5 Signs You’re Enabling a Loved One and Their Addiction

Last Updated on November 10, 2022

5 Signs You're Enabling a Loved One and Their Addiction
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An enabler is someone who encourages or otherwise supports negative behavior. Some may do this willingly or unknowingly with good intentions. After all, enabling a loved one can look a lot like empowering them, and it can even start off that way. But empowering someone without giving them the room to build the skills for independence can quickly become a situation of enablement. Let’s discuss some of the ways unyielding support can become a problem of unhealthy enablement.

Ignoring or Tolerating Problematic Behavior

Everyone has an instance of disagreeing with the behavior or life choices of a loved one. But if you constantly turn a blind eye to what your loved one is doing, you enable negative behavior. By tolerating or ignoring negative behavior you are sending a message to your loved one that their behavior is okay. They may not even recognize their behavior as problematic or risky without your input. Sit down with your loved one and have an honest conversation about your concerns. Let them know you care about their safety and that you are worried about their health. 

Supporting Your Loved One Financially

There is nothing wrong with financially supporting a loved one or lending them money when they struggle. But when they are reliant upon you to cover all of their expenses, it becomes a case of enabling. You may also turn a blind eye to them using the money you lend them to fund their substance use. By continuing to fund substance use, you are inadvertently showing your support and enabling this behavior to continue. Explain to your loved one that you know what your money is being used for and that you cannot continue funding destructive behavior.

Avoiding or Denying the Issue

You may find yourself refusing to acknowledge the problem because you don’t want to risk losing a relationship with someone you care for. Some people even rationalize that by being close to someone, they are able to monitor the situation and ensure their safety. While this is noble reasoning, avoiding the problem ultimately perpetuates the problem. 

On the other side of it, you may outright deny there even is a problem. Friends or family may try to express their concerns to you about your shared loved one and be met with resistance. It is perfectly natural to struggle with recognizing and acknowledging that your loved one needs help. But it’s an important step toward getting them the help they need. 

Covering or Making Excuses for Your Loved One

It’s only natural to want to protect the people you care about. You may find yourself making excuses or covering for your loved one’s negative behavior to save them from judgment or consequence. However, if the person you care for never experiences any consequences or negative response, how will they know their behavior is harmful? Allow them to face the negative repercussions that their actions and behavior cause. 

Taking on Responsibilities That Are Not Yours

Your loved one may ask you for favors beyond financial support and make excuses for their behavior. For example, a loved one might ask you to watch their child while they go engage in substance use. Of course, you want to protect and care for the child, but it’s also important to acknowledge that the behavior is not okay. Refuse to enable a loved one and accept responsibilities that are not yours to show the person you care for that their behavior is inappropriate.

Recovery With Nova

At Nova Recovery Center, Houston we provide our patients with a very comfortable detox process, where they will be monitored round the clock by trained professionals. You will be provided with all the medications you need to combat the withdrawal symptoms. You will then be enrolled in the in-patient recovery program where you’ll learn to stay away from drugs, through counseling, group therapy, and so on.

Nova Recovery Center is committed to helping you overcome your addiction so you can get back to what is most important to you. If you or someone you know are struggling with addiction, Nova Recovery Center can provide support. We have locations in Austin, Houston, and Wimberley Texas. Call today to begin your journey in recovery at (888) 428-1501.

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