By Mary E. Latela, October 1, 2016
In the pop psychology of contemporary society, the enabler is the victim who stays in an abusive relationship. She may not say anything about the betrayal of having a partner who steps out on her. What can you say which will get through to him, and which will help you to find healing as well? Nothing, really! When there is a breach of trust, when integrity is left out of the picture, when lying and cheating become too easy, what can the victim do?
Sure, the person who feels special when in the company of this type of betrayer, has some “self-esteem” issues. Certain words take on new and powerful meanings: “love” “forever” “not go back” “not really having sex” “I need you.” “She doesn’t listen anymore.” “I am so lonely.” “Don’t ever leave me.”
Lest we jump to conclusions about the “other woman,” it makes sense that she/he is not getting satisfaction elsewhere, that she is so lonely, that she is clingy, that the slightest look sends her into “another world,” not the real world. She may even be convinced that she will be married to him soon.
The betrayed wife (or husband) may try to collect information about others who have cooperated with her partner. She may write to them, send a Tweet, take out a full page ad in the Sunday New York Times. Yet these seem to be very civil responses compared to a heart-breaking discovery. Some people take marriage seriously. Those vows were said in absolute faith and trust: “I will love and honor you all the days of my life.” The vows preclude going outside the marriage for intimacy, for vanity, for a cure, for one’s blaming his “other” for lack of contentment, or simply, because he/she is a jerk.
I hear that mind-numbing, empty-headed politicians may use their “diagnosis” as a failure as a wife to disqualify her from winning public office. There is no causal relationship between his actions a decade ago and her ability NOW – after much growth, after building her self-confidence as a fringe benefit of serving the people.
We now know that some of “heroes” in the public domain, whether politics, or sports, or entertainment, have been unfaithful. How often do we call them “enabler” because they enjoy using their fame to gain more attention, albeit from the shady side of the street.