to think dh is 100% in the wrong?(69 Posts)
This is long so thank you for sticking with it.......DD (almost 11) and Dh clash. We also have ds, 4 (who adores dh and the feeling is mutual). Dh had always been the type who prefers not to have any confrontation or to disagree with anyone. When dd was small he'd always say "Mummy will be cross with you" or " Mummy says it's bedtime". He was never ever the bad guy. I don't know if this is relevant. Anyway nowadays DD reacts to him and he to her. I have heard her be cheeky or challenging to him - sometimes rude but other than with him she is very well behaved. Good at school and at home (for me). I tend to avoid putting them together especially with DS. Away from DH, DS and DD get on great together - she's brilliant with him though can throw her weight about at times, generally is very patient and generous. If DD and DS have a row, DH wades in blaming DD without finding out what was going on. Anyway, this evening I asked dh to collect dd (I wouldn't usually as they come in with thunderous faces having had words in the car on the way home) he took ds with him. Sure enough she comes in chatting away but he comes in ranting about her behaviour. He went off to watch tv and she explained what happened (both to blame - crossed wires/bad reaction) and said she was upset they fought so I suggested she go talk to him. She went in and said I don't want to fight with you...and he roared back "well why did you so..." Then he refused to speak to her and stormed off to bed an hour later as he is "too full of rage" to deal with her.
I feel as though we have a huge problem on our hands. I know she is less amenable for him but I feel that his reactions are out of proportion for a 10 year old. I also think he will have similar problems with ds as he spoils him and refuses to discipline him. His stock answer is "well I don't know how to be a parent do I?"
I feel I am constantly reassuring dd that she is okay but then he'll not speak to her for days over a silly incident and I think that's a terrible lesson to teach her. I also don't think he's fostering any respect in her towards him. A friend says it's between them and I shouldn't stress so much but it makes life uncomfortable and tbh I'm not too impressed with his behaviour . Am I BU in thinking it is totally he who needs to change and not her? HE thinks she needs to change.......
He doesnt speak to his child for days??? Ridiculous. On a practical note, how on earth can he parent a child properly he isnt speaking to? Let alone the emotional damage he is doing to her. She's 10, he's the adult. Why would you put up with this shit from him?
He's correct about one thing though. He clearly doesnt know how to parent does he?
I wish you luck with sorting this out OP. Your poor DD. It would be hard enough for an adult to be singled out for the rough treatment in their own home...the place where people should feel loved and safe.
My God, your poor DD.
He is being childish, and damaging both his children.
Although it galls me to suggest you pander to his behaviour, could you take the tack of saying "we're all living unhappily, can we go to relate for some family counselling?"
Elle, that sounds awful and so destructive. Hats off to you for working on a better relationship with your DM.
Your poor dd.
In answer to the poster who suggested it might be better to stay and moderate the effects of the behaviour - contact would presumably only be some of the time, atm the poor girl has to live with this all the time on her own home.
But I don't think we're at the 'leaving' stage yet. That said, I am very very worried about this behaviour and its effects on your dd - and it will be having an effect. It will also ruin the relationship between her and her brother, as your dh seems very clearly to favour his ds.
He needs to gain insight into the damaging effects of his behaviour, he needs to agree to work on it (family therapy would be a good idea), and he needs to make great efforts to change. If he can't, or won't, then I think it is time to reassess your marriage, sorry.
Oh no!! Please don't let this continue! Your daughter is learning to accept that the person who should love and protect her unconditionally withdraws his love at the drop of a hat and punishes her for days on end. She will become attracted to other men like this as it will feel 'like home' trying to cajole an angry man out of a bad mood. What a crap life he is setting up for his daughter. He's an emotional wimp. I would be bloody raging at him. In fact I am bloody raging at him ...... Send him to me I'll give him a talking too!!
There are several things going on I think:
- your DH and his treatment of his daughter
- your DH and his treatment of his son (golden child, no discipline)
- your DH and his emotional immaturity
- the lack of action about any of this
He has real issues. Also what are you doing to tackle the fact that he's been undermining you (eg creating you as the bad one as that implies that he would let them go to bed later, but mummy said no)?
What was his childhood like? Why is he so angry?
Is it worse to stay to make sure the kids are ok, or is it enabling the behaviour?
But she isn't ok is she? staying isn't making things ok.
I think re contact that an 11 yr old could vote with her feet.
When an adult and a child of ten get into a row, the adult (if responsible) should take a long, hard look at his or her behaviour after the event. It is hardly fair to blame the child. The adult is the adult, end of story.
That is what your DH needs to do.
So, in answer to the OP, yes, your DH is 100% in the wrong and needs to sort himself out. I think it is a bit Pavlovian to say LTB though.
What do you think his behaviour is doing to her self esteem? What is she learning about relationships and what is acceptable. I hope it isn't too late to turn this around for her. Do you know what a self fulfilling prophesy is? Wait 6 years and you will find out and then DH can sit back and say he was right and DD was always a bad one. Fucking wake up, you are letting her down terribly as well.
