How to stop enabling

You can stop enabling an addict and let them fact the consequences of their actions. How? 5 tips on how to stop enabling here.

minute read

Enablers are in the middle of the addiction cycle

Addiction and enabling can go hand in hand.  When you’re in a relationship with an addict, it can seem like an impossibility to separate yourself from the problems. Examples of enabling behavior are many.  You may convince yourself that it would be irresponsible to take care of only yourself – that if you’re not right there in the middle to attempt to salvage what’s left of your loved one’s job, reputation, and self-respect, that everything will just crumble around both of you and be destroyed.

It can be difficult to let go and allow the addict to face the consequences of their actions. You don’t want your life to become more stressful. You don’t want your spouse to lose his or her job and leave you broke. You don’t want to admit to family and friends how bad things have gotten. So you do everything in your power to keep the outside world from finding out.

Letting go of control

But when it comes to the other people in our lives, especially the addict, we must learn to let go and stop enabling behavior. We can’t make their choices for them. We can’t control what they do, and the more we try, the more out of control our own lives become.

Learning to stop enabling is a process, but you can learn to distance yourself from the troubles of addiction. It is about letting the addict handle their own problems. This does not mean that you stop caring. You can show compassion for the addict without their problems becoming yours, you can listen with a loving ear without taking on their responsibilities, and you can offer guidance without belittling.

How you can stop enabling: 5 TIPS

Here are five tips on how to stop enabling:

1. Let your loved one face his or her own consequences.

This does not show a lack of love. On the contrary, it may be the most loving thing you can do. By constantly ‘protecting’ your loved one, you may be preventing them from ever realizing their need for help.

2. Every day, do at least one thing just for you.

This must be something for pure enjoyment. This doesn’t include things like cleaning the house, or going grocery shopping — even if you believe those things are enjoyable. Here are some suggestions: taking a long warm bath, doing fifteen minutes of meditation, going for a walk, treating yourself to a manicure or pedicure, or visiting a friend who makes you laugh.

3. Avoid feeling sorry for yourself or taking on the victim role.

When you find yourself throwing a pity party, put an end to it as quickly as possible. In order to stop enabling behavior it helps to embrace your own inner strength. This doesn’t mean you hold back from crying when you feel the need. It’s important to release those emotions. Get it out so that you can move on. But if your sadness doesn’t go away, please seek professional help. Depression is a serious medical condition, and you shouldn’t try to deal with it alone.

4. Break free from isolation.

Rebuild old friendships and take time to form new ones. Getting involved in healthy activities outside of the addictive environment is crucial to your well-being. An aerobics class, a reading group, church activities — the list goes on and on. Look for opportunities to spend time with people who are positive and leave you feeling good about yourself.

5. Ask for help.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to others when you need assistance, guidance, or a shoulder to cry on. You don’t have to face this battle alone. If you don’t know who to turn to, I suggest visiting an Al-Anon group. This is one of the best forms of support for those of us who are dealing with a loved one’s addiction.

Changing from an enabler to a confident example

As you move in this new direction, you will find yourself growing more and more confident. You are putting your focus back where it belongs — on you. You may find that you are not so emotionally attached to the addict anymore. You allow your loved one to make his or her own choices and face their own consequences. It can help to remember that with each mistake the addict makes, they are one step closer to realizing their need for help.

In the meantime, you are starting to make healthy choices for yourself. You are setting a good example for your family. You are focusing on your positive future. You are getting strong — and you deserve to heal from the negative effects of addiction.

Questions about enabling

Do you have questions about enabling? Or maybe you’d like to share your experiences. Please leave your comments below. We do our best to respond to all comments with a personal reply.

