Alcoholism and drug addiction does not just affect the user. More often than not, those closest to the alcoholic or addict suffer just as much as they do, if not more. As alcoholism/addiction consumers the user’s mind, they often will begin to manipulate their closest loved ones into enabling their problem.
This tragic relationship between the user and the enabler often destroys relationships, and only results in both parties becoming sicker. The love the enabler has for the addict/alcoholic will often blind them to the enabling behavior.
This article addresses some of the key signs of enabling one’s alcoholism or addiction.
Providing increasing financial support without clear reason
The greatest limiting factor of alcoholism and addiction is quite often financial. Tolerance leads to an ever-increasing habit, which in turn requires an increasing supply of money to continue using. The alcoholic or addict will often first turn to loved ones for money, with a seemingly endless supply of different reasons for needing it. Obliging these requests without questioning if the money is truly going to the stated destination is often an early sign of enabling.
Turning a blind eye to addict/alcoholic behavior
The addict/alcoholic will without fail demonstrate clear behavioral changes and signs indicative that they have a serious problem. The enabler, however, will often turn a complete blind eye to these behaviors. Once the behaviors become too obvious to ignore, the enabler will often redirect the blame to outside sources, instead of to the alcoholic/addict’s problem.
Making ultimatums, only to break them
As the addict/alcoholic’s problem becomes increasing destructive to loved ones, the enabler will often make ultimatums. These include such ultimatums as cutting off financial support, kicking them out, etc if the addict/alcoholic does not seek help for their problem. The enabler, however, will not follow through on these ultimatums once the addict/alcoholic does not seek help.
Weighing the addict/alcoholic’s needs over the enabler’s own
The love and sympathy the enabler has for the addict/alcoholic can often times lead them to disregard their own needs, and instead prioritize that of the addict/alcoholic. While the addict/alcoholic is truly sick and in dire need of help, prioritizing their needs over the enablers often does little but further enable the problem, along with continuing to tear apart the family.
Engaging in similar behavior as the addict/alcoholic
The enabler will often begin to resort to similar behavior as the addict/alcoholic in order to protect them, regardless of whether this behavior goes against their nature or not. This includes lying to protect the addict/alcoholic, placing blame for their problems on other people, and living in denial of the severity of the situation.
While enablers are only acting out of love for the addict/alcoholic, they typically are only making the problem worse by allowing it to continue. Once these resources have been stripped away, the addict/alcoholic will be forced to surrender to his or her addiction and seek help. For more information on recovery and anyone seeking help with addiction and substance abuse problems, please call True Recovery at (844) 744-8783 or visit us online.