Are You A Deadbeat Enabler?

In last week’s post, I discussed maternal instincts and how this very instinct can work to psychologically torture a woman in Family Court.  This week, I want to take you back to basic relationship dynamics before a woman finds herself in the nightmare of Family Court.   While many women are fortunate enough to never end up in Family Court, that doesn’t mean they have escaped the torturous experience of being with a deadbeat man.  For every deadbeat man, there is a deadbeat enabler.  Possibly one of the harshest realities I had to face in my journey of recovery was the fact that, for a time, I was a deadbeat enabler.

Let me begin by defining what I mean by a deadbeat.  Deadbeats come in all races, ages, socio-economic statuses, and even genders.  For this post, however, I am going to focus on deadbeat men (because, frankly, I am a woman and can only speak from the perspective of a woman who was a deadbeat man enabler).   I recognize that there are tons of wonderful men out there who are amazing sons, husbands, ex-husbands, fathers, and friends.  This week I am not talking about them – those men don’t fall into any of the below categories.

Deadbeat Dad:  This is the type of deadbeat that society usually associates with the word deadbeat.  You might see versions of this man on popular daytime talk shows denying that the child is theirs (even though the baby looks just like them), and calling the mother of their child all sorts of terrible names.  Other forms of deadbeats are those who walk away from their children, abuse their children, or refuse to financially, physically, or emotionally support their children.  If you know a man who is paying an attorney thousands of dollars in an attempt to evade providing financial support to their child, then you know a deadbeat.  While sometimes it’s easier to spot a deadbeat once they have children, I assure you that this deadbeat Dad was a deadbeat even before he became a father.

The Financial Leech:  This common type of deadbeat could be your son, husband, brother, boyfriend, or father.  While it is reasonable that hard working people sometimes find themselves in unfortunate financial circumstances, this man would like you to believe that he is always down and out with his financial luck.  He will talk about how hard it is to find a job, but spend his entire day playing video games, watching television, or sleeping.  He is perfectly happy watching his mother, girlfriend, baby Mama, or wife support him financially…forever.  When his financial support system (the enabler) questions his apparent lack of desire to financially support himself, he immediately attempts to make this person feel insensitive and mean.  A good man would never feel comfortable doing this to a woman.

The Abuser:  We often associate deadbeats with the financially irresponsible, however, the abusing deadbeat is possibly one of the most dangerous types.  This person might be completely financially responsible, yet I would still consider him a deadbeat.  This is the man who treats women poorly by either emotionally or physically abusing them.  A man who treats his mother, ex-wife, baby Mama, or any important woman in his life poorly is a deadbeat.  He could be as wealthy as Donald Trump and buy you Prada shoes and a nice house, but if he beats you up or abuses your children – he is still a deadbeat.  Before you have a child with a man, pay close attention to how he treats the women in his life.  (Unfortunately, Luc’s mother had already died from suffocation before I met him so I was unable to enact this particular test)  Even if you think his mother is weird and annoying, if he doesn’t treat her well – there is something wrong and you could be looking at your future relationship with him.

 

My ex (Lucifer as I call him) had a little bit of all three of the above deadbeat qualities, and unfortunately, I was once his enabler.  Anyone who has known me for long enough would never imagine me to be the type of woman to be a deadbeat enabler; however, I now realize that I was one myself.  Initially in the relationship, I was a strong woman who asked questions and demanded reasonable answers – and initially he had those answers.

Over time, as I grew to love the imaginary man he had created through his insidious lies, the reality began to show its ugly face.  When I would question why Luc wasn’t getting out of bed, and why he was no longer contributing to the household financially, he would claim that he was depressed.  He even once claimed that he had suffered a mild stroke due to the extreme financial and emotional stress he was under.  This is when my basic female instincts turned on me.  I would see him looking pale, sick, and hideous (most likely because he wasn’t showering or leaving the house), and I would immediately want to protect and take care of him.

It is natural as a woman to want to protect and care for those you love; however, you must be able to recognize the difference between someone who deserves to be loved and someone who is using your instincts against you while literally sucking the life out of you.  I, too, have been in a position where I was scared to leave the deadbeat.  I worried that things would be worse for me if I walked away from the father of my child.  I wondered if I was being unreasonable or whether my expectations were too high.  While the deadbeat in my life was an extreme case (as he is now awaiting trial for the murder of my son), many of the things I made excuses for and ignored are the same things many women continue to ignore every day.