About the author
Lisa Espich is the author of the multi award-winning book, Soaring Above Co-Addiction: Helping your loved one get clean, while creating the life of your dreams. For additional articles, resources, and a free preview chapter of Soaring Above Co-Addiction visit her website. Her book is available at bookstores everywhere and at Twin Feather Publishing.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

I have read and agree to the conditions outlined in the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

  1. My husband and I have known each other since 13… left school met up again at 25 and fell head over heels in love, married Xmas 2014… AMAZING!!! He has now spiralled out of control since sep 2017…
    He started drinking while at work, and then started taking cocaine, after his grandad passed away he completely had a breakdown but masked all this with drink and drugs, he left me on 3rd December all over Xmas and new year, wracked up 1000s of pounds of debt, I chased him thinking I could save him , after 2 and a bit months he started to stay and we worked things out, he seeked councilling and was put on meds, he blows hot and cold making me feel as tho I’m doing things wrong but leaving me time and time again, this causes me to feel fear, panic who is he with? What is he doing? I’m like a mad women trying to hold down a job and pay the bills as he cancelled everything!!! Yes he has been spiteful and very out of character, he has been diagnosed with Mental health issues and just cannot deal with everyday life, I washed him hold a knife to his chest and punchure his skin, sent me pics of him on a bridge, this is why I felt the need to support him, he was in a very bad place, we moved forward and the meds help massively… but things r just not tight when he walks I chase constantly phone him, in a state of panic thinking I can help him..
    But I found a little strength as much as this kills me inside, I was at work and a parcel had arrived something I ordered over a month ago when we said we was drawing a line, these were cocaine tests which he had agreed in the early months but he opened them ruined them all and msged me at work saying he was going to mummys house, this again made me feel awful again, the feeling of wanting to end the pain…. I knew something more was going on so I checked the house for coke and found it on the bedroom bedside cabinet, I was angry frustrated, disappointed as i done a stupid thing and took out a loan to pay of his around about 10,000 pound debt, lucking i have 14 days cooling if so i will be ok but massive eye opener…I was raging so I went looking for him, found him in the pub high as a kite and said
    You have lossed everything, your a lier and I had found cocaine in our house, he denied the whole lot, I said one as going for a divorce and he is on his own, he tried to call me back but I said I have no more to say.
    We haven’t spoke since… it’s been 2 days!!! He has admitted to his mum he took coke but denies a problem…
    He is full of S**t….
    Have I done the right thing ??

  2. I do not believe that what you are doing is enabling. From what you write, it sounds like your husband is attempting to get clean, but there are some important questions that need to be asked. Is your husband getting any help other than Methadone, such as attending daily NA or AA meetings, therapy, out-patient treatment? Are you attending Al Anon meetings? I am the author of this article and I believe that my book “Soaring Above Co-Addiction” would be beneficial for you. I share how I overcame the struggles of loving a person with addiction, and, in the process, how the changes I made helped my husband accept the help he needed. It sounds like your husband wants to be clean, but you definitely have some hurdles to overcome — such as the fact that he lost his job which could affect his overall self esteem which could lead to relapse if he isn’t also focused on his emotional health (and that goes for you as well). My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!

  3. I am writing because after 3 years clean my husband relapsed and has been on an off for 5 months. He was suspended from work and has been home for 2 weeks. In these two weeks he has been going to a methadone clinic. He has been home no signs of using. I don’t give him any money at all but I do buy him his cigarrettes and currently paying for his dosage of methadone. (Is that enabeling). He has been helping a lot around the house making sure I don’t have much to do when do get home. He is sweet and nice. He also is looking good. Looking healthy but I still have my worries, should I not be helping him financially since he is out of work.

  4. What is the difference between helping and enabling. How do I know when to step in and when to let it go. I feel I may be an enabler and I want to change but not sure how to recognize the difference. I am a mother of an alcoholic and my child says he wants to get help, so this child is admitting to it and is seeking help. How do I respond? I am trying to keep a level headed approach and although I am upset I am trying to keep my emotions in check and cry elsewhere.

    1. Hi Patty Enabling behavior describes someone who becomes the “caretaker” of an addicted or troubled person, while helping an addict is when you help him/her to end the addiction. So, if your child asks for help, it seems to me that he/she is ready to deal with their addiction. I suggest that you call a toll-free Alcohol Helpline on 1-888-675-1820 to find a high-quality alcohol addiction treatment program for your child. This helpline is accessible 24/7 and gives you the chance to speak with trusted treatment consultants.

