Most people would do a lot for their loved ones, yet helping shouldn’t be confused with enabling or using another person with an excuse of being in a relationship. For this reason, when disagreeing about certain habits with one’s partner, it might be helpful to let them experience the consequences of their actions, rather than keep on solving the complications that arise from them.

At least this was this Redditor’s response to her boyfriend’s excessive alcohol consumption, as she set specific boundaries when going out and stuck to them.

More info: Reddit

A woman’s boyfriend kept overestimating himself when out drinking, so she refused to be part of it

Image credits: Faith Guney (not the actual photo) 

The couple used to both drink in moderation, but some time ago the man picked up a habit of having too much

Image credits: u/daisyashi

Image credits: Keith Ward- Taylor (not the actual photo) 


Image credits: u/daisyashi

Image credits: Pressmaster (not the actual photo) 


Image credits: u/daisyashi

The man would be sick, lose things, and wouldn’t be able to navigate the bus system

Image credits: rebcenter moscow (not the actual photo) 


The woman told her boyfriend she wouldn’t be “nursing” him and would head out every time he has over 3 drinks

A woman brought her way of dealing with her boyfriend’s excessive drinking when going out to the Reddit community online and asked if she was a jerk for sticking by it.

The woman shared that both she and her boyfriend are pretty social and extroverted and for years, there were no conflicts in this area as they both used to drink in moderation.

However, some time when the couple started going out again after Covid, the woman’s boyfriend began having too much to drink around a quarter of the times they went out. This would be to the point that the man would be sick, lose things, and wouldn’t be able to navigate the bus system.

After some time, the woman discussed the problem with her boyfriend, explaining that she would no longer be “nursing” him and would head out every time he had over 3 drinks, instead. The man naturally can drink more if he wants, but it is his responsibility to hold onto his keys, find his way home, and clean up after himself.

The woman explained while that it was complicated to keep her word, as her boyfriend would start arguing his drinks were light, some of them were just shots, she kept leaving after three drinks.

This sometimes resulted in the woman’s boyfriend missing the last bus, or going in the opposite direction from his living place. Eventually, the man called his girlfriend a jerk for being a “bad partner” and refusing to help.


The girlfriend kept her boundaries, despite her boyfriend asking otherwise or getting into uncomfortable situations

Image credits: Neal E. Johnson (not the actual photo) 

Eventually, the boyfriend called his girlfriend a jerk for being a “bad partner” and refusing to help

As most articles about enabling behavior start with distinguishing it from helping, similarly, in her article What Is Enabling? Jodi Takhar brought up a common definition that enabling is doing for others what they can and need to do for themselves.

She clarified that it is different from helping, which is about doing for others what they are not able to do for themselves, and different from supporting, which is supposed to be collaborating and doing a task together without taking it over. 

Similarly, Michael Formica noted that while a healthy relationship is much less about compromise and much more about cooperation, an enabling relationship is mostly about compromise – specifically, the compromise of self.

Hazelenden Betty Ford Foundation listed common codependent and enabling behavior patterns, which included protecting a loved one from the consequences of addiction as opposed to healthy support, which encourages a person to address their addiction and all of its consequences.

Other common enabling behaviors included refusing to follow through with predetermined consequence despite clearly outlining one’s expectations and boundaries, making excuses for another person’s behavior by explaining it away, and avoiding the topic altogether due to it creating conflict.


PsychCentral touched upon some key points of how to stop enabling behavior and these included acknowledging the problem, setting, communicating and sticking to clear boundaries, engaging in empowering behaviors by giving tools another person needs to overcome and move beyond the challenges they face as opposed to providing means and opportunities to continue engaging in self-destructive behaviors.

Redditors shared their takes on the situation