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Enabling and Loving Too Much

My Approach to those who Love

Addicted or Irresponsible People

 

  • Gives you a comprehensive and consistent understanding of your loved one
  • Makes sure you support only your loved one’s healthy choices
  • Teaches you the essential two-step of disengagement and self-care
  • Identifies and corrects dysfunctional rules and habits in your life
  • Helps you find your strength, identity, and purpose from new sources
  • Teaches lessons in whatever language you can best understand them:

 

Biblical wisdom and encouragement

12-step problem-solving tools

lessons from my clinical experience

common sense of what works

informed self-interest (self-talk from your ego)

what research says recovery from addiction requires

what research says a healthy marriage and family requires

 

 

God and I will set you free from

denial of your self-defeating habits,

and from your bondage to them.

 

How Codependents Enable Addicts

With any addiction to chemicals or to a habit, loved ones trying to help addicts need to realize and continually remind themselves of three things:  “I didn’t cause the addiction, I can’t control it, and I can’t cure it either.”  But you can make it easier for addicts to keep their addiction going.  How?  The counterproductive efforts people make to help and reform their addicted loved ones are called enabling behaviors.  Those who do them are calledcodependents, because these behaviors make them just as dependent …Read More

Codependent Enabling: Stages of Decline

People trying to save or help their addicted loved ones are in a similar position to a pastor trying to save his congregation from sin. They often use similar tactics. After a time of this helping, the addict comes to resent the reforming efforts of the loved one, who is after all supposed to be his parent or spouse, not his counselor, sponsor, or pastor. The helping loved one begins …Read More

HOW TO SET HEALTHY BOUNDARIES

  HOW GOOD ARE YOUR PERSONAL BOUNDARIES?   The food, drink and pills you take in through your mouth determine more than anything else how healthy your body is. Likewise the beliefs, expectations and responsibilities you take in through your relationships mostly determine the health of your heart, mind and soul. Your happiness depends even more upon your soul diet than your physical diet, and the key to health is …Read More

Vampires and Zombies: How People Suck the Life Out of Each Other

Have you ever wondered why vampires and zombies have become so popular in American culture?   I believe it is caused by the huge rise of addictions in America, and by so many parents over-protecting and over-indulging their children.  Both of these trends have produced people whose lives resemble vampires and zombies on the inside, because they love in dependent ways. When children see their parents overly involved with each other, or with …Read More

Triangles Can Help or Hurt Communication

Sometimes when we want to talk with someone, we assume they wouldn’t understand, or worse still, wouldn’t listen. Maybe they’d even fire back some criticism at the messenger so they didn’t have to deal with the message. So we send our message through a third party. This is called a ricochet message, or a bank shot, but these terms imply it just happens once. Usually messages keep coming this way, …Read More

Stress: Who Needs It? Somebody Does!

Reader: My pastor says I’m a peacemaker, a good thing. My friends and doctor say I’m a sponge for stress, a bad thing. How could making life easier for others be wrong? Is physical pain a good thing? It doesn’t feel good, but it does good. It draws our attention to the problem that’s causing it, and motivates us to get it fixed. Without pain, we’d all die of infection. Stress works the …Read More

Side-Stepping Second-Hand Stress

We learned last week twelve ways that emotional bullies and master manipulators dump their pressures and problems onto us. Assuming now that you can identify these stress-inducing behaviors that will trigger your bogus pressure alarm, how can you keep people from throwing you under the busload of stress that they carry around? How do you avoid absorbing someone’s second-hand stress? Here are some ways that are polite, and respectful of …Read More

Should your Adult Child Live in or out of your Home?

    ADULT CHILDREN: SHOULD THEY BE IN OR OUT OF THE NEST? PARENT: My son wants to move back home, with his tail between his legs. This is the second time he’s lost his job and his girlfriend under the same circumstance: saying he wants to get away from his friends who are pot-heads, again, and to come home awhile and “figure things out.”   I’m embarrassed to tell …Read More

Second-Hand Stress

As a follow-up for my recent columns on Coping with Difficult People, here is some assertiveness training for dealing with emotional bullies or master manipulators. The key is to see the invisible force they hit you with–stress. When somebody “stresses” you, according to the dictionary, they are subjecting you to pressure or strain. The verb “subject” literally means to throw somebody under something, like the proverbial bus, or in this …Read More

Saying Yes to Saying No

I believe that America here at the turn of the millennium is going to be remembered in history as a nation of gluttons. Whether it is with our calendars, our budgets, our relationships, or our palates, we can’t get enough. Just about every celebrity I can think of is known for being or doing the most something. Who is known for being the most well-rounded? Most of us try to grow our …Read More