  5. I left my kids father for 7yrs for his addictions I decided to give our family a second chance but he doesn’t seem to understand or care that he is losing his family all over again cause he don’t get consistant help. He can’t hold a job and if he asks me for money and i continuously say now he has a tantrum like a 2yr old and the worst part is he is a pathological liar and he leaves and doesn’t come home for 3 to 4 days and acts like we don’t exist don’t answer no calls or texts. I love him more than anything in this world and I’m trying to give our children something we didn’t have a mom and a dad and he just don’t seem to get it. I don’t know what to do I’m tired of crying for someone who shows no remorse for me and I’m having a hard time letting go all I do is cry all the time and therapy isn’t helping or meds.

  6. Is it possible that just by living with an addict you enable them? Even though I am doing all of the above things, sometimes I feel that just by being here I am ‘enabling’ him to keep drinking.

  7. I just kicked my addict out yesterday. This is not the first time but he has always been able to talk me back into letting him in because we have young kids on the guise that he will go get treatment. A few weeks ago he started looking into intensive outpatient but it went to the wayside like always. This time he is not allowed back in the house until he starts treatment. He’s realizing I’m serious and he’s getting angry. According to him he’s better off alone because I’m not supportive or understanding. I’m finally at a point where I don’t care. I want my girls to grow up knowing that binge drinking is still alcoholism and it doesn’t matter that a guy can be great for a few weeks and then it’s ok to find him passed out on the living room floor at 4 in the afternoon. This is not the future I want for them. I used to crave the understanding from him that he expected from me I think that’s what kept me engaged, the wonderment of how someone who was once so great could ever show such blatent disregard. I think that was the hardest to let go, the fact that there is no why and I may never learn it even if there is. Ultimately I would love for things to go back to what they were when he was sober (he was when I met him for weightlifting) but I think he’s too proud to ever admit that me kicking him out was good for him.

  8. I am the parent of a adult alcoholic. I live with my daughter who is the alcoholic and her husband and my granddaughter. I only live in this mess because of my love for my granddaughter. I have been going to Al Anon meetings. I have stopped enabling. My question is that once she knows I wont go get her a drink she will go. Is taking the keys a good idea?

  9. When my addict ex husband mentally and physically abused me I call the cops on him now.i never followed thru with calling cops but,now I this a boundary that I am keeping?

  10. Im so sad
    My husband is pawning things from work and special gifts that I have given him over time to buy alcohol and drugs
    I dont know what to do

  11. I buy my wife alcohol on a very regular basis, because sometimes it’s easier to deal with her drunk, than to deal with all Her anger from not getting her booze. I feel like a human piece of garbage every time I do this. I know that I’m making the problem worse, but I hate it when she’s mad at me or gives me the silent treatment. I don’t know what to do. I feel like if I reach out for help I’ll just get blamed for enabling her.


  12. How do you deal with the addict when he tells you ” put some money in my account they are my money I work for it “

  13. I want to force my husband of 12 years to move out and live his own life. He hasn’t worked in years and his drinking is out of control. I don’t know how to force him to leave. He can’t pay the bills without an income…but he won’t leave. I am beyond my wits end.

  14. I can’t identify any consequences for my partner when he uses drugs, other than him seeing how upset it makes me. If I’m trying not to be codependent, and not to let myself get dragged down when he uses then won’t this take away the only consequence of his actions? His family and friends are aware of his addiction, but when he relapses they don’t do anything other than listen and talk to him.

