to think dh is 100% in the wrong?

(69 Posts)
PlumpkinPie Thu 03-Oct-13 23:03:47

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?" hmm
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 confused. Am I BU in thinking it is totally he who needs to change and not her? HE thinks she needs to change.......

Nanny0gg Thu 03-Oct-13 23:05:33

He's (allegedly) the parent here. He needs to start acting like one.

nameimadeupjustnow Thu 03-Oct-13 23:07:33

She's 10. The problem behaviour is entirely his, and he better sort it out sharpish. This will get worse, and he will not 'win', if that's his intention.

Hegsy Thu 03-Oct-13 23:09:32

He ignores his own daughter for days? WTF? That is just wrong on so many levels. You are right he needs to grow up and stop acting like a child himself.

Your poor dd. Is there any way you could talk him into going on a parenting course? He is in the wrong and needs to change.

ChippingInNeedsSleepAndCoffee Thu 03-Oct-13 23:17:14

He needs to grow the fuck up - she is TEN and it's clearly not a recent issue. FFS. This would be a deal breaker for me, I couldn't have my child put through that in her own home.

cocobongo Thu 03-Oct-13 23:17:59

he is an absolute tosser. doesn't speak to her for days? unbelievable.

YouTheCat Thu 03-Oct-13 23:21:12

He's right about one thing. He doesn't know how to parent... at all.

Your poor dd. The way she behaves towards him is a direct result of his behaviour. He's supposed to be an adult.

wigglesrock Thu 03-Oct-13 23:21:31

He doesn't speak to his 10 year old for days shock . His behaviour is cruel and unacceptable. I have an 8 year old, I know what they can be like.

You don't want your daughter to think that this is how people deal with rows and anger, he's full of rage - Jesus Christ, she's 10. Your daughter & son will quickly think that this kind of anger and huffiness is normal in adults - not a great blueprint for future relationships.

CailinDana Thu 03-Oct-13 23:25:05

His behaviour is emotionally abusive. I would really struggle to stay with a guy who treated my little girl like that.

AmberLeaf Thu 03-Oct-13 23:27:04

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

Bloody right it's a terrible lesson.

That is emotionally abusive. Don't let her grow up thinking that is a normal way for a man to treat her.

Your DH needs to grow up, or fuck off IMO.

sweetestcup Thu 03-Oct-13 23:28:42

Arent you worried about the effect of this emotionally abusive behaviour on your DD, especially as she grows?

Hopasholic Thu 03-Oct-13 23:33:26

So your DD had the maturity, at aged 10, to go and offer an olive branch & he threw it back in her face shock

He'd be out of my life & up shit creak before the sun had set.

He is damaging your daughter by choosing to behave this way. I'm not being dramatic either, he really is. sad

BlackeyedSusan Thu 03-Oct-13 23:54:39

it is horrendous behaviour. I have been at your daughter's end of it. when my dad was ill but i did not know that at the time i did not recognise dv when it happened to me later until it got very serious.. consider what you need to do to break the cycle and stop her ending up in an abusive relationship.

oh and my dad ws emotionlly abused and neglected too. break the cycle.

mumofweeboys Fri 04-Oct-13 00:07:03

Relate for some family counselling, head off issues which are oing to get worse when dd becomes a teenager

nennypops Fri 04-Oct-13 00:11:02

His reactions are not just out of proportion, they are totally inappropriate for any father. He sounds considerably less mature than your daughter. If it wasn't that it would send him into a massive sulk for days, I'd suggest you show him this thread.

ecuse Fri 04-Oct-13 00:18:50

Is DH DD's dad? Either way, it's pretty horrendous behaviour.

Cold-shouldering her for days after an argument is so very wrong. She could be left emotionally damaged by this treatment by her own father.

Does he show her any love at all, ever?

Maybe some family counselling would help.

Balaboosta Fri 04-Oct-13 07:17:18

Not a good situation. Totally your business to worry about, can't believe your friend said that. You have to do some work on this. Sorry.

Faith48 Fri 04-Oct-13 07:23:18

OP I had the exact same situation except I was in your daughters position. I had a horrible childhood because of it, my DB could do no wrong and I was to blame for everything. Eventually I lost all respect for myself and went off the rails because I couldn't stand being at home. My DM couldn't stand the atmospheres so she stuck with my Dad and as a result I would be extremely happy to never speak to them again and they feel the same way. It affected me massively, please stick by your daughter.

ElleMcFearsome Fri 04-Oct-13 07:39:54

Ugh, the silent treatment. My DM was the queen of this. Withdrawal of love and the silent treatment was pretty normal to me when I was growing up, culminating in, on June 1, the year I was 15 she ceased talking to me. Didn't say another word until the morning of my 16th birthday - (mid February the following year) to ask me where I was going as I appeared downstairs with a suitcase. I was moving out to go and live with my (very unsuitable) boyfriend. And I mean not a SINGLE word. She just looked right through me. 8 months of the silent treatment, all through my GCSE year at school and everything else. My DF hated confrontation and was trapped between his wife and me and totally ineffectual.

