1. To me, enabling pretty much always by now has that heavily negative connotation, about keeping someone in the grip of an addiction.

  2. I’m hoping someone comes up either other options for what it could mean. If it is one of the two offered it isn’t really a joke and more a commentary on the distinction between encourage and enable.

  3. Presumably the counseling is airing what each sees as issues in their relationship. His complaint is that he is only encouraged, not enabled – he’s not getting enough negative interaction.

  4. Wayno’s comment at his weekly blog was just “Counseling can help a person articulate what they really want in a relationship.”

  5. … And Dan Piraro’s comment at his blog is “When I was a kid, I thought Adam and Eve had one son named Cain Enable.”.

  6. She tells him he could do something, but he needs some help in some way to do so and she does not help him do so (enable him to do so).

    For example – he wants to learn to play an instrument and she tells him it is a great idea and he should do so – encouraging him. But when he says he is going to buy a piano she says “Where will put it? and/or We can’t afford one.” And thereby does not enable him to learn to play the piano – as opposed to saying something like “Great idea! It is a bit expensive for us to buy, lets see if we can lease or rent one for now so you can start taking lessons” “If we move ‘this out of the living room into the bedroom it will fit there” or “If we get rid of that table in the den it will fit there.” or “We can use that mad money I have in the bank to buy the piano and help pay for lessons.” that would be enabling him to learn to play.

    (Hence why I no longer have a living room 11 months of the year – Robert always wanted to weave and he gets the living room from mid January to mid December as his “loom room” to do so. Then again, the smallest bedroom in the house is “the teddy bears’ room”.)

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