  15. How MANY TIMES CAN WE FORGIVE THE SAME PERSON? I grew up in an alcoholic home with a physically abusive alcoholic father and non alcoholic verbally abusive mother, neither one getting help. She divorced him after kids grown. The last thing I wanted was the same for my half dozen kids, but that is exactly what I got. He did get physical, but that was very rare compared to my dad. Besides drinking, My husband gaslighted me. He stole medicine prescribed by doctors from me and my kids. For years my kids blamed me for everything. Although I was never an enabler, all the counselors tell me I was or am. This is completely wrong. I never covered for him. I let his family and mine and friends know he had a problem day one and on ward, no one believed me because he is a functional abuser. For years he told everyone I was the problem l, demanding, bipolar, a lie, a hag, a witch, etc. My children still don’t talk to me really and prefer their dad over me. They are the enablers. I didn’t buy his substance, lie for him, or make things easy for him. I tried to get him help hundreds of time. After years of self therapy, paid therapy and marriage therapy by myself and alanon I finally left after 30 plus yrs of marriage. I did try to kill myself because he told me to 15 yrs ago and I didn’t want that to happen again. He told me to leave because I made him drink. After I left his drinking got worse if that was even possible. Then he blamed the drinking on my action to leave as did my kids. This upper echelon employee was finally arrested. Then he went to jail. FINALLY HIS parents and SIBLINGS BELIEVED ME, they were the enablers from his teenage years. I admit, I was an enabler before I realized it was a life problem. HIS JOB KNEW. SOME OF HIS KIDS REALIZED IT WAS A PROBLEM, BUT BLAMED ME AGAIN, BECAUSE I LEFT HIM. All my kids are grown. Most of the drinking kids don’t think they are affected. Thrown out of military for drug abuse, depression, weight issues, risky choices DESPITE me taking actions to help them out trying to set a good example by myself. If I bring up alanon, im just a bitch living in the past. Husband went to rehab for a month, mostly because he thought it would help his legal issues. He didn’t want to go until we used that reasoning as a last resort. Alot happened, but I finally moved back a few days ago. I was hesistant tho, and feel like I am giving everything of myself. He really hasn’t made amends, lacks understanding of things he has done, thinks he is too good for AA so the 90 meetings in 90 days turned into 3 meetings after rehab and then the same old, “I can do it myself” which he can’t. After my second day moved in, I discovered 30 plus pills of my medicine missing and for the second time in 3 years, he denied it, came up with ridiculous reasons for it missing, l let me think it was my kids. I told him LYING to me AGAIN IS WORSE THAN THE RELAPSE. He continued to lie for 10 hours. I knew from start it was all lies. I told him I wanted a drugstore urine drug test pronto. For fear of test results He finally admitted it was him. It wasn’t one time where he took a handful. It was 15 plus times he conscious choice to steal and use. I stopped using my prescribed medicine last year before I left for 45 days as a way to make it unavailable to him. I got very ill and my doctor represcribed my meds in a reduced amount at my request against his advice. I could stand and sit and work, cook, clean, etc with less pain. I was on the minimum to function, and he still took it. It didn’t matter to him. It has always been in a locksafe since I discovered it was an issue years ago. I was mistaken thinking it was only alcohol. He was taking it for years. I was always short. One time I told the doctor I thought maybe I was losing my mind, he quit seeing me as a patient and this put my health in jeopardy. I wound up in hospital . None of this seemed to bother my husband at the time and he now remembers it differently mostly so he can live with himself I guess. . No remorse, he did it all over again. I left so I could live healthy. I moved back because I beleived him after rehab plus two months. He told me he needed me to help him stay clean and have something to live for. I knew this was wrong. I told him it was about his well being first, not mine. I was happy living alone. No daily stress, etc. But i was still walking on eggshells. After I caught him again yesterday, he begged me to stay AGAIN. HE MAKES almost a 6 digit salary, and yet, I have no car in a rural location, now I have no job, he refuses to see he can’t afford his huge house which is an Old money pit and one of his triggers he refuses to acknowledge. He has so much debt as a result of the substance abuse, he disregards it. His quality of life sucks for his salary. The AA mantra about changing people, places, things had been lost on him after rehab. He went to AA yesterday after he asked what it would take for me too stay (I do have a room at a friends I could stay at). At this point I am raw. I forgave him SO MANY TIMES IN 30 years. I don’t know I have it in me. I know relapse is part of recovery. But lying is worse for me. I HAVE SUCH A HARD TIME TRUSTING ANYONE from birth. It is truly devistating for me. Ive lived 3/4 if my life. Im sure I will die never knowing what trust in someone feels like. Trust is part of love, so that too I will never ever really know. And it will probably be the same for my kids since they don’t think they need alanon or therapy. They say forgive but dont forget. Yet, because I forgave I am in that same boat again. I don’t forget, but if I am hesistant to do something based on the past, I am accused of not forgiving. For many people not enlightened, and even some so called AA “therapists” (I use that term lightly) there is no distinction. I Was selfish really, I moved back because I thought maybe my kids would start talking to me and understand that his problem is not about me. I thought maybe he would ask the kids to join him at AA. He never got a sponser and doesnt want to be one either. I spent 35 years raising half a dozen kids kids, active in everything they did, supported them emotionally for the both of us till I was drained. Im tired, worn out. I don’t drink, I don’t abuse my medicine, I have no vices to run too. I hate the drama, I hate not having a calm predictible life. I hate that I still am trying to do right by my children so hopefully they can lead a, life with trust and love. I am not controlling them. I am just here on the sidelines hoping for a breakthrough. I might a well wish for the lottery. Those odds might be better.