My mum did the not speaking act to me from a very wrong age,i just needed to look at her the wrong way depending on her mood and she would not speak for weeks,she still does it to me now but not on the same level as i'm a grown women and i get her told she still doesn't respond.It is soul destroying for a child to go through this tell it to stop his cruel behaviour now.I only wish my dad had stood up for me but he also got the silent treatment from her
My dad was like that, he didn't like his children getting older and having their own ideas.
We all got disowned around the time we got married (I left before that because I knew what was coming) because he can't see growing up as a natural progression more as a rejection of him iyswim hence the sulks etc.
Oh that is sad for your little girl. And she is just that, she's a child.
To me it is emotional abuse, and very damaging. His behaviour needs to change. He has said he doesn't know how to parent, he needs help.
My ex would sulk for days and refuse to speak to me after any kind of disagreement. That was damaging enough to me as an adult. I can't imagine the damage he's doing to your poor DD. She's only 10, still developing and learning about life. Please get some help for her and DH's relationship before permanent damage is done, if it hasn't already. This cannot continue a moment longer.
There was one occasion when DS1 had done something to make his dad angry and he started to do the not-talking thing with him. I hit the roof, told him don't you dare do that to him and made it very clear that it was completely unacceptable to behave like that with a child. He never did it again.
When your bloke is abusing your daughter like this.. what do you do? Do you stick up for her or are you constantly being peacemaker?
If I had witnessed my child holding put an olive branch to an adult and they reacting like that I would have hit the roof.
You're setting yourself up for some seriously turbulent teenage years and a messed up adult if you don't get a handle on this now.
My Dad certainly favoured my younger brother - who was indulged - and disliked me. He had an idea that girls in particular should be cute and docile. As I grew less 'cute' I got treated harshly. He also did the silent treatment and avoided real parenting, preferring to send messages by my mother. It was horrible.
Looking back it seems clear that my father almost certainly had a) Aspergers syndrome and b) mental health issues. My mother however very definitely put him first and just felt it was my job to fit in. If I didn't I was the one who should be blamed.
Whereas you seem clear that it is your husband's responsibility is to be a more involved, caring and consistent parent. If my experience is anything to go by, unless he's willing to look at what he's doing, things will only get worse as your daughter heads towards the teenage years.
Sorry to be so bleak. I suppose I just think when push comes to shove it's a mother's responsibility to put her children's emotional and psychological welfare before a husband's ego.
FrauMoose, your father sounds identical to mine!
OP, I had to live with a father who behaved at me in a similar way and it was awful. As a result in adulthood I've suffered from depression and low self esteem. My mum always enabled my dad's behaviour by tip toeing round him and letting him treat me that way (I think there is some emotional abuse going on in their relationship too, hence her treading on eggshells).
I currently don't have any contact at all with my parents. They have done nothing for me in life apart from screw me up
Please don't let this continue. I was that child and it's affected my whole life. I even ended up marrying someone similar who treated me like dirt because I has no self esteem.
My mother turned a blind eye and didn't do anything. It was an awful environment to grow up in and was full of stress as even forgetting to turn off a light after leaving a room would result in him not speaking to me for a week.
I am not minimizing how difficult a situation you are in op. I really feel for you hugs. But you already know that you can't let your poor DD carry on having to live like this - the consequences of this emotional abuse on her self worth and her future relationships don't bear thinking about - so what options do you have to put an end to it?
Have a look over the the threads in relationships about emotional abuse and take note of the wise mnetters standard advice. I don't remember reading too many people advising those women with ea partners to talk to him about it, show him what to do, point him in the direction of a few counseling sessions. Standard advice is LTB. I don't see why it shouldn't be at least as important to follow this advice when the victim is a child.
Of course this is much more difficult to carry out than to write about.
Also, the concern about separation and contact raised earlier is a valid, often ignored, consideration for younger children. But Amberleaf is right that in this case, your particular DD could vote with her feet. Cafcass strongly respect the child's choice once they're old enough to understand what the choice will mean to them and express their reasons for it.
Elle, that sounds awful and so destructive. Hats off to you for working on a better relationship with your DM.
I'll second that! Well done on being the much much bigger and better person!
And yes, your DH is 100% in the wrong. Parenting classes and maybe look on Amazon for some books.
The teenage years can be a nightmare and this will just escalate and life will be hell.
I recently read 'Getting to Calm' as I have a difficult teen and although very American and repetitive, it does give you some good advice, case studies and how to deal with certain situations.
I would suggest making him read something like this. It is hard going in places but he needs a starting point.
If he won't even commit to reading a book then I would suggest he isn't interested at all in parenting his own children and needs to bugger off and leave you to do it properly without him sabotaging things every 5 minutes.
I'm sure others will know of better books???
A mere lack of practical parenting info can't possibly justify him freezing out his dd for days, can it?
not 'justify', more like 'be the reason for'
They do a couple of sports together and get on well then - they are very alike too which is part of the reason for the clash. But yes, most of you have hit on exactly what worries me: that she will take his behaviour as normal. I am going to look at Relate - or parenting courses. Tbh, I do 90% of the parenting and always have done; he had a very disfunctional home life growing up so would not have had any sort of example - relatives of his say it's amazing he turned out as well as he did but that only exuses so much...
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