Hi all! I'm hoping possibly someone would be able to share some wisdom on my current trial.
So the situation is this:
My wife (we've been married seven years) "Beth" grew up with an overprotective mother, whom we believe to have a mild degree of emotional instability. Throughout her childhood and young adulthood Beth was treated like a child, expected to be at her mom's side every day, and ultimately sheltered by the constant presence of her mom. If she did not do so, Beth's mom would endlessly guilt trip Beth until she could take it no longer. So years went on and on pacifying Beth's mom to "keep the peace," many times at my expense from Beth choosing her mom over me.
Last year God moved in a major way, and Beth and I and our 4 year old son had to move across the country. This of course devastated her mom, and we got a lot of grief and zero support from her. Whereas in the past Beth would cave into her mom's endless rants, she realized that in this case the chips were down, and that me and our son came first. To this day 11 months later, Beth still has to occasional argument with her mom over this. The woman is unstable.
But my wife is the most amazing woman who's ever lived, and for the first time in our marriage I feel like I'm #1. She stands up to her mom and doesn't allow her to tear her down anymore!
Now that we've "defeated" her mom, Beth needs to realize the world around her. We are in a new place with new people, and we need Beth to open up. Beth's mom is full of fear and worry, and Beth has received some of that too. Beth is generally distrustful of people she doesn't know, scared to death of little things like driving in places she isn't familiar with, and unwilling to try anything new without me there.
I'm convinced this stems entirely from Beth's mom sheltering her throughout her life. Simply put, this is the first time Beth is out on her own away from mommy, and I think she was never prepared for this situation. SO.. it's up to me. I will say: God has provided SO WELL through this whole relocation situation (scary!), and I have no doubt He will do so here as well.
How can I lovingly, and in a Christ-like way, teach my wife to be more social, more adventurous, and more resourceful (for example, instead of being scared to drive around our new town, breaking out a map and plotting a course herself)? I want to handle this delicately, because she has come so far through all of this and I don't want to look unappreciative.
Ladies, you may want to chime in and get a woman's perspective. Men of God, if you have any advice on how to be a supporter to Beth, that's welcome too!
Thanks! Sorry it's so long, it's too complicated to explain briefly.
Take care and God bless!