  16. My adult son has moved back in with us because of alcohol and depression problems. I have done everything I know to do to help. He has lost his fiance, his home, his job and barely does anything anymore. He has been violent at times and threatens suicide. I buy him alcohol because he has had seizures twice from stopping cold turkey and refuses to check into the hospital or any rehab center. Even his therapist tells me to not stop buying him alcohol cold turkey, but he refuses to ween himself and we can no longer get benzos to help him get off it. So I am caught in this cycle of doing everything for him for fear of him committing suicide if I don’t or just leaving the house and disappearing or getting violent and wrecking everything in the house. I don’t know what to do. I spend countless hours working on this and worrying over him and trying to keep him upbeat and moving forward. I’m desperate. I have sought help everywhere I know to seek it. I was laid off from my job in a mass layoff right after he moved in, so we have money problems as well and it has been difficult for me to find new work. Everywhere that might help costs big money that we don’t have and is not covered by his insurance. I have called and spoken with all sorts of counselors, etc., and nothing ever works because he can just check himself out. What do I do? Try to get himself to ween again and keep the cops on speed dial?

    1. Hello Russ. I am really sorry about your son. You should stay strong on your feet, and try best to help your son. There are many programs that do not require a lot of money for treatment. Call our trusted treatment hotline,so our consultants can help you make the best decision for you and your loved ones. Moreover, here’s some articles which I believe that you may find helpful: and

  17. my dad is a vet i have taken care of him alot through out my 28 years here on earth but my family is suffering from his actions of his addiction and i don’t know what to do. i don’t want to help him any more but he is older and i cant let him live on the street. i don’t give him money any more i don’t buy him drinks ever and i refuse to give him anything he dosnt need but like an addict he finds a way to get it anyway im not sure if i am enabling him or trying to keep him safe but it s exaughsting and i dont know how to handel it from here.

  18. My daughter is a 43 year old methadone Xanax and alcohol abuser.I have spent years at alanon tough love Rehab etc.I am 68 years old now and very tired.My problem is she has A 5 yr old and a 9 year old.and I feel if I was not in their life they would have no stability.she uses them to punish and withhold and control me.Am I still enabling my daughter by picking up the pieces with my grandchildren?

  19. i am married to a man Whois an addict and suffers from bipolar disorder and manic depression . He has been off of meds for a few months and finally has gone back to therapy that I found close by. Therapist says I shouldn’t push an issue until he is back on meds but all things cannot be his way . We constantly disagree about his son Who has his belongings here at our house but doesn’t stay here. Every now and then he comes to take a bath and change clothes.i have a problem because he does nothing to contribute . He always plays the pity party and it doesn’t help the situation. I noticed recently that aha it he had about licking his mouth was done when he was craving and in the last day or two it stopped . He admitted he was feeling depressed n I said I’ll listen we could talk but when he got home it was like a switch had been flipped and all he could do was talk n then today he was very irritable and etc… This am,Ed me believe he has used recently for the severe mood change when I thought he was back on track

    1. Hello Dee. Yes, an intoxicated person operating a vehicle is a great danger to himself and to others. I’d suggest you try to prevent him from doing things that can hurt him or others.

