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From the very beginning, mother washes his clothes, cleans his room, encourages him academically, and loves him unconditionally. When he’s old enough and deems himself ready to enter a committed relationship, he’s probably looking for the likeness of his mother. In the interest of maintaining your relationship and nurturing your man, you wash his clothes, clean the house, and become his biggest cheerleader. Sure, he has his short comings but just as mother did, you love him unconditionally.

How well do all of those traits translate into a relationship? If you’re both well adjusted adults with matching ambition and accolades, this article may not apply to you. However, if you are in a relationship where you feel like your load may be heavier than your partners’, some of the points mentioned may be worth a thought.

Support is identified as the bearer of weight. In order for support to be recognized, it should be evenly distributed. If you’re in a relationship where you’re cooking, cleaning, cheerleading, and loving unconditionally, while holding down a full time job…kudos to you if you’re completely happy. In your mind, you’re being the best that you can be and appreciating your partner.

Now, can you look at your partner and say that the support he provides you with lifts some of the weight off of your shoulders? If you’re answer is no, then you’ve probably been enabling him and calling it support. It’s always an option for him to assist with more, but somehow he already believes that he’s doing enough. Because of traditional gender roles (or the role his momma played), he may believe that all he needs to contribute to your relationship is conversation, sex, and money. If you’re really unlucky, he doesn’t have a job, lives with you, drives your car, and runs up the phone bill in your name. What part of the take is that?  Honey, that’s not support. That man has been allowed the opportunity to prey on your damaged self esteem or your belief in his “potential”.

A man who is being supported may not cook or clean (not his thing), but he’ll give the kids a bath, run some of your errands, and rub you down when he’s done. He’ll address your needs in a way that shows YOU appreciation. He’ll make that hard work you put forward well worth the time and effort. The enabled man will continue to show you why he should’ve never left his momma’s house. The sooner the distinction is made, the happier you’ll be.

Do you know someone who thinks they’re supportive but are really just enabling their partner?

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