Dear Paul B,
I have a “friend,” who complains to me all the time about her son. He is insolent towards her, finds fault with practically everything she says or does. It is mind boggling how she continues to accept this type of behavior. Since her divorce, she has felt “responsible” for a decision that was a long time coming. I know for a fact, that she lived a miserable life so that the family unit would be kept intact. She blames no one but herself, but wants to move on. Her problem exists because she allows her son to dump all of his shortcomings and flaws on HER. So many parents sacrifice for their children without the least bit of appreciation, gratis or compassion. I have urged her to sever communications with her son until such time that he can speak to her with any element of respect. Isn’t this the best advice? She always says it is too late to change him, and doesn’t want to risk losing him. BTW, his father and he are not very close…in fact, it is his Dad who taught his son this abusive behavior.
You are so right about cutting it off before it grows. Abuse is like a cancer, and if you don’t treat it now it will take over until it has devoured it’s victim. Your friend, through her enabling of this abuse is also stifling her ego and confidence as well. Does she herself miss the abuse that her husband doled out during her marriage? Is this some type of love equivalent? Love, respect and honor begin in the home, no doubt. I fear that her son will treat others with this same attitude and find himself a lonely man walking the streets. How are his career related relationships, his personal connections? Are they fruitful and rich? Does her son have compassion for others? In summary, there is no excuse for shouting, insults and aggression towards anyone, especially a parent. If one must learn the hard way, then so be it. Em, your advice is tip-top. I approve.
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