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AIBU to expect my DH to control his emotions round the DDs?

(5 Posts)
farnorth Sun 19-Jun-16 17:58:16

My DH comes from a pretty dysfunctional family - my MIL is superb at emotional blackmail and both MIL and FIL (divorced 30 years) are very self-centred. I let this roll over me but am beginning to realise that DH is also self-centred to the core and this is now affecting our DDs. He prefers DD1 to DD2 as DD1 is more active and so he spends much more time with her. He seems unable to let things go and I am sure his IBS (4 years on) is a symptom of this and of his need to control his environment and his family. He won't do anything for his IBS except take the pills. Now he has another health scare, his dad is officially dying of cancer and not living with cancer, and he has no coping mechanisms except anger. DD2 didn't make him a card for Fathers Day (she just forgot) and so he told DD1 that he was really hurt that DD2 didn't make him a card. So DD1 told DD2 and DD2 was very upset. AIBU to tell him that at 50 he should have more emotional intelligence than a 10 year old - he's the big person? This is just the latest in about 20 years of this kind of behaviour and its really affecting the DDs as they come up to teenage years. They love him but I am at the end of my tether - but feel I can't do anything drastic given the FIL situation.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 19-Jun-16 18:09:19

You have let his family of origin's actions roll over you to your detriment.

I would not consider the ILs in all this, they have never shown you any due consideration and I think you have acted as you have done because you have come from a nice and emotionally healthy family yourself. People like his parents see nice people as a weakness to exploit and use. You are not married to the ILs; you are married to your H and he is coming across very badly here.

You state your DDs love him; I would argue that their dad does not know the meaning of the word towards his daughters. He has simply chosen the eldest child (who he has made the golden child, a role itself not without price) over the other (she is his scapegoat) and that action of his could well go onto affect the sister's own relationship with each other in future years. They could well go onto not have any sort of relationship with each other as adults. This is happening right in front of your very eyes.

He is very much a product of his own dysfunctional upbringing and is creating those same damaging lessons in his own family now. This cannot be allowed to continue, he will continue to wreak such emotional havoc within his own family unit.

Do you love this man? Why are you and he still together, what is in this relationship for you?. You have had to date around 20 years of this kind of behaviour, I would think you will at least have 20 more years of the same. How does that make you feel? Have you ever thought about leaving him?.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Sun 19-Jun-16 18:14:00

You didn't tell him he was out of order immediately for the card problem? You are deciding if you should even mention it to him? Do you normally suppress your true feelings? Do you often pretend things are OK when you feel they are not?

HandyWoman Sun 19-Jun-16 18:17:49

YANBU to tell him. But you ABU to expect him to ever grow up. Also the 'right time' may never come to leave. After FIL situation it'll be Christmas, then something else will crop up.

Before you know it you wasted decades in a loveless, unhealthy relationship, simultaneously instructing your children about how 'normal' it feels to be in an abusive relationship. And teaching dd2 that nothing she ever does is good enough...

Why not do something productive about this instead? ie gather all important financial documents and see a solicitor about building a better life for you and your dd's.

farnorth Sun 19-Jun-16 20:46:30

Hi All, yes RRR I did call him on it. Straight away. And then later he apologised for saying it, using as an excuse "he was really upset". I didn't let him away with that either but he really just does not understand that his emotions are not the most important ones when it comes to - well, anyone. They are just part of the context.
Yes I am absolutely considering gathering all the various docs and seeing the solicitor. There is nothing left in this marriage for me - and I am financially independent of him too. You are right Handywoman - there is always something - my job, his exam stress, his sports injuries, moving to the US, moving back from the US, my depression...
I have hung on so far because I wanted my kids to grow up, as I did, in a mum & dad family. And he can be great with them.But really, DH and his brother are walking talking examples of the emotional damage that growing up in a bad marriage does.
Thanks ladies. Spine stiffened.

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