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.......
OP, what are your thoughts today, after everything that has been said here ?
So your DD had the maturity, at aged 10, to go and offer an olive branch & he threw it back in her face
He'd be out of my life & up shit creak before the sun had set
Your friend is wrong and you're right. You have to draw a line and make it clear to your dh that this behaviour isn't acceptable.
I've found myself in the exact same situation this week as dh suddenly started ignoring ds. I told him this morning that if he didn't start talking to ds again then myself and ds were leaving. I also said he needed to spend time on his parenting skills (counselling, books, courses - whichever works best). This evening he started talking to ds again.
tbh it has really shaken my trust in him as a partner and a parent. Unless he turns this round, then I know I need to leave.
I know it's hard for you but nearly everyone here is telling you how damaging this situation is for your dd. It's also damaging for your ds who is witnessing an awful example of how to be a parent. It's also damaging for yourself. You don't need to save your dh from his awful upbringing but you do have a responsibility to safeguard your dcs.
Sending you lots of strength to find a way through this. I know it's difficult and I know I might have some difficult decisions ahead of me too.
" His stock answer is "well I don't know how to be a parent do I?""
To which my answer would be 'Well once upon a time I didn't know how to drive so I took some
fucking lessons and NOW I KNOW HOW!' (and yes I would shout the last four words.
YANBU to think that your DH is 100% in the wrong. He is the (alleged) adult in this relationship, and he has completely abdicated responsibility here. And as for "he had a very disfunctional home life growing up so would not have had any sort of example" - well maybe he didn't have examples THEN, but surely since then he has watched TV, films, read books?
He needs to change.
Actually the fact that you do 90% of the parenting is in and of itself a Bad Thing.
Good fathers do more than 10% of the parenting.
OP I have to say, even though you do 90% of the parenting, the fact that you're not tackling his behaviour and pulling him up on it every single time speaks volumes. To me and I'm sure to your daughter.
I think Xmas gifts are leaving it a bit too late, tbh
Buy him some parenting books for Xmas. Read some Amazon reviews. He obviously has no idea what to do or needs some encouragement
OP, I had a terrible relationship with my father when I was growing up. His fault, all of it. I was a child, he was the grown up and there is no excuse for him. We have virtually no interaction now.
What is possibly more relevant for you in giving you this snippet of my life is that I also have a very damaged relationship with my mother. She didn't protect me from him (he was emotionally abusive, belittled me, scapegoated me, blew hot/cold etc etc....sound familiar ?) and for that I blame her
It may not be fair to target her because she was probably just as big a victim of him as I was... but the damage remains. We don't have a good mother/daughter understanding. I despise him, and I pity/resent her.
Nobody should ever have to think of their parents in that way.
This is your future. Is he worth sacrificing your lifelong connection with your children ? My mother obviously thought so, as she is still with my father. He still treats her like shit
Blaming the child because the parent/adult can't communicate properly with them..... IMO this is abusive and damaging behaviour.
My abusive FIL and SIL do this with my dh's nephew. It's painful to watch. If it were my dh doing it to my dd it would be a deal-breaker... In fact it was my dh doing it to my ds a couple of years ago and it was a deal breaker, dh changed and actually took responsibility for his own behaviour and his own parenting.
This is really serious stuff. Not one poster has said this is ok. I would start with demanding parenting classes and counselling.
How damaging for your daughter, find your husband some parenting classes, he needs guidance.
In the case of my father his - also difficult - childhood meant that he couldn't parent in the modern sense of the word. He did the economic providing and was physically present, but that was about it. I think he wanted to be the child, the one was looked after by my mother and was the centre of her attention. There wasn't really any room for us as we got bigger - we were too much like competition. (He had wanted children. It's just that he liked the idea of (small) children, not the reality.) I think my mother was too concerned to support him, and to scared to challenge him. I suppose it's a question of how much insight individual parents have into their difficulties - and the extent to which they themselves want to change.
Your DH sounds like how my dad used to be with me. We really didn't get on. When I was 16 although we lived under the same roof (tiny 3 bed house) we didn't speak at all for 8 months. He wouldn't even stay in the same room as me. I know that sounds extreme but I'm being deadly serious. Don't let it get to that point as there was no going back for me and my dad.
His behaviour is absolutely disgraceful.
Really, really bad.
Have you thought of family therapy PlumpkinPie? It sounds as though the family dynamics have been set for quite a while and might take a bit of unearthing. The way the whole family behaves is affected by inadequate parenting like this, your friend is totally wrong to say it's just a problem between your DH and your DD, it has a knock on effect on the whole family dynamic.
The local Children's Centre would be able to signpost him to a parenting course, as he's already said he doesn't know how to parent.
It's not going to get easier as your dc move into their teens you know, that's when the "challenging Dad" phase is more likely to start.
It sounds like you are on the right track. He hasn't learnt how to do this. Blaming him will just keep you in the cycle & you currently have to keep rescuing the situation. Try and understand him and your daughter and help from there. It doesn't mean you accept the situation or his behaviour. You have a choice & so does he. Talk to him, explain the consequences of his behaviour & get some help (as you have indicated). Parenting is hard particularly when you haven't been patented well yourself.
This is so sad. Does he even realise that he is showing her how it is ok to be treated?
If he had a difficult time as a child, may be counselling would be a good place to start - for him.
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...
not 'justify', more like 'be the reason for'
A mere lack of practical parenting info can't possibly justify him freezing out his dd for days, can 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???
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.
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.
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