Surviving in an enabling situation; living among it!
by william Gillen
I am the spouse of some 36 years of an otherwise wonderful woman who has had a tortuous marriage (before me) and, I believe, some sort of sexual abuse at the hand of an older relative when an adolescent. She seems to be strongly focused on fixing/controlling her two middle-age children from the first marriage who are living in our house and have done so for far too long. That looks to me a lot like enabling.
When I seek to discuss the issue, I get promptly put in my place; AKA None of your business.
The middle agers don't consistently earn much of a living for themselves although they are not without credible abilities.
I just finished reviewing your document that lists some examples (12) of Enabling Behavior and find that my spouse engages to at least some extent in at least ten of the twelve listed with respect to the now middle aged (45 and 50 year olds respectively).
The situation is quite chaotic in the home and the oldest left in a 'huff' yesterday when I confronted him (somewhat gently) about why he continued to stay at my home when he had one given to him recently without any encumbrances. My spouse has not spoken to me since and I believe I am being punished for 'interfering'.
I would welcome any recommendation/s you may offer.
I am 72 years old and retired on a fixed income. My wife is 66 yers old and receives a modest Social Security Pension. By my calculations, we have sufficient resources for a modest life for ourselves with a small reserve for the incipient 'rainy day'.
We see a LCSW occasionally who is very helpful but the condition at home persists nevertheless.
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