There is a fine line between helping and enabling, especially when it comes to your spouse. When you have a spouse, life a partner or significant other you always want to look out for their best interest but when does that becomes disconcerting and enabling? When you shield, guard and do EVERYTHING for them.
As I tell my son I will “help” you but I won’t do it for you! It’s perfectly fine to want to help your significant other but it’s not fine when you take over or do things for them because at that point you’re creating a dependent spouse and NOT as self-sufficient spouse. Sometimes we have to learn to step back and allow them to figure it out on their own to help them become more independent and help them build up their convenience.
So if you are the one who usually write out the checks show you spouse how to balance the checkbook. If you’re the one who usually cooks get your spouse a cookbook and show them how to prepare and make a meal. If you’re the one who usually plan all of the trips show your spouse how to use Expedia, Orbit or Hotels.com.
If you are the spouse that is being enabled learn to say “No, I can do it myself!” Once you start to say no and take on the challenge by yourself you will be amazed how your confidence will rise. Yes, you may fall, but your spouse will be there to pick you up. But you have to learn how to fall first before you can get back up. Stop using your spouse as your safety net for everything!
One thing for sure and two things for certain, we all did not come in this world together and we won’t leave it together, so it’s better to help your spouse to become self-sufficient now then have them learn the hard way when you’re not around.
I’m just saying.
C Double R
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