  20. What if they dont take no for an answer, harass me at work, jeopardizing my job and my capability to do my job.

  21. What to do when my husband keeps relapsing, but denying it, saying he is sober, n have no desire to use heroin!??but I know 100% he is high, Also, told him we cannot live under same roof with our little kids, not safe! He said, yea I’ll leave, but all talk, I am going out of my mind, as soon as he walks in door high, i see red, n gets soooo mad, n go out of my kind, i cannot do this, my kids n i deserve better, n he thinks n believes he is fine, he has been in and out of 7 different rehabs for the past 6 yrs, he had 12 months of being clean in 2009, that’s it, all other times he goes, maybe at most 2 to 3 months, n it eats me up inside, he is even on suboxone, n still using, i hate drugs n him on them, i cant deal with his using n lies, n no trust, need help!!

  22. I’ve read that part of enabling is buying them alcohol or preventing them from buying it. My question is, what is a person to do if they are completely dependent on the alcoholic’s income? We live in a tiny Utah town. The population is 4000 and there are only 5 businesses here. No one is hiring and so I cannot just “go out and get a job” to provide for myself. My husband is in construction and is making good money, except that any “extra” goes to beer, and he feels he “deserves” it because he works his fingers to the bone. He has had 5 DUIs in the past and doesn’t have a drivers license; he is eligible to get it but can’t afford the costs involved at this time: SR22 insurance, reinstatement, a breathalizer etc… Actually, he “could” afford it if he was willing to sacrifice his beer money. Anyway, how can I “let him experience his consequences” if those “consequences” will cause me to go without even food, if I let him just do as he pleases? I “have” to drive him 3 miles away from home to the nearest, only place to buy beer or else he will drive himself or buy someone a 12 pack to take him (more costs). And it’s not like I “give” him money because he’s the only one “making” money, but if I don’t try to plead with him, or let him know how much he is spending, I will go down the toilet with him!!! Oh and the nearest Alanon meeting is like 300 miles away, so that’s not possible either. How do I just “accept” his drinking, when I will literally starve if I just “let it go”???? SIGH!!!! So frustrating!!!

  23. Hi, I am codependent for about 20yrs. I answer yes to all 7 questions. I really don’t know where to begin. I have isolated myself from so many people because I don’t know who I can trust and truly be honest about what am experiencing. I have been in denial, and faking my whole way through this ugly situation.. I’m willing and ready to start taking my life back..

  24. I live with what I believe is an alcoholic husband. He does not agree. He’s been thru detox & multiple rehabs when we were younger. He was 10 years sober and that was that. He’s picked up speed over the years. It has turned me off, caused many of fights. 23 years of marriage & things are worse than ever. Friday I freaked out, went looking for him & when I coukdnt , called & freaked out. Lost it completely.. You see I didn’t believe him.. Nor do I trust him so out that came. Absolutely got ugly. Now he’s went away for 2 days & I’m sitting here reading about addiction, codependency.. I’ve gone to alanon which is great but I can’t seem to out me first. I just loop back around to my love for him. I believe I’m suffocating him by the way he speaks but yet we do nothing together.. I feel he always wants to be elsewhere. He’s been unfaithful but screams I’m not cheating. Phone & texts say differently. Can I pull out if this??? I’m lost and confused. Thanks

  25. Should I allow my alcoholic son to keep beer in my refrigerator even if I don’t approve of his drinking.
    How do I help him stop drinking. Am I enabling him?
    We’re do we go for help with this problem
    Thanks and God Bless You

  26. I have respect when you made that step and left your addict. And of course you miss your husband, but he will be back as sooner as you think. He need to prove it that he is willed to stop, proof it, ghe need seek help, take actions not only words, that we again give in to it. Be strong

    Hiding Key and goods from the addict, can make things worse. They only get more aggressive and you need to protect yourself. pray to god and ask to keep him safe and give you strength to what is the right thing.

