Originally posted by Sparky:
RE: Enabling/Rescuing. My therapist said something really helpful about this. She said that it's enabling if I try to figure out how to help others before I know what it is I really want. It's not a problem that I consider others, just that I often put their needs before mine. So I was talking about how reasons why I was living out of the house, and they all had to do with my husband. My therapist asked what it is I wanted, and she asked me to make my decision as if there was no husband. WHAT DO I WANT?!

Well, I want to live in my apartment. It's that simple. Yes, I do have a good situation right now. Yes, I could stay here and would be willing to compromise if asked. These are truths. But the important thing is that I find out what I really want FIRST. I've been doing it backwards.

I do think that for many of us, we feel like we need to befriend our spouses again. That we have to be the nice guy, or we will risk losing our marriage. But the biggest 180 for many of us is to stop taking care of everything. Stop anticipating others' needs before we know what we want. I think it's a much more powerful message than the same old I'll-help-you routine many of us have been in for years.

When you rescue people, they don't learn to make do for themselves. And in the long run, they may resent you for this. Or they may come to expect a certain level of care from people. It makes them less of who they are. And that's not good. In some ways, shaking things up is a good thing.


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