Am I Enabling??

by C

I have a grown daughter who has a baby. She's a drug addict and is currently attending a Methadone clinic 2 hours away.

She's separated from her husband, doesn't work and has no vehicle. She's on public assistance and has asked me to take her to the grocery store, or calls me when the baby needs medicine.

My husband (not her Dad) says that when I take her to the store, I am enabling her. I'm not paying her rent, nor any of her bills, but he insists that I am enabling her. His logic is that she can get to a clinic 2 hours away to get her drugs and if she can do that, then she can get to the grocery store. He says that I need to stop doing anything for her.

I'm totally at a loss here, and it's taking a toll on my marriage.


There is a difference between giving help and enabling. Your daughter seems to be trying to get her life on track and has limited resources to do so.

If your daughter needs help transporting her groceries, or taking a sick child to the doctor, I don’t think you’re enabling her. You’re helping her stay on track.

However, if you’re paying for groceries and medicine, and this becomes a routine it’s enabling and not helping her in the long run. Perhaps your husband sees this.

If this is the case, tell her that her case manager can teach her how to budget and a friend can help baby sit when she needs to get groceries. Tell her you’re there for her, but she should call you as a last resort.

It’s very easy to go from occasionally helping, to enabling.

All the best


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