We eventually mended the fences and have a good relationship now but it has really left me scarred. I deal really badly with confrontation, with upsetting people, and I used to be terribly clingy. It took a lot of therapy for me to work through it all.

As previous posters have said, please try to explain to your DH how damaging this is. Maybe he could have some counselling to address his stuff, followed by family therapy, as others have suggested.

RevelsRoulette Fri 04-Oct-13 07:42:13

How can someone be a parent for 10 years and turn round and claim they don't know how to be one?

If you were in any paid employment for a decade and announced that you had no idea how to do the job - you'd be fired.

Does he have any idea at all how pathetic he sounds?

OrchidLass Fri 04-Oct-13 07:43:13

Wow I think this is a massive problem. He is treating his own daughter in an appalling way and it WILL have a detrimental effect on her and her future relationship with him and others. It may sound like an over reaction but I really couldn't be with someone who treated my child in this way even if he is her father.

invicta Fri 04-Oct-13 07:47:28

Why does he feel like this? Do you know the cause of his resentment towards his daughter? I think you need to find this, and then try and build on a new relationship between the two. It's a very sad situation to be in, and must be stressful for you also acting as the go-between.

DoItTooJulia Fri 04-Oct-13 07:48:43

Those saying it's a deal breaker or LTB situation, what do you think will happen during contact, when it's just the kids and the dad. Genuine question.

when mum wouldn't be there to diffuse the situation. Or comfort dd?

Is it worse to stay to make sure the kids are ok, or is it enabling the behaviour?

NotYoMomma Fri 04-Oct-13 07:52:09

he is a shit Dad - end of

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Fri 04-Oct-13 07:54:19

He doesnt speak to his child for days??? shock 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? hmm

FacebookWanker Fri 04-Oct-13 07:54:52

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.

whattodoo Fri 04-Oct-13 07:55:51

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.

PicardyThird Fri 04-Oct-13 08:00:58

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.

Fragglewump Fri 04-Oct-13 08:09:10

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?

AmberLeaf Fri 04-Oct-13 08:13:06

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.

Roshbegosh Fri 04-Oct-13 08:20:55

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.

gingysmummy Fri 04-Oct-13 08:25:24

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

gingysmummy Fri 04-Oct-13 08:25:58

young age not wrong!

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 04-Oct-13 08:26:10

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.

RatherBeOnThePiste Fri 04-Oct-13 08:32:12

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.

gamerchick Fri 04-Oct-13 08:42:02

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.

FrauMoose Fri 04-Oct-13 08:43:31

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.

AnyFucker Fri 04-Oct-13 08:51:26

Yes, he is

tupperwareupperware Fri 04-Oct-13 09:09:58

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

shellbot Fri 04-Oct-13 09:12:36

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.

randomAXEofkindness Fri 04-Oct-13 09:37:22

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???

randomAXEofkindness Fri 04-Oct-13 09:57:16

A mere lack of practical parenting info can't possibly justify him freezing out his dd for days, can it?

randomAXEofkindness Fri 04-Oct-13 09:59:57

not 'justify', more like 'be the reason for'

PlumpkinPie Fri 04-Oct-13 10:09:50

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...

FrauMoose Fri 04-Oct-13 10:18:27

What was his home life like?

YouTheCat Fri 04-Oct-13 10:22:07

If he had a difficult time as a child, may be counselling would be a good place to start - for him.

MammaTJ Fri 04-Oct-13 10:24:26

This is so sad. Does he even realise that he is showing her how it is ok to be treated?

123bucklemyshoe Fri 04-Oct-13 10:32:25

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.

BackforGood Fri 04-Oct-13 10:35:48

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.

BasilBabyEater Fri 04-Oct-13 10:41:03

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.

Weeantwee Fri 04-Oct-13 10:41:29

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.

FrauMoose Fri 04-Oct-13 10:45:59

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.

quoteunquote Fri 04-Oct-13 10:56:57

How damaging for your daughter, find your husband some parenting classes, he needs guidance.

Josie1974 Fri 04-Oct-13 11:02:50

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.

AnyFucker Fri 04-Oct-13 19:12:49

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

Retroformica Fri 04-Oct-13 19:54:39

Buy him some parenting books for Xmas. Read some Amazon reviews. He obviously has no idea what to do or needs some encouragement

AnyFucker Fri 04-Oct-13 20:10:35

I think Xmas gifts are leaving it a bit too late, tbh

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.

BasilBabyEater Fri 04-Oct-13 20:21:54

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.

" 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.

DrawingLines Fri 04-Oct-13 21:04:01

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.

witsalmader Fri 04-Oct-13 21:08:49

So your DD had the maturity, at aged 10, to go and offer an olive branch & he threw it back in her face shock

He'd be out of my life & up shit creak before the sun had set

^This.

AnyFucker Sun 06-Oct-13 14:02:11

OP, what are your thoughts today, after everything that has been said here ?

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