 

Help for the deadbeat enabler:

One of my readers recently asked me what she should do to help her friend realize that she is enabling a deadbeat.  My answer is simple:  You can lead a horse to the water, but you cannot force it to take a drink.  Friends and family should tread carefully when raising these issues with deadbeat enablers.  The last thing you want is for the deadbeat to catch wind that you are raising these issues and effectively terminate your relationship with the enabler.  The best thing you can do for this person is point out the obvious in a non-aggressive manner, and let them know that you will be there to support them if and when they choose to free themselves from this situation.  While it can be maddening to watch someone you love get used and abused by a deadbeat, there is often not much you can do if the person is unwilling to accept the painful reality. 

Finally, to all of the strong women out there who realize that they are in the vicious cycle of deadbeat enabling – you deserve to be treated better than what you are currently accepting.  Deadbeats will always exist, but it is your choice as to whether or not you will allow them to exist in your life.

Comments

  1. i see this all the time the person im talking about is in no way a romantic partner its a brother who destroyed well almost his ex and their children i wanted to help her get rehabilitated and from this experience i learned how the legal system enables the abuser and looks down on the woman which is what they did to her she became hopeless i cant believe im related to this s—bag and he has no remorse i still talk to my sister in law and shes doing much better so are the kids a lot of damage has been done and they will always have the scars PTSD , but im not done i am making this public at this time i have a ghost writer who is putting all of this together the book was not my idea it came from a nun who talked to me almost daily , her words were i was chosen to stand up and make the officials aware of the system and enabling i have seen my nun tells me this will bring change she informed me that i was chosen by god b/c im not a person to push around and would see this through and after 3 years i guess she is right because i refuse to let this be swept under the rug i have documented every day names fax’s etc from all the gov agencies i contacted who promise to provide services and of course do less than nothing even lawyers ran scared and this is my motivation to being change and change the laws.gov cuomo has signed new laws bills and for some reason they are not being followed but this will change and bring great fortune according to my nun and i plan to use some of the money to provide legal services for the victims it goes on and on a lot has happened in the 3 years passed, this is not a love interest this is more about civil rights and freedom and the laws being so easily manipulated by fat greedy lawyers who could care less as long as there are criminals they continue to fill their pockets not only do i plan to aid victims i want these slime-bag lawyers held accountable if / when there clients repeat the abuse after a case is closed…they will also feel the damages..maybe they will think twice before twisting the laws to let slime-bags continue to abuse threaten and injure victims..i cant wait to see this..this is not justice letting them off the hook…could you imagine if any of the attorneys judges etc were ever attacked by these offenders the same way they do to significant others That would be a crime no questions asked…but when it happens in a relationship its not a crime that’s bull s— .my brother has many many victims and there lives so badly impacted by this they will never have the quality of life they deserve. my goal is to also take that away from the defendant usually a coward with no inner strength that’s why they use violence,stalking to control and instill fear b/c they cant handle reality and want what they want without doing the right thing to get it also called insanity they keep telling me justice is slow and understatement it is ineffective leaving you out there on your own living in fear until you become a statistic than they put on act but its too late..a burnt out judicial system , a psychopath, and a greedy lawyer and lazy cops,as taxpayers why cant we fire them its our money b/c they are just as bad as the defendants ” do sent apply to them” i see more cops abuse their wives cheat and alcoholically drink and drive but there out there giving out dwi’s falsely because they get time off with pay for every DWI even lieing paperwork gets lost they cover up everything and internal affairs part of the cover up i wrote to the commissioner of police and let him know what low life’s he has given badges to not all but most…in the past i used to donate to the police athletic league and other fundraisers today i wouldn’t spit on them if they were on fire…arrogant fu–’s this is suffolk county cops and like i said not all but too many.i see signs all over to report a cop killer and rewards i dont think id say anything if i knew probably deserved it like they say about us

    • Monica Berlin says:

      Ginger you are absolutely right I’m in the same situation. I have supervised visits of my son and the psychopath has full custody. I go to court in 5 weeks and I’m praying it turns out ok :) I went to see a psychic and she told me my son was not being treated right there.

  2. Awesome, excellent post. I have realised so much after the fact – all after the fact. I was so dumb, blind, stupid. I endured, endured, endured, to the detriment of my son and self.

