An enabler is a person who unknowingly makes it easier for an addict to continue their self-destructive behavior. When an individual assists or allows another person to continue in their addictive behavior, whether actively or passively, you are enabling. Most often an enabler is unaware, and is only acting out what they feel is best at that time. Due to fear or lack of knowledge one may not respond when appropriate, or lack in appropriate response when needed. Saying nothing can also be a form of enabling. This can add increased stress and pain in your relationship.
6 Signs You -- Yes, You -- Are The Enabler In A Toxic Relationship
Are You an Enabler?
Sandra C. Anderson, Ph. Shawn Meghan Burn, Ph. People with a predisposition to be a codependent enabler often find themselves in relationships where their primary role is that of rescuer, supporter, and confidante. These helper types are often dependent on the other person's poor functioning to satisfy their own emotional needs. Codependent relationships are where one person supports or enables another person's addiction, poor mental health, immaturity, irresponsibility, or under-achievement. Among the core characteristics of codependency, the most common theme is an excessive reliance on other people for approval and identity.
Codependency and Codependent Relationships
Enabling comes in many different forms, and it reaches far beyond the confines of substance abuse. The truth is, romantic relationships can be a breeding ground for enabling bad behavior. There are several telltale signs that you are indeed an enabler. The Huffington Post points out a few dead giveaways. Enabling relationships come in many forms.
Enabling is a term often used in the context of a relationship with an addict. It might be a drug addict or alcoholic, a gambler, or a compulsive overeater. Their behavior starts as a well-intentioned desire to help, but in later stages of addiction, they act out of desperation. The family dynamics become skewed, so that the sober partner increasingly over-functions and the addict increasingly under-functions. Yet, codependents feel guilty not helping someone, even when the person caused the situation and is capable of finding a solution.