/addicted family - What is my place?

Two years ago (age 38) I met my soul mate. We have been married one year, our relationship fits the first description of enabling, we are each better people in the world as a result of our support of one another, this is due I believe to deep levels of communication. I've never been happier, more on track or more productive in my life.

Soooooo, what's the problem? When I met my husbands family I thought I had really hit the jackpot, they seemed so wonderful and so close. Compared to my somewhat distant family I was very impressed by this. His Mom and Dad are still in love and still married (40 years) they are strong Mormons and have 5 sons. They are very loving people. But maybe too loving, their two oldest sons still live at home, one is very obese and reclusive/antisocial but does have a steady job (age 38). The other is charming but can't keep a job, is in massive debt, behind 40,000 in back child support payments and is a compulsive liar, (age 35) they are both heavy pot addicts.

Mom and Dad pay their way for everything, defend them and are basically in denial of the situation. Mom and Dad's financial situation is compromised due to covering for their sons all the time. This is not the only example of enabling in this family but just the biggest example.

My question is this. What is my place in this? I love these people, I am new to this family. I am normally the type to tell the truth and to shoot for open communication but when I have tried to bring this issue up with Mom, she becomes agitated and I do not want to harm the good relationship her and I have, but if I don't say something does that make me an enabler too?

My husband is so used to how his family is that his way of dealing with it to just let them be, and then to vent his feelings to me at those times the situation becomes frustrating for him.

These are wonderful people, it would be amazing to see them heal this damaging cycle and live to their potential but it may not be my place to suggest that openly.

What can I do?

Comments for New edition to an enabling/addicted family - What is my place?

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Sep 14, 2010
An idea
by: Anonymous

Ignoring it is not an ansewer. That's the sin of omission or "...I know nothing...." Need to find a way to get help for that family. Some famlies ignor problems until it is too late. They think as long as it's kept quite the mess is under the rug. These kinds of problems take people with trainig. You said they were Mormons. Do they go to church? That may be where to get help. Anonomously ask around to find out what you can on whats available. There may be some way to help. However, be careful, you don't want to be the trouble maker. Instead be a person that can increase options anonomously, they have to want help.

Sep 01, 2010
Detach with love
by: Anonymous

hi there,
it looks as though you have had a rude awakening in relation to your in-laws. I can only reiterate what Anonymous has just said,keep your distance. You can only change yourself and if you set a good example for living a spiritual and happy life with your husband, your in-laws may in time be attracted to this way of living.Statistiacally of course they will probably not be attracted to a healthy way of life and continue with there dysfunctional paterns, but thats not your problem.I believe Detachment with love is the most healthy option. Good luck. Coamhin

Aug 31, 2010
by: Anonymous

These are not wonderful people. These are two parents who have emotionally crippled their children through enmeshment with them-this is called entrapment. They have not allowed their offspring to develop normally. I have been in your situation and I can tell you that the only thing that you can do is to step back and keep your distance or you will fall prey to the very same thing. This family is of the same genre as your family of origin only it is the flip side of the same coin. Many Blessings. Be aware.

Click here to add your own comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Enabling Behavior Discussion Forum.

Book Appointment with Don or Angie Carter

Start a Video Conference with Don or Angie

We try to be available for TeleMed calls as often as possible. We are also very busy working with clients so it is not often that we will be available. If you have trouble catching us online for a Free 20 minute video conference, please make an appointment for your consultation above. If we are available, please enter the waiting room below. We will be notified and join you as soon as possible.

(When indicator is Green=Available, Red=Busy)

Or Visit Us on Facebook!