We all know someone who's self-destructive. We also know of someone else who out of a sick compassion enable their loved one's perpetual self-destructive behavior. The worst thing to do is to aid and abet the behavior...perpetuating it. Often the best thing to do for someone who's exhibiting self-destructive behavior is to stand aside...allow that person to bottom out. But the enabled doesn't wan't that to happen and the self-sacrificing enabler won't allow it to happen. The enabler feeds, protects, sustains and ever ready to bail-out the self-destructive loved one.
It's good to speak out. But truth is something a self-destructive, enabled soul doesn't want to hear. It's too bitter of a pill. An enabler doesn't want to hear it either. They just don't want to rock the boat. Even in silence toward bad behavior, we can enable.
Leaving a loved one in the cold, letting reality soak in is far too brutal for the enabler. The enabler will dodge whatever bullet, pay whatever cost, promote any lie, all in the name of love. What the self-destructive/unhealthy person needs is to be moving toward a constructive/healthy place. This will never happen because the enabler will never expel their loved-one from their unhealthy womb. They don't have the common sense or the nerve to inflict tough love.
Often love has boundaries. Often love must say 'NO'.
I remember reading an item back in 2008 about a woman who stayed on a toilet for two years. Who knows what was in her head, but when her boyfriend finally decided to finally get help, her butt had to be surgically removed from the toilet seat. Her compassionate boyfriend enabled her to remain there all that time by bringing food to her while she was ensconced on her throne. Sure the boyfriend pleaded with her daily, but fed the sickness.
It's a twisted kind of love.
When it comes down to it, something is just as unhealthy with the enabler as the enabled. They both need help.
Disclaimer: David is not a head doctor nor does he play one on TV. He's just witnessed a whole a lot of enabling and co-dependency in life. It's everywhere.