    You are wonderful in that you aren’t bitter and horrible, but rather wise. I wish to know what is of Lucifer now? Is he in jail. Only answer if you want to.

    Wonderful blog here.

    • cappuccinoqueen says:

      Lucifer is currently in jail in Prince William County, VA awaiting a trial for capital murder charges. Please don’t think you are dumb for having been an enabler. There are many strong, smart, and beautiful women who fall into this trap. It is in human nature to want to care for others. What makes you smart is that you now realize it. Stay strong Mama!

  3. Rebecca says:

    hey- so, as a former deadbeat enabler- I have a question for you: do you think there is hope that other enablers will ever see the light about the man they are dating? Currently, my daughter’s father is now engaged to this girl who is a HUGE enabler. My daughter’s father has never been a part of my daughter’s life by HIS choice- not mine. He refuses to pay his court-ordered child support and whenever they “find” him and start garnishing wages- he quits his job and moves somewhere where he hopes he will not be found. He had been like that for the past ten years. He basically has had his mom support him his whole life, and “in between” girlfriends who support him when he is not living at home. His current fiancee of 2 years has been with him and has seen this in action- and yet she still continues to support him and pay for his bills. Every piece of me wants to have a real “heart to heart” with this girl, but ultimately, I know it is none of my business. She knows that we have a daughter together as they frequently move back into his parent’s house whenever he is “in between jobs” and my daughter/his mother’s only grand-baby is plastered all over her house. It just infuriates me that he is allowed to spend his life “care-free” because he keeps finding women who will support him and his habits – and who work so he doesn’t have to and won’t “get caught” by the child support agencies for not paying.

    • cappuccinoqueen says:

      Rebecca this is a tough one. Sometimes the enablers don’t really know who they are enabling. I often wish that someone had told me who my ex really was – the neighbors who were afraid of him, the police who believed he was a serial killer, or really everyone around him who knew he was a fraud. That said, if someone had told me – things would have gotten dangerous for them. I might have questioned Luc about it and he would then try and attack the person who warned me. And don’t worry…he won’t live care free forever. They all end up in their own version of hell when all of their crap catches up with them.

  4. I know this is really late for the subject but I have a husband who is 32 yrs old and I’m 25 we have our daughter and my son from a previous bad relationship that I got out of but I still deal with his father every other weekend. But that’s a whole different story. I believe I’m enabling my husband, just like you said he plays video games all day and night then I deal with our 2 week old daughter all the time. I’m stressed , unhappy and becoming financially unstable. When I bring up our bills he says (oh we can just borrow it from my mom) I say No. I’m not downing his effort or help but I want him to get a job, I’m not trying to push him because I’ve already done everything you can possibly imagine and all it leads to is an argument. He says after the baby is born all the time now she is here and still nothing. I don’t know what to do anymore. I feel that I’m failing my kids and not setting the correct example especially for my oldest

    • cappuccinoqueen says:

      Monea, sometimes people like that need for you to leave in order to light a fire under their ass. It sounds like he is sitting around playing video games because he knows that you will continue to financially support him. My suggestion is to follow your gut. If you believe that staying is bad for your children, then you should follow how you feel and get to stepping.

  5. purelove33 says:

    I am guilty of enabling my deadbeat boyfriend. I have been supporting him for 2 of the 3 years that we have been together. This man will not work to save his life, has 3 baby mamas and cant support his youngest child who is a minor (the other 2 kids are now grown who by the way he owes tens of thousands of dollars in child support to the mothers). He makes excuses for EVERYTHING and blames EVERYONE else for EVERYTHING thats not right in his life. In the beginning of the relationship, I always pitied him and believed him when he said he family treated him wrongfully when they didn’t want to give him money but now I see that they are sick of the irresponsible ways of a grown man. Everytime I give him advice on how to improve his situation, he becomes so offended and angry and says that I am belittling him. He just REFUSES to become a better person. As far a a job, he do just the bare minimum. He is satisfied with making minimum wage and will find any reason to stop working. This man plays video games ALL day (and night, when he’s not watching tv). So unproductive, its the saddest thing I’ve ever seen. I want him to change but I realize that it will not happen. Unfortunately, he is stuck in a rut that he has been in for many, many years. He is used to being this way and most comfortable with it too. I know I need to sever the tie between us but I “love” him. I know it sounds cheesy but I feel like I want to be the person to help/save him. He always tells me that he needs me and im all that he has left. That sucks me right back in every time. After being unemployed for almost a year (lost my job last year), I am blessed to have just regained employment at a great job with great pay. I know that eventually, he will stop working again and try to live off my money again. The trouble is, I have a hard time telling him “no”. It’s like his wish is my command and should I tell him Im not giving him money, he makes me feel like a terrible person, like I don’t care about him. The guilt trip is too heavy to bare. It has got to stop soon, I know that I am the reason that this nasty cycle continues. Thankfully, we don’t have any children together because I know that would make everything 10 times worse. What I would like to know is how can I wean him off of me financially for good without necessarily ending the relationship altogether? Or will that be my only option. Im tired of being with a man who is 45 with the mental capacity of that of a 13 year old boy. Lazy, irresponsible, ALWAYS plays the victim role. Its just unbearable.

