Is Debi Pearl an Enabler?

Is Debi Pearl an Enabler? September 12, 2019

Over the past few days I’ve been going back to Michael and Debi Pearl’s No Greater Joy website to reread all the articles about brain grooving Debi wrote leading up to her idea of a book on bad brains. I found this, a piece by Michael Pearl answering a question on when is it enabling and when is it being supportive. The letter writer wants to know the path to take as a wife. Micheal answers her, and if you apply what he’s said there it sounds very much like Debi is an enabler for him.

If your spouse or friend wallows in self-pity and misery or becomes stricken and loses confidence over a minor personal issue, you are an enabler if you treat their complaints with tender understanding instead of steering them to see themselves objectively. Your goal is to bring them to normalcy, not legitimize their misery by expressing sympathy and confirming their false assumptions. Being a good help meet is helping your spouse be stronger, happier, healthier, and more discerning of themselves as well as others.

Just like Debi did on their honeymoon by trailing around after Michael picking up crabs, cooking, making with the sex and a million other things while he rested? Sounded an awful like enabling bad behavior from here. Debi collapsed at the end.

You made application to your role as help meet, so I will answer your question by taking this opportunity to expand the scope of your question and look at the principle in a broader way. If your husband is lazy and will not get a job, and blames his state on the workplace or the way he is mistreated, and you sympathize, sharing his denunciation of the lousy world, you are an enabler. BUT, if you treat him with disdain or anger, you are dishonoring your man and God. There is a clear difference in the two responses.

Tell me again about having to eat cat food, fundraising for surgery to fix Debi’s neck, moving to avoid CPS, avoiding work to be a missionary, and the million other Pearl behaviors are not enabling based?

A help meet is a wife who helps her husband by meeting his needs. If you walk around on pins and needles, trying to clean up emotionally behind his destructive behavior, not allowing him to feel the consequences of his misdeeds and miswords, you are not being a good help meet; you are being a poor, helpless enabler. If you get a job when he will not, you are an enabler. If you agree with his paranoia about the world, the church, etc., you are an enabler. BUT, if you ridicule or mock, you are dishonoring and thus sinning against God and will drive your husband further into weirdness.

Wow! Michael’s words demonstrate just how deep his cognitive dissonance goes. Everything he’s decried and said so far in his article is a picture of how he and Debi live their lives. It’s tragic that he cannot see it. It’s ruined their lives and stripped them of so much better.


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About Suzanne Titkemeyer
Suzanne Titkemeyer went from a childhood in Louisiana to a life lived in the shadow of Washington D.C. For many years she worked in the field of social work, from national licensure to working hands on in a children's residential treatment center. Suzanne has been involved with helping the plights of women and children' in religious bondage. She is a ordained Stephen's Minister with many years of counseling experience. Now she's retired to be a full time beach bum in Tamarindo, Costa Rica with the monkeys and iguanas. She is also a thalassophile. She also left behind years in a Quiverfull church and loves to chronicle the worst abuses of that particular theology. She has been happily married to her best friend for the last 33 years. You can read more about the author here.
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