When a husband loves daughter more than wife, how do you cope?

(43 Posts)
RonnieScott Sun 01-Sep-13 19:39:49

My husband (of eight years) doesn't love me. I am his housekeeper, joint wage earner, sexual partner, mother of two of his children but he gets his emotional fulfillment from his 15 year old daughter. I feel so rejected and lonely. He (and I know I will be flamed for this) acts like he is in love with her. He hangs on her every word, laughs at all her jokes, asks her opinion on everything ( and listens intently). When he is on the phone to her, he talks in a lowered voice, giggles like a teenager, he blows kisses to her and tells her how much he loves her, that he cannot wait to see her. They act like they are teenage lovers. I am invisible when she is here. I never thought I would be in this situation. I am a grown woman in my thirties and I long for mutual affection and companionship but how can I compete? I thought this would get easier but as she gets older they become more of a couple. We went on holiday last month, it was so emotionally draining. He spent the whole time trying to find excuses to be alone with her, do stuff with her. I wish I could turn a blind eye and do my own thing. I wish this whole mess didn't make me feel so rejected and unhappy. I try so hard to love her but I resent her so much and I'm starting to hate him. We had a massive row when he went to collect her this weekend. He called me disgusting and sick. I feel that he's right. This is such a mess.

meditrina Tue 10-Sep-13 06:57:03

"Isn't it fairly natural/common to love your DC more than your DH? "

There has been a little outbreak on threads about this in recent days (to the extent that journalistic research was suspected). No, it is neither normal nor common. Love doesn't set up false oppositions and comparisons between family members, and this also means that it isn't a competition between OP and her DSD. For, as a poster on one of the other threads pointed out "If I loved DW like I did DC, then my sex life would end; if I loved DC like DW I'd be arrested".

The problems in your marriage are not caused by DH's relationship with his DD, but are being shown up by your response to them. You say you feel as if you are taken for granted, and that life is stale. These are areas you can change (on the assumption you want to repair your marriage).

What aspects of your marriage have changed recently? What could you do to change them back? What is communication between you like in areas other than parenting?

Kaluki Tue 10-Sep-13 10:44:45

I feel for you OP and brdgrl is (as usual) spot on with her advice.
My DSD was DP's mini wife when I met him. They had a strange dynamic where DSD and DP were like the parents to DSS!!! She has a very strong bossy character and was the centre of their world so when I came along it threw this strange little set up was turned on its head.
I put my foot down hard too - no way was I letting a 6 year old girl tell me where to sit (usually as far from DP as possible!) when to go to bed, what to eat etc etc.
Luckily for me DP backed me up and she eventually took her rightful place as the child of the family. If DP had refused to do this I would have walked.

Lotsofswearwords Tue 10-Sep-13 14:30:48

Exactly what Kaluki said.
Eerily the same, dsd playing my to dss...
And now that dss lives 50:50 with his dad, dsd has become v aggressive towards him, as if he had left her, not his mum.
Thankfully she has become v pleasant to me, but still has problems accepting that dh and I are the couple that like a bit of private time to unwind, not her adult companions, where she can just plonk herself down and "join in".
Don't get me wrong, we have a family dinner, family time and lots of chances to do 1 on 1 with either parent. But our bedtimes are earlier blush and we ask the kids to give us these moments (about an hour, give or take) alone at the TV/ DVD... Neither ds nor dss (finally) have an issue with this, so I think this is a remnant of the old days...(and dh sending out mixed messages when asking her to text in own room).

Lotsofswearwords Tue 10-Sep-13 14:31:25

Playing "mum", doh!

noddyholder Tue 10-Sep-13 14:38:43

This happened to a friend of mine and it eventually strayed into v dangerous territory which she is still dealing with now 30 plus years on. Has he ever lived with her in the family home?

RonnieScott Tue 10-Sep-13 15:06:22

Thanks everyone for your honest responses, it means a lot to me. Brd girl, thank you, I always think you talk a lot of sense. I’ve ordered those books.

Yes, I do think some of this is down to me, I do have a tendency to be jealous. I do have self esteem issues. But I also know it isn’t all in my head, it’s not just me being a ‘jealous cow’. There are things that aren’t right. Some people may say I’m making something out of nothing but I believe the situation is sometimes unhealthy.

