Dictionary Meaning and Definition on 'Enabler'
Wikipedia Meaning and Definition on 'Enabler'
Enabling is a term with a double meaning.
As a positive term, it references patterns of interaction which allow individuals to develop and grow. These may be on any scale, for example within the family, or in wider society as "Enabling acts" designed to empower some group, or create a new authority for a (usually governmental) body.
In a negative sense, enabling is also used in the context of problematic behavior, to signify dysfunctional approaches that are intended to help but in fact may perpetuate a problem.
A common example of enabling can be observed in the relationship between the alcoholic/addict and a codependent spouse. The spouse believes incorrectly that he or she is helping the alcoholic by calling into work for them, making excuses that prevent others from holding them accountable, and generally cleaning up the mess that occurs in the wake of their impaired judgment. In reality what the spouse is doing is hurting, not helping. Enabling prevents psychological growth in the person being enabled and can contribute to negative symptoms in the enabler.[See more about Enabler at Dictionary 3.0 Encyclopedia]