Who Answers?




The only advice I wanted to hear from my therapist and other people who surrounded us was, “I can fix my husband’s addiction.” I wanted others to support my belief that living peacefully with an addict is still possible. I wanted someone to tell me that I am what he needs to change.

When it comes to addiction, there is the question of whether drug addiction is a choice or not. It is also enabling a negative connotation. Enabling refers to the dysfunctional way of helping others. An article titled the “8 Signs You Are A Co-addict” discussed the different types of enabling as well as the consequences of each.

So, how can you stop the “enabling” acts and move on towards a healthier you and a healthier relationship?

The people around us started suggesting that I may have issues and that leaving my husband is a better solution. How mortifying! I could not stand the thought of living without him, so I disregarded all those well-meaning suggestions and continued to hope that someday, something would change him.

Twelve years passed and still, nothing happened.

I would like to point out that my husband did not force me to enable him; I just took it upon myself to help him because I loved him and I felt bad for him. Little did I know that I was making his addiction and life easier so he could feel more justified to abuse drugs even more. I was enabling him and hurting myself in the process. I didn’t know that my enabling acts were stopping him from ceasing drug use completely.

I knew then what most enablers know now; marriage, having children, and other responsibilities are not enough reasons for addicts to get sober. We just cannot help, but only hope that our addicted loved one would one day realize what they are doing and what they have become.

Here are some of the things you may do to help you and your loved one overcome addiction together:

  • Make the commitment to change.
  • Commit to stopping your part of enabling 100% at all times.
  • Stop negative behaviors and patterns; replace them with positive ones.
  • Get support from someone you can trust and who overcame the same experience.
  • Don’t enable your loved one.
  • Empower yourself.

The enabler is under the illusion that they are in control and are able to help their partner.

It is only when you let it go that you can stop trying to fix them. Stop controlling them. Once and for all, reclaim that energy and use it in fixing yourself.

Ask yourself:

  • Why am I allowing this person’s addiction to take control of my life?
  • Why don’t I always feel good enough about myself?
  • Why do I always feel I should be treated better?
  • What am I so afraid of that I can’t leave?
  • Why do I have fears of being alone and being abandoned?

Whether it is a choice or drug addiction is hereditary, it has to power to claim the addicted person’s better half, children, parents, and friends. Enabling, on the other hand, is a choice. Stop it.


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