Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Enabler: When Helping Hurts the Ones You Love” as Want to Read:
The Enabler: When Helping Hurts the Ones You Love
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Enabler: When Helping Hurts the Ones You Love

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  164 Ratings  ·  17 Reviews
Co-dependency-of which enabling is a major element-can and does exist in families where there is no chemical dependency. Angelyn Miller's own experience is a dramatic example: neither she nor her husband drank, yet her family was floundering in that same dynamic. In spite of her best efforts to fix everything (and everyone), the turmoil continued until she discovered that ...more
Hardcover, 120 pages
Published March 1st 2008 by Wheatmark (first published December 31st 1988)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Enabler, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Enabler

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Leabelle
Sep 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Lots of wisdom here. People with disabilities have to find their own way in life. Life is what it is, over-protection leads to dependency which is ultimately a burden for everyone (and codependency is itself an illness). Stop doing what others should be doing for themselves is the message of the book. The author sets the ground for the book by revealing that both she and her husband came from dysfunctional family situations (with alcoholism and codependency observed during childhood) and they ea ...more
Judy
Mar 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mental-health
My favorite quotes:

page 48: When enablers do everything for people who can't walk, cover up for alcoholics, or give maid service to those who refuse to get out of bed, it makes it hard for their dependents to develop tools for coping with their lot in life. Their enabler becomes one more obstacle, perhaps the biggest obstacle, for them to overcome...Having a propensity to depression was a factor in Stan's life that he needed to consider, understand, accept, and avoid using to exempt himself from
...more
Oona
Jul 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
America is an "enabler".

It is hard to enable bad behaviors from others who influence my son ... it is more difficult to live in a bubble to prevent the site of bad behaviors ... it is tricky to tell you son to go to his room, when he remembers hearing his father say, "I can do what ever I want" (that leads the child in destroying my computer and a library book).
Erin Irelan
May 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Definitely an eye opener. I saw a lot of my own behaviors in the ones the author shared. Being an enabler is such a hard thing to break because you just feel like you're helping. Turning myself from enabler to an abler.
Laura
Dec 10, 2009 rated it really liked it
This is a helpful book about the topic of enabling, and while I read it to get tips for dealing with an alcoholic sister, I found it to be an book dealing with enabling of any kind. In fact the book is based on the author's journey of changing her dysfunctional family dynamic (dependent kids, depressed husband) by learning about and ceasing her enabling actions.

pg 16 - "Some people's entire lives revolve around external overwhelimg and irresolvable problems. They are always involved in some cris
...more
Michelle
May 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tough Love is always the answer, but how can you be tough on people you never want to see hurt?
Well written by an enabler herself, we see the consequences (main word here) her family didn't suffer in order to grow, and the consequences she suffered by trying to protect them from the demands of their environment.
As an enabler, I learned this unhealthy behavior came from being a victim of a painful childhood in a dysfunctional family, where I wanted to "fix" everything.
Still, its hard to face th
...more
Krainfo
Dec 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My pastor recommended this book to help me decide whether I was being helpful or just enabling a family member. The book helped me decide how to disengage by illustrating situtions that crossed the line. Some descriptions of enabling behavior fit my patterns too closely for comfort.
This is very much a layman's book. It discussed theories without naming them and seemed dated (1988).
Katie
Jan 04, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting read and a very quick read! Brings some interesting points across about the enabling-dependent relationship. I will try to use some of these insights in my recovery of being less codependent in my life.
Heather Kauer
Jun 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This got through to me like no other book on codependency has. The author recognizes that you don't have to have someone in your life who is a substance abuser to be an enabler. You can enable all kinds of bad behavior in your partner or children. This will be a life-changer for me.
Carol
Aug 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Miller gets to the point, no particularly flowery language but the content moves for the entire 100 pages. A clear examination of the relationship between enabler and dependent; I learned tons quickly.
Teresa
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Filled with clear examples and good advice.
Aldene
Sep 02, 2014 added it
meh.
Kristin
Aug 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Kristin by: Carol H
Shelves: christian-living
Very insightful!
Gayle
Feb 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very good and short so you don't get bogged down in overwhelming information.
Diana
Aug 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Found this helpful
Poonam Gulati
rated it really liked it
May 05, 2018
Tammy
rated it liked it
Jan 06, 2012
Merisa
rated it did not like it
Aug 29, 2016
carl j rossino jr
rated it it was amazing
Nov 05, 2016
Evelyn Ashhenry
rated it it was amazing
Feb 20, 2018
Judy Bartels
rated it it was amazing
Aug 18, 2015
Melissa
rated it it was ok
Jul 01, 2016
April
rated it liked it
Feb 21, 2012
Georgia Anderson
rated it it was amazing
Aug 02, 2014
Susan Hodge
rated it really liked it
Mar 16, 2010
Lisa
rated it it was ok
Sep 18, 2016
Amy
rated it liked it
Jan 18, 2016
Jean D.
rated it it was amazing
Mar 01, 2015
Daidri Vejil
rated it liked it
Mar 19, 2017
charlene crossley
rated it it was amazing
Sep 12, 2017
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Codependents' Guide to the Twelve Steps: New Stories
  • Hiding from Love: How to Change the Withdrawal Patterns That Isolate and Imprison You
  • Forgive Us: Confessions of a Compromised Faith
  • Should You Leave?: A Psychiatrist Explores Intimacy and Autonomy--and the Nature of Advice
  • Bold Love
  • Women's Reality: An Emerging Female System in a White Male Society
  • Tired of Trying to Measure Up
  • The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness
  • Love Is a Choice: The Definitive Book on Letting Go of Unhealthy Relationships
  • Field Notes on the Compassionate Life: A Search for the Soul of Kindness
  • When Your Lover Is a Liar: Healing the Wounds of Deception and Betrayal
  • The Journey from Abandonment to Healing: Turn the End of a Relationship into the Beginning of a New Life
  • Zondervan NIV Study Bible
  • Connecting
  • Come Back Early Today: A Memoir of Love, Alzheimer's and Joy
  • Speaking Truth in Love: Counsel in Community
  • Better Than My Dreams: Finding What You Long For Where You Might Not Think to Look
  • Addict In The Family: Stories of Loss, Hope, and Recovery
“People who use their disability, grief or adversity as an excuse to avoid doing what they can are emotionally dependent, and emotional dependence can be even more deadly than economic dependence.” 1 likes
More quotes…