Detaching From Financially Enabling Others

Thought for today:

It’s tempting at times to take on the responsibilities of others in our lives, but it can cause stress in our lives in the process.

If we live with someone who doesn’t help at home it can become a financial burden. If they spend compulsively, it can counteract all our good efforts at living within a Spending Plan.

A member shares:

“My adult child moved back home suddenly this month.  One day they just appeared on my couch, and they’ve been there for a while now.

“In the old days I would get angry and nag my child.  This would cause a huge fight, and nobody would win.  I would feel manipulated.  My child would feel justified because I was so mean.

“Now I am about to ask them a simple question to start an important conversation: ‘Do you have an idea what you will be doing?’  I’m going to ask that question when I have time for a long talk to follow.  I’m going to plan it over lunch outside of our home on neutral public territory.

“It’s easier to keep the peace at times, but it can also be a type of enabling, so I will pick the time when it is right for me to have this uncomfortable conversation.  I will also be in fit spiritual condition – rested, calm, and hopeful.

“This is the way I work my program:  I learn to mind my business and take care of myself.  Sometimes I have to speak up in a loving but firm way.  It’s the best example of self-love I could give to my child.”

When is it financial enabling?

When we do something for someone else that they could, and should be doing themselves, we are enabling.  When we pay their bills for them, protect them by making excuses to creditors, we enable.  When we avoid any conversation because we are afraid of the argument that will ensue, we are enabling.

It isn’t kind to enable someone when we shouldn’t.  People lose dignity and self-esteem when we do for them what they could and should do for themselves.  But what can we do?

We can check our motives.  We can take a moral inventory.  This will usually help us to discover any self-centered fear driving us to enable and control (and yes, enabling is a subtle form of control).

If we look at our motives and believe they are good, we can seek detachment – letting go of the emotional charge in the situation.  We can have the ‘courage to change the things we can.’  We can begin to act in our own best interests.

We don’t exact vengeance when we detach.  We aren’t vindictive or hateful.  We don’t reject our loved one, just their undesirable behavior.  We seek the loving thing to do.

There are healthy ways to allow our loved ones to feel the results of their actions, instead of protecting them.  As we seek to learn our own truth (by maintaining our Spending Plan, working on our Action plan, and practicing the Third and Eleventh Step), the household improves.


Am I enabling someone to not take care of themselves the way they should?

Meditation for today:

We can live life to the fullest and seek happiness.  We can become our best selves.

When challenges threaten our serenity or sanity, we need to invite  our Higher Power into every relationship.  We will then find that circumstances don’t control us.  We will find opportunity where words were once not possible.

Affirmation for today:

“Today I allow myself to live my life to the fullest, and let others live their lives as well.”

Recommended Reading:

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