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Spent Nest Egg Enabling My Oldest Son

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Over a 6 or so year period I spent our entire nest egg enabling my oldest son with his financial problems.

I am an only child of divorced parents; I was married to my first husband for 32 years when he repeatedly cheated. I was married to my second husband for 7 months when he died. I will be married to my current husband 8 years next week. For the past 6 or so years I spent a LOT of money enabling my son and we are now not only broke, but we are in debt. I am being treated for depression, but when my husband asks what I was thinking when I did this, I have no answer. I did not intend to hurt him, I felt I HAD to protect my son. I know it was wrong now and I know I will NEVER do anything like that again. But I don’t understand how my judgment could have been so wrong for all that time, and I’m wondering if I should see a therapist to help me sort out what happened. Can you help me?

Spent Nest Egg Enabling My Oldest Son

Answered by on -


I am so very sorry that you find yourself in this predicament. But I am glad you have brought the question to us.

Yes, therapy is a good idea for a variety of reasons — first, the fact that you are aware the enabling behavior with your son needs to change, and second, that you have a relationship with your husband that you need to heal. A therapist will help you sort through the history and reasons for your actions, but more importantly he or she will help you move forward and learn from what you will come to understand.

I would also recommend you try a debtors anonymous group in your area. These 12-step based programs are free, and they specifically discuss the process of staying out of debt. It will also help you build a support network as you make these important changes in your life.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Spent Nest Egg Enabling My Oldest Son

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Spent Nest Egg Enabling My Oldest Son. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 20, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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