An example. We were on holiday, my DH and I were getting on fine, in fact earlier that morning before we got up, we’d made love. We’d been going through bad patch but I’d resolved to really make an effort on this holiday. We were all sitting in the living room later that morning, me DH, DSD, 2 DC. Husband suddenly gets up, goes to the fridge, takes out some cherries and puts them in a bowl and then lovingly puts them in DSDs lap. She hadn’t asked for them, it was just a spontaneous loving gesture from him. I felt like he’d kicked me full force in the stomach. I think the fact that we’d been intimate a few hours before made it worse, it hurt like Hell. It goes without saying he never does spontaneous things like this for me.
Some people may say the above example is pathetic, that I’m being pathetic. As an isolated example then yes, I probably would be. It’s just all the other examples that go with it. When she’s round our house, he won’t even sit next to me for goodness sake. He has to be constantly at her side. It seems that he’s scared to show me any ‘favour’ in case she thinks he loves her less.

Meditrina, you're probably right, if we had a stronger marriage the above wouldn’t hurt so much, maybe I wouldn’t tune in to all these things. Our communication in all areas is pretty rubbish really. We hardly connect anymore, I really worry about it, I don't think he could honestly care less though.

Noddy, he lived with her full time for 3 years, Hasn't lived with her full time for 12 years.

RonnieScott Tue 10-Sep-13 15:06:24

Thanks everyone for your honest responses, it means a lot to me. Brd girl, thank you, I always think you talk a lot of sense. I’ve ordered those books.

Yes, I do think some of this is down to me, I do have a tendency to be jealous. I do have self esteem issues. But I also know it isn’t all in my head, it’s not just me being a ‘jealous cow’. There are things that aren’t right. Some people may say I’m making something out of nothing but I believe the situation is sometimes unhealthy.

An example. We were on holiday, my DH and I were getting on fine, in fact earlier that morning before we got up, we’d made love. We’d been going through bad patch but I’d resolved to really make an effort on this holiday. We were all sitting in the living room later that morning, me DH, DSD, 2 DC. Husband suddenly gets up, goes to the fridge, takes out some cherries and puts them in a bowl and then lovingly puts them in DSDs lap. She hadn’t asked for them, it was just a spontaneous loving gesture from him. I felt like he’d kicked me full force in the stomach. I think the fact that we’d been intimate a few hours before made it worse, it hurt like Hell. It goes without saying he never does spontaneous things like this for me.
Some people may say the above example is pathetic, that I’m being pathetic. As an isolated example then yes, I probably would be. It’s just all the other examples that go with it. When she’s round our house, he won’t even sit next to me for goodness sake. He has to be constantly at her side. It seems that he’s scared to show me any ‘favour’ in case she thinks he loves her less.

Meditrina, you're probably right, if we had a stronger marriage the above wouldn’t hurt so much, maybe I wouldn’t tune in to all these things. Our communication in all areas is pretty rubbish really. We hardly connect anymore, I really worry about it, I don't think he could honestly care less though.

Noddy, he lived with her full time for 3 years, Hasn't lived with her full time for 12 years.

ItsDecisionTime Fri 13-Sep-13 01:39:02

It sounds like he's over compensating for something by being over the top in his affections for her. Does he feel guilty about something that's happened in their relationship?

PomBearArmy Sat 21-Sep-13 18:26:54

Has he been in her life consistently? I read that when people aren't around their children when they are children, but reconnect as adults, it can stir feelings of attraction.

Jenham41 Sat 02-Nov-13 17:12:49

My OH displays some similar traits towards his 6 year old daughter which I find hard but pleased that I have found this thread to reassure me that I'm not a bad person for feeling the way I do sometimes as similar feelings on here ��

Baker1963 Thu 06-Nov-14 20:33:03

I have the same problem but the opposite I'm a step dad to 6 grown up kids of my wife she thinks and shows more to them than me I hate it fill left out and on my own

MarmiteMania Sat 08-Nov-14 22:00:16

I realise this is an old thread. I know a 'together' family where dad is besotted with his dd almost to the point of obsession. The difference is his wife doesn't feel in the slightest but threatened or jealous, simply because she is her mother and she takes delight in the fact that they are close.

It is so, so hard being a step parent- you just don't feel the same way. I know I don't.

