Martha paints a picture of her husband as a narcissistic, raging individual. His insecurity and emotional disconnectedness are disguised as playfulness. His work is ever-present both at home, office, and everywhere.
Martha sees her self as overprotective of her teenage son, and condescending towards her husband. Martha suffers in silence at the childish antics and outbursts of both her husband and son.
Time and again, friends around Martha see her "martyrdom."
The stress in Martha's household is palpable. Early mornings, both her husband and 18-year-old would have troubles for her.
Her husband is used to throw tantrums over things, such as breakfast or pieces of clothing before he goes to work. Martha's teenage son, on the other hand, is equally crude and petty. At times, her son would warn, that unless mommy Martha gets his college uniform ready or increases his allowance, he won't go to school any more.
Each time, Martha gives in to her husband's and son's tantrums, believing that if she isn't successful, she faces personal rejection.
Martha grows weary and depressed each day. She knows she needs to do remedial, corrective action or she breaks down. If Martha is determined to help her self, her husband and son, she has to initiate deep-level self-examination to start healing.
Let me give a few tough questions for Martha. You may join reflecting with her. If Martha will have the courage to face these tough questions and personal limitations, she can be half way to personal recovery and family change.
It's time for Martha to evaluate her overprotectiveness and patronizing attitudes towards her husband and son.
Do you engage in self-pity?
Are you afraid of your emotions?
Do you accurately know what you feel?
Do you pretend to feel what you don't really feel, while hiding your real feelings?
Do you avoid confronting your husband about his selfishness, chauvinism, and childishness because you're afraid to stand alone?
Do you mask your frustrations by feeling sorry for your son who acts like his father?
Do you lack courage and self confidence that cause you to back away from appropriate discipline and responsible boundaries?