quit loving them to death: a re-blog by Neil Schori

Neil Schori has written a great article about enabling those that we love.   We are literally loving them to death, as we make excuses for dysfunctional and very hurtful behaviors.   I know that Neil would love for you to pass this on:

QUIT loving them to death!

I’ve counseled people for over 10 years for just about every kind of problem under the sun. I’ve helped people with broken marriages, eating disorders, cutting, and just about every kind of addiction there is today. There is one problem that makes me more upset than just about any other. And it isn’t even the issue that is presented to me to “fix.” It is the issue BEHIND the issue. It is enabling.

Enabling can be done in a marriage when the unfaithful spouse has excuses made for him by the very wife that he betrayed. Usually it sounds like this: “Bob wants to be faithful to me. He just has an unusually high sex drive. And his dad was the same way. I’m pretty sure it’s genetic. Men aren’t good at being monogamous, anyway.”

Enabling can also be done in a relationship that has been broken by domestic violence. It may sound like this: “Adam is a good man. He only hits me when his boss stresses him out at work. He’s been doing much better recently. He brought me flowers yesterday. He really loves me!”

QUIT loving them to death!

Enabling is often done in the context of substance abuse, too. Many times, the addict’s loved ones are afraid that the addict will never talk with them again if they refuse to buy them alcohol at the store. They are afraid that the addict will become abusive to them if they tell them it is time to get help. They feel bad when they refuse to give the addict money when they are asked because just maybe…this time…they really will use it to buy formula and diapers for the baby.

While all of those scenarios are hypothetical, there’s a good chance that you see your own family in that mix. If you are playing the role of enabler…please pay attention now! You are digging their grave today. You must quit loving them to death.

I know it feels like you’re doing the right thing…but you’re not. What you are doing only feels right, now. Soon, you will be filled with regret and will be asking all of the “what ifs.” There is nothing loving and kind…nothing right and good…about not confronting the wrong behaviors of the ones we love.

Imagine for a moment what you would do if you saw your 3 year old walking over to the stove top that you had just turned on. Would you get in her way? But what if she cried loudly and told you that she “really wanted to play with the stove!!”? Would you allow her to walk by you and melt her skin to the burner? Of course not. Because there would be nothing loving about your choice to let her do what she wanted to do.

If you are struggling with any of these issues today, I want to encourage you to stop enabling behaviors in your loved ones that are leading them straight to their early deaths. Choose to get them help, today. Get help for yourself, while you’re at it! And don’t waiver. Prepare yourself to hear about how bad you are being to them and that if you really loved them that you never would do this to them. Calmly respond like this: “I love you enough to tell you the truth, and I’m ok with you hating me for the rest of your life because of it.”

Then take a deep breath and walk away while you have a good cry. After you’ve released your tears, you will soon begin to sense a deep satisfaction that you truly did the right thing…no matter the personal cost.

Pastor Neil Schori  http://neilschori.com/2012/07/24/quit-loving-them-to-death/


7 thoughts on “quit loving them to death: a re-blog by Neil Schori

  1. Thanks MUCH Morven. This is really a great article and much needed. I know exactly how the author feels. What frustration to see the enabler in action year after year after year, re-producing the very same behaviors in the ones they say they are loving.

    • You are welcome. Neil has some great stuff on his website. He’s a young man, but wise beyond his years. M

  2. I appreciate this article, but I disagree with the notion that this is the issue BEHIND the issue. This is the issue CAUSED by the issue, a symptom of the abuse. Abuse always attacks the mind. The mind of the abused is captive to the abuser, and trained to voluntarily agree with, and do the will of the abuser. Think of Hitler and his charges. Unless you were prepared to die like Bonhoeffer was, it was much easier to think and believe that maybe Hitler was right. Not only did his nation enabled him, the Western world enabled him with the belief that if they pursued peace, they would avert a war (“peace in our times” argued the British Prime Minister).

    Am I arguing that enabling should have occurred and that Hitler could not have been stopped? Not at all. I am saying that the majority enabled him because the majority came under his abusive influence. In the end, it took a lot to stop him and lives were lost. Women in abusive homes are not always prepared to lose what they instinctively know they will and must if they were to categorically stop the abuse. I know someone who has lost her children from putting a boundary and saying “No more”. I know of others who have decided not to put down boundaries because they would put their own lives and the lives of their children in further danger if they did.

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