Enablers. To an addiction counselor, enablers are those who keep addicts or alcoholics from facing their problems and the dire consequences of their behaviors by making excuses for them when they are under the influence or are too hung over to fulfill their obligations.
They call the employer to report that their husband has the flu, or they tell the children that Daddy ate some bad food and is vomiting. These enablers tell themselves that they can control their addict or alcoholic by changing their own behavior: dressing nicely, cooking good meals, keeping the home clean, being accommodating and pleasant.
And when none of this works, they turn on themselves: I’m ugly; I’m fat; I’m stupid; He deserves better than me; I’m the cause of this.
Addiction is cunning, baffling, and only the addicts- whether it be to cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, gambling, food, or extra-marital relations- can change their lives, break those addictions, and get in recovery.
Men can tell you why they stray and there is no one size fits all:
• She got fat;
• She pays more attention to the children than to me;
• She never really loved me;
• The house is in chaos, and I get peace and quiet with my mistress;
• I’m a man and I need a variety of women. It’s in my biology — always has been, and you can’t fight Mother Nature;
• We just don’t communicate now and can’t get back to where we once were. Sex with her is boring;
• Men who criticize me wish they were in my same situation. They just don’t have the balls to do it;
• I love my wife and kids, and sex on the side is just that — sex.
Serial adulterers are addicts. They get the dopamine high as the pleasure response centers in their brains are activated. If and when they stop destructive behaviors, it’s for a variety of reasons, and it’s different for each addict. If we had the magic bullet, we would have more harmonious relationships.
Donald Trump and some of his allies have indicated that Hillary enabled Bill’s affairs, and the charges and counter charges have kept some riveted to the television.
I was at the Benham Schoolhouse Inn in Harlan County, Kentucky, recently, and I interviewed six people about the dust-up:
John Galt of Energy, Illinois, said, “I think everything has already been said that needs to be said. Today people of voting age don’t know what went on 10 years ago. The big issue is trade agreements and what today’s factories are like.”
Two brothers, a media ad salesman who was riding a 1000 Harley Davidson Heritage Springer and a sales rep for industrial products who was riding a Honda CB 1100, preferred their names not be used and were eager to continue their four-day trip from Indianapolis to St. Paul, Virginia, and back via Lexington, Kentucky. They had opinions, however: “Sex outside of marriage has nothing to do with the performance of the job. Every person has made poor choices, but those choices are dealt with as individuals and not through the electronic media” and “Much to do about nothing.”
Dulcimer maker, James Miracle of Shepherdsville, Kentucky, who was demonstrating at a local festival, reported, “There ain’t no sense in them talking about all of that all the time.”
Miracle’s wife, Mary, had another perspective, “But it is a part of who they are, how they’ve been, and it shows their lack of integrity, an important aspect of life. Faithfulness and trustworthiness are significant character qualities that people look for in politicians. We are gonna vote. It’s the best to choose the lesser of two evils. We’re voting for Trump- trying to keep the Hillary and Obama administration out. We feel Trump will choose better Supreme Court justices, ones that will uphold the Constitution and embrace conservative values.”
The sixth person, a local Harlan County man, said, “Enabling has nothing to do with it. Bill was just doing what Bill wanted to do.”
And I’m now feeling that I’ve used enough valuable space in writing about this dust-up. Extensive research is available for those who wish to know more.
Vivian Blevins is a consultant for the Training Solutions Group Inc. who teaches courses in writing and literature for major telecom company employees. Reach her at (937) 778-3815 or [email protected]