MarmiteMania Sat 08-Nov-14 22:00:59

Bit jealous not but jealous!

Boomeranggirl Sun 09-Nov-14 12:15:42

One of our family members has this kind of relationship with his daughter (they are a together family) and its always appeared as though there were three in the marriage. Dad and daughter would gang up on wife in front of people and put her down, it was uncomfortable to watch. Now daughter has grown (early twenties) the best way to describe it would be 'failure to launch' - no education to speak of, no boundaries, no drive, no prospects. Still has same type of relationship with dad and mum looks quite miserable. To be fair, I think the dad has finally realised what effect this has had on her but it's too late, feels very guilty about it. Now he's just taking the view he'll have to support her financially for the foreseeable future.

Strange situation.

VenusRising Sun 09-Nov-14 12:27:17

Wow, those cherries were a peace offering to her as he'd 'betrayed her' (in his mind) by being intimate with you,
It's classic.

I think you need to have counselling.
His relationship with you is falling apart, and his relationship with his dd is damaging to her.

He's chewed up with guilt about breaking up with her mother and 'destroying' her childhood. You are paying the price of his guilt in your relationship now.

You need joint counselling and family counselling later on, for your SDD and you.

Sosadandlost Thu 22-Jan-15 08:37:07

Hi, I know this is very old, but could you please tell me how your family member is doing now? I've lived this life for so long it's breaking my marriage and the sad part, I raised my daughter. I quit my job to be at home while my husband was never involved. I handled everything and he was the "good time" friend. As soon as 18 hit and I couldn't do anything to stop her from spinning out of control. She was just (terrible to me) stole my things, lied, swore at me, ruined my clothes(what she didn't take)took school money for purses and shoes. What she wanted was to take my place. Very entitled child. I asked her to leave until she could treat me with respect. She laughed at me and hit me. He threatened to kill himself if she left, at 23 years old? He took her side on everything, and then behind my back paid for a hotel room for her... Then a home while our bills were piling up. She's now 25 and living At our business (behind my back) we've pay for insurance, her new vehicle(not my choice). I've lived a life of the maid and she the wife. I watched as my life was taken over by my child. I always knew she had issues with me but it began when she would break up with her boyfriends, take it out on me, throw temper tantrums, kick the walls and then go out on dates with her dad to be "calmed down". They'd leave me home alone and she'd come back all smiles and he'd say, "she just needs your understanding". She'd say, "it's your fault I cant have a boyfriend". You're an abusive Mom. I never mistreated her. I love her and gave her everything. She'd even call me from school to pick her up if she needed to use the bathroom because she claimed she had phobias of public toilets. My only fault is, I gave her too much. One day I came home from being in the hospital, my house was redecorated, she had gone threw all my person things and all my old modeling photos were torn to shreds. They were never hung up. I never had them on the walls to flaunt them. They were in my closet just tucked away. She lied and said she was going to make a collage for me and needed to cut them up(he believed her) I came home another time and she had dug up my wedding gown and was modeling it for her father. If he kissed me, she'd jump in and say me too, at 23? What have I done wrong? Can this be fixed? She sits on his lap. I have never felt more alone in my entire life. My daughter whom I love hates me. She tells people he only married me because I was pregnant, I was young when we were married 20 but we were engaged long before I was ever pregnant. I would have given anything to have my parents love one another. Why is she doing this and why does my husband continue to not see how's he's caused this! He came between my daughter and me. All I ever wanted was a family... I made sure to get a degree(s) in psy, read parenting books, work in day care... Everything I could to change my parental skills from my Moms. So I wouldn't repeat the abusive behaviors my mom exhibited onto us kids.... I ended up failing anyway. I loved her and tried so hard and she hates me anywaysad I've taken her to counseling. They call her entitled. I've taken my husband, they tell him to get out of her life, but here I sit. Have anyone of you seen this get better?

barrackobana Thu 22-Jan-15 09:44:58

Sosadandlost This is a terrible situation, I'm 'bumping' for you in the hope a more experienced person will come along.

Runnyhunny Fri 23-Jan-15 16:22:40

I am so upset reading your story. Unfortunately I don't have the experience to advise but would it be worth a try with another, perhaps more experienced counsellor? It's pretty obvious that the first stop is councelling for your daughter, your dh seperately. Also hoping someone more experienced will come to advise soon x

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