| Dear Panel. |
I am a helpless onlooker to my husband's grandiose dreams and self-delusions as I am sometimes taken in by them myself and am stuck in the middle of a potentially dangerous situation.
My husband is consumed by the American dream of instant success. He's a man who has sold himself on the idea that he is extremely well-liked and more successful than he truly is. He demands the appearance of utmost confidence in our household presenting himself as a more important, successful man than he really is and has influenced our two sons to be classic overachievers, preventing them from striving for their best and reaching their true potential. My husband loves our children but sees their lack of success as a personal insult and has a volatile relationship with them.
My oldest son is thirty-four years old and has been fired from every job he's ever had.
The conflict between my sons and husband is wearing down my husband's mental well-being and he has begun talking to himself of times gone by when he was closer to that American dream. How can I help my children to see that success doesn't come without hard work and my husband to see that being well-liked and prosperous is not the only thing important in this world?
-- loving wife and mother
Mare, Karmela, Mensch, & Alicia answer this question.