I think one of the issues my mother-in-law had was she never allowed people to give to her.
She appeared to dislike affection. She pushed people away. Yes she ‘did her duty’ but she always had to justify any act of generosity or giving towards her.
Maybe that explains why Alex and his siblings don’t know how to really give. They never learnt. They were never allowed the opportunity to develop this.
The joy and act of giving is immense. Incredibly satisfying and amazing. And I don’t mean giving in a material sense. I mean giving as in giving love, affection, time. The act of just being in the moment and enjoying the experience without justification.
I think this is why I find the collapse and waste of my marriage so frustrating. If Alex could experience the joys of really giving and feel how amazing that is then maybe his eyes would start to open and he would see what he could have had.
We can all learn new skills. It is never too late.
Just a thought.