  27. Im missing my addict husband right now and i know he’s never going to change if i don’t stand up for myself but we have a two year old daughter and i have raised my older children by myself this was supposed to be my happy family it’s killing me to think I’ll have to do this again at 40 and alone. How selfish can a person be to do this to their wife and daughter. I made him leave a week ago today and im doing my best to stay strong. I want him to see what he has and get better but i feel like he will just find someone like him and forget me and our daughter. Either way i have to be strong for her but it’s killing me.

  28. Reading your article has REALLY opened my eyes today!!! but please tell me – to stop being an enabler: do I leave my husband to drive the car under the influence of alcohol and let him face the consequences?? (I hide the car keys) this is a difficult decision because it means other people are being put at risk and I am determined to stop trying to control what he does!

  29. Hi I need Help, I don’t know how anymore to deal with my Addict. I am with him now since 8 years. He never have been off that staff more than 9 month. He was 6 months in a rehab center but went straight back on it when he came out. Sometimes he disappeard for Days sometimes a week or two comes back totally wreckd, smelly, unshaved, unshowerd, with the same clothe he had before he left. He soled goods like his guitar, TV, DVD, phones, mobile phones, Laptop, a car from a freand, his own car last year, furnitures, and so on. There is a whole List of that.

    I love him to bits, I care for him a lot, and I am worried to dead when I know he has this urges. I know either he will not come home from work till morning hors, I know he will sell his phone again, I know he will mess up with his work again. All this repeats and repeats and repeats the same thing over and over again.

    When he is sober, he is a very loving caring person who cares for other people and his kids.

    But at the end, I am just enabling him, to live his habit and live in denial. I allways back him up at his familys I lie for him. I live in denial. If I tell his family or freands or work, what is realy the matter with him, than he gets so angry that he scares me. He gets realy aggressive. His family knows that he has drug problems, if they ask him are you back on drugs? He is in denial. He don’t want to go to a support group, he is not willd to speak to his family about it.

    He allways has excuses, about work went not well, that’s why he fall back, or cause we arguing, that’s what make him fall back, he allways has excuses not to deal with his real problem. He thinks he don’t need it, he is not like them junkies.

    He gave me his credit cards to take care of. But when he goes through this stages, he is terrorising me to get his money and his cards back, that he spend everything till nothing. And the circle starts again. Get Sober, stay away from it for a while, get his life back in order, get work doin well at work, getting confident back, getting attidues and issues, and suddenly all repeats again and again over and over.

    When do I stop, with that Devils circle? When do I show him and realy act my boarderlines? What can I do, to realy make him realize, that big problem is he himself his addiction and he need to do something about it. How far more will I enable him to live his addiction and using me, for his evil motives?

    I need help

    Thank you

  30. i was in a relationship for 5years with a crack addict and i was her enabler. i had all the symptoms of an enabler. when she decided to be clean she left me. i dont understand why. she cannot even talk to me on the phone. she completely erased m from her life. what happned to our relationship. why cant she talk to me or see me anymore i was her partner for 5years. i dont knowb what to do.

  31. Hello Lori. I’d suggest that you get in touch with a local social worker who can help you sort out the situation, legally and in terms of logistics. Your brother will probably benefit from living in a halfway house where he will need to grow up a little bit and start taking responsibility. You are a responsible, caring adult but do not need to continue supporting a family member who is not doing his part. Or, consider writing a drug free contract with him, establishing terms and consequences for use.

    But the daughter at home w/ friends situation does sound a little creepy.

    Does this help?

  32. For the past 20-years my brother has been in and out of rehab and I have always been there to pick up the pieces. I priase him for going into rehab, and always try to focus on the positives.

    However, I had reached the end of my rope the last time and got a restrainng order against him because he refused to leave my house. He told me go ahead and call the police, they won’t throw me out and they didn’t.

    He went through 9- month rehab program (Phoenix House-Santa Ana), we had therapy sessions together, sometimes his daughter attended. During therapy the therapist asked what are you going to do when you leave here and he said I don’t know, I don’t have a job and have no where to go. I caved and said you can come to my house if you don’t drink and get a full time job until you get on your feet.