    • WoW I felt like you were just describing my life!! I can relate on every single level and Im having such a hard time cuz I love this guy but I feel like he’s holding back or holding me down. He can never keep a job more then 2 weeks. And hes never taken me on a date its pretty clear what I think I need to do Im just such a sucker and I’ve always been a very independent person but since this relationship I am so afraid to be alone! Im scared I’ll be miserable without his company. I’ve tried to help push him to do the things he needs to do, I do the laundry, and though we have no kids Im on disability and Im broke half opf the month never have I gotten financial help from him. Im fed up and my lid is blowin I have tried to make him leave before but I get the big guilt trip of he has no place to go… I dont wanna put him on the streets then he lied to me twice and threatened me by telling me he was commiting suicide. And I ALWAYS fall for the bullshit! I must be the STUPIDEST grl in the world right??

  6. I came across this website by divine intervention I suppose.

    My girlfriend of 2 years has a brother that has been living with her for the last 6 years. He has not had a job for the last 10 years but gets to stay with her rent free without contributing to any of the household chores. He sleeps in his room all day with his radio blasting and only comes out to eat and go to the bathroom.

    I am more than a bit frustrated. He says he is depressed and has been avidly trying to find a job. As of late he has been yelling at my girlfriend and giving her attitude if she asks him to do any mundane tasks around the house.

    I guess as the article recommends I should just offer her my support. I just wish there was more that I could do.

    I love this girl and want to propose but will not do so until he is gone from the house.

    thanks for letting me rant. I hope everything works out for the rest of you.

    • cappuccinoqueen says:

      Matt, it sounds like she is most certainly enabling a deadbeat. It is a shame, but really all you can do is offer your support and try to show her she is being used.

  7. Hector Guerrero says:

    I am a 64 years old man, and couldn’t agree with you more. My only daughter married a decorated marine (purple heart),and a deadbeat. They are separated, he is in California and she is in Florida with us. They have two kids. Since the separation, he has yet to send any money. two reasons: My daughter is staying with us and we are providing for her and her daughters. Second, he cannot work because the injuries he sustained in Iraq.PTSD, Depression, the works. Although I understand that part of his life ( i was in Vietnam ), he is 100% disable, and receiving a hefty pension. Now , my daughter doesn’t want to do anything about it because he told her that she needed to get a job or she could loose her kids to Family Services, and because they were still married the kids would go to him. It is my understanding that none of these excuses are true. The problem is that my daughter believes him, and I cannot get her to force him to cease this mental abuse, and refuse to go to Family Services for help.The situation gets worse, because I live in a 55 + community, where children 15 and below are not accepted (the babies are 3 and 2 years old). They need an apartment ,
    I asked her to contact her husband and asked him to provide the money for the apartment,but she refuses. I am going to stop here, because the more I write the madder I get.

