Enabling Test

Is there an enabling test?

There are a few tests to identify whether you are enabling your alcoholic or addict. Enabling itself is a simple concept. If someone routinely does things that someone else could and should do for themself, then they are enabling. This Enabling Diagram may help you visualize how this differs from helping behavior.



The following enabling quiz can help clarify how enabling works in an alcoholic or drug abusing relationship.

If you have ever done any of these, you could be enabling your alcoholic or addict. In one form or another, I did them all with my alcoholic addict ex-wife. In retrospect I am amazed at how blind I was to how much I contributed to the problem.


Enabling Test

  • Did you every lie to someone to cover up for your alcoholic or addict?
  • Do you ever do things for your alcoholic that they should do for themselves?
  • Do you believe your alcoholic’s or addict’s promises, even when they have repeatedly broken promises before?
  • Do you find yourself making excuses for your alcoholic or addict?
  • Do you give money to your alcoholic or addict to pay bills that they should pay for themselves?
  • Do you avoid confronting your alcoholic or addict because you are afraid of their response?
  • Do you feel responsible for you alcoholic’s or addict’s actions?
  • Do you believe that you are obligated to help your alcoholic or addict?
  • Do you sometimes feel that your substance abuser’s drug or alcohol use is your fault?
  • Have you ever sabotaged your substance abuser’s attempt’s at recovery?

Did you notice that many of these questions are similar to questions included in the Codependency Test? Enabling is strongly correlated with codependency. If you weren’t codependent, it is much less likely that you would be enabling your alcoholic or drug addict.

Dealing with your codependent behavior will address most enabling issues. However, if you are not ready to do that, the best way to address enabling is by being aware of what you are doing.

No more free ride

Every time you do something that your alcoholic or addict should do for themselves, you are enabling. Every time you protect your alcoholic or addict from the logical consequences of their behavior, you are enabling. Stop enabling and your alcoholic or addict will have to deal with their own problems. The free ride will be over.

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