    He got a job right away working 20-30 hours a week and slowly, but sure started drinking. He has fallen twice that I know of for sure using. He won’t look for another job because he says this is a start up company and he maybe able to grow with the company. He is 55 years old. I feel he doesn’t have the luxury to to live in my house, not pay rent and work part time URGHH!

    We had a fallen out yesterday, it stemmed from his drinking, I told him I wanted him out of my house and he again said do what you have to do call the police if you want. I feel I am right back in the same situation I was in a year ago. He did leave and didn’t come home all night, so I am pretty sure he is up to no good.

    My daughter is home from college, she won’t invite anyone over because she is embarrassed that my brother is there and uncomfortable to have her friends over to swim or just hang out because my brother is home a lot of the time and it’s creepy for her.

    I am again at my wits end. I feel I am trapped in in my own house.

  33. Hi Rachel. What a wonderful testament to the power of “owning your own stuff”. Relationships are complex and evolving. I wish you the very best, and hope that learning more about yourself can continue you towards the goal of a beautiful and peaceful life together.

  34. Hi,
    It has been a long time since I wrote my last post, and decided to publish an update.
    So my husband came back home a few months after he was thrown out. It was a joint decision.
    We have had our ups and downs and I have finally learned how to stop enabling and controlling him. It took me a long time to come to terms with everything and to realize that I cannot control his drinking, getting a job, etc. I have to say that “Letting go and letting G-d” finally put everyone on the right track. He is still going to psychotherapy and is really trying. He has had falls since then, but I know that he is finally on the right track. So many people told me to leave him alone and I just couldn’t let go. But now that i have, things are finally starting to look up. I was always pushing him to work, thinking that will make him stop drinking but boy was I wrong. I now know that mentally he is ready to get his life back into gear and that job will show up, even if it takes another few months. We all needed some type of healing and I have been going to therapy for myself as well. It’s amazing how I forgot about myself through his sickness. I am hopeful now and can finallly see the light at the end of the tunnel.

  35. Hi Rachel. What a wonderful proactive (albeit difficult) step for you to ask you husband to leave the house. It is a very healthy example of what experts call “tough love” and one that is easier said than done. Bravo to you for helping yourself and your husband re-learn boundaries.

    “Can I say that he needs to have a job or some type of daily routine as one of my conditions for him to come back home? ”

    ABSOLUTELY. Halfway houses require the same, as well as attendance in psychotherapy counseling, 12 step programs, or other programs which advocate for sobriety such as Rational Recovery or SMART Recovery. So I personally think that such a condition is absolutely realistic.

    “How do I know when is enough time to say he is on the right path?”

    I personally think that a good gauge of serious recovery is about 6 months of sobriety. But the first year or two of being sober can be VERY rocky, as the underlying emotional and psychological problems surface.

    Have you sought help from a psychotherapist or from Al-Anon? Either or both may help you.

  36. Due to a tragedy in the family, my alcoholic husband has been out of a job for over a year and a half. Unfortuantely, he cannot find a job.
    I kicked him out of our house 2 weeks ago cause i said enough is enough. He needed the wake up call, and I guess I did too.
    Since then, he has started psycotherapy. He was in AA for 6 months but still had falls so he went for another treatment. He hasn’t had a drink in 2 weeks. He was given a pill to stop the cravings as well.

    How do I know when is enough time to say he is on the right path?
    Can I say that he needs to have a job or some type of daily routine as one of my conditions for him to come back home? I was told that empty time for an alcoholic can be a disaster.

    Thanks in advance.

  37. There is no easy answer to your question Charlene. Whenever children are used as weapons, the ones who get hurt the most are the children. Every situation is different, so my best advise to you is to reach out for help through groups such as Al-Anon. You will learn how to handle specific situations in order to keep you and your child as safe and healthy as possible. My thoughts and prayers are with you!

  38. how do u remove a ddict from r home ?he has a child living with u and he using child as a weapon to keep control

I am ready to call
i Who Answers?