  8. My story is the opposite, my fiancé I believe is a huge deadbeat enabler. Yet he feels like I don’t know what I’m talking about and he hates the terms I use when I talk about it. His ex wife and him have joint custody and he pays her child support. She can’t keep a job and never has any money to pay for kids activities so my fiancé is left to do it, which puts a burden on our pocket book considering he pays child support as well. We are looking at getting married and combining our bank accounts. What he doesn’t understand by him constantly doing what he does will have affect on me as this will also be my money as well. She is a total deadbeat and her new father in law stated that he doesn’t understand why my fiancé doesn’t fight for full custody. Yes her own new father in law said this. Just to give you an idea of how she works, she won’t or is to lazy to take kids to their ball practice, she barely makes it to their games. She is currently jobless and expecting another child she has 3 with my fiancé and 1 with her new husband. My fiancé and I have documented everything so far in the past 3 yrs but the problem is there is nothing to document because he constantly does things like pay for everything when the agreement is 50/50 and he doesn’t understand what he is doing. I get it he is doing it for his kids and not her but he needs to let her fail because of our justice system but we have no hard evidence to give the courts because that is what needs to happen for the courts to find her unfit. I’m so stressed over this and he doesn’t see what it’s doing to me nor does he care how it makes me feel.

    • cappuccinoqueen says:

      Sara, yep…there are deadbeat women as well.

    • Sara tell him he is not doing his children any favors please look at my story and understand that it will not get any better. I am financially in the toilet while this women is enjoying life. Your absolutely right he has to let her fail not only for the court but the children have to see the truth as well. If he consistently pick up the pieces she will use him till their is nothing left.

  9. I am a reluctant deadbeat enabler. I have been married almost 20+ years and throughout this marriage I have done what every good father and good husband would do. Early on in the marriage I would often encourage my wife to go get a trade go to school do something. I would tell her often that the children are getting older and more expensive and it will become a time I would really need your support. She would throw this back at me that I want a educated women or I didn’t think she was good enough for me. So I would back off for a while. Throughout our marriage she has probably worked maybe 3 years if that with it always ending up her quitting. I have never been able to relay on her financially or to be there for me mentally when I was under the gun. What make my situation so bad is that I can not seem to get this women out of my home. I personally don’t think it’s fair that I work I take care of everything the grocery shopping the laundry I work out side of the house and come home to Peg Bundy. She is out parting to 3-4 in the morning 3 times out of the week and basically lives the single life. Know this leaves me to pay the bills cook, clean, and try to financially support my oldest in college. I am exhausted I am lonely and I feel used but there is nothing I can do. If the roles were reverse I would be out on my ear with my clothes in the back yard on fire. But I am a man I can’t do this it’s not socially acceptable. I call the police they want me to leave despite the fact that I don’t drink and she is usually the drunk belligerent one. She consistently throws my children into the situation trying to get them on her side and for a while it worked but now both my children can clearly see the issues and they do tell me they understand and are not mad at me when I lose my cool. I just want to move forward with my life my credit is in the toilet my financial situation is bleak at this point with my children now being teenagers they are a lot more expensive my son is bigger then me meaning I paying more for his clothes and shoes then my own, and my daughter is now in college and needs money and support until she can find work. So I am 2 months behind in rent I have a red notice for my lights my gas is off. I have no one to turn to for help I can barely get back and forward to work due to trying to keep gas in the car. I can’t get the children the essentials like clothes for school or supplies I just can’t afford it. And forget a personal life I can’t afford to go out with friends so I am stuck in the house rationing my gas for the next two weeks till I get paid again. I am manager I worked hard my entire career to get to this point and I can’t enjoy it. Because I am carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders. I’m tired how do I get this deadbeat ass women out my house out of my life?

    • cappuccinoqueen says:

      Oliver,
      Sadly there are many people who are likely in your situation. Possibly even scarier is that if you leave her, you would likely end up paying alimony and child support to her…which would essentially just be a shift in making the State her deadbeat enabler. I am not sure I have great advise here, but you might want to talk to an attorney to see if there is a way you can disengage without making your situation worse. Many terrible situations in relationship are the result of a financial leech. Know that you are not alone. Many men and women deal with JUST the things you are experiencing. Get some legal advice. Sometimes there are free legal clinics on these issues as well that you might look into given your financial situation. Send me an email if you want some more specific tips based on your area.

      • I already talked to an attorney actually today, and your right I will most likely have to deal with spousal support and lose my apartment because it’s our marital home and she has as much right as I do there. What makes things good is my son is not happy with the behavior either and after talking with him he wants to leave with me. So I will get myself and apartment and allow my son to move with me. The unfortunate part is I will most likely get an eviction because she won’t leave and I am sure when I leave she will remain until she is forcible moved out which in turn will cause me to have an eviction.

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