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AIBU- Husband's favouritism?

(24 Posts)
user1490734317 Tue 28-Mar-17 21:57:32

I have three sons M(8), S(6) and G(4) and they all have very different personalities. M is very boisterous, into sports and plays rugby and football, much like my DH. He also plays a lot of video games with my DH and they bond very easily over it. S is almost his polar opposite- he is very shy and hates playing sports and much prefers drawing, colouring and reading to playing video games. Therefore, he and DH have never really bonded much. Lastly, G is a mix of both and his personality changes with whoever he’s playing with- he’s pretty relaxed and easy-going in general and therefore he and DH have quite a good bond.
I’m just worried that DH is clearly favouring M and when I ask him about he just says that M is easier to get on with. DH doesn’t even seem to like or even be willing to take and watch S do activities like his swimming class. Will this leave a lasting negative impact on S? I’ve tried getting DH to interact with S but he just groans as if I’m being unreasonable
AIBU or are all dads just like that?

user1490734317 Tue 28-Mar-17 22:16:22


FoostyFandang Tue 28-Mar-17 22:19:36

No, its favouritism and it's damaging. I caught myself automatically pairing off the my youngest, and after scheduling regular times alone with my eldest and discovering new hobbies together, we became very firm friends. it takes effort.

twattymctwatterson Tue 28-Mar-17 22:34:19

He groans when you try to get him to spend time with his son? I'd ask him to leave. Yes this will have a lasting impact on your son and will also cause issues with the relationship he has with his brother

AtrociousCircumstance Tue 28-Mar-17 22:35:19

Yes it absolutely will leave a lasting impression on all your sons.

Your DH sounds like an insensitive numbskull.

Stuck16 Tue 28-Mar-17 22:45:50

As someone who has been in your middle sons shoes I can categorically say it will have an impact.
My DF has always favoured my 2 younger sisters over me, my mum has spoken to him countless times about it but to no avail.
I have spent my life feeling like I'm not good enough because he has never shown the same interest in me as he has in them. Funny thing is I've done a lot more for him over the years than the two sisters combined- undoubtedly trying to please him- and nothing's changed and I know now it never will.
Your DH needs to put some effort in with your middle son, draw with him if that's what he likes. Otherwise as your son gets older he will notice the difference in the way DH is with the boys and may end up feeling like I did and still do at 34!

user1490734317 Tue 28-Mar-17 22:46:02

How am I supposed to get him to spend more time with S? He just doesn't seem to think it matters or will make much difference.
" Your DH sounds like an insensitive numbskull. " - He's really not but thanks for the reply

AtrociousCircumstance Tue 28-Mar-17 22:49:17

He groans when you ask him to be fair and considers? He doesn't want to address this?

This will absolutely hurt your children.

So yes. Insensitive.

nutbrownhare15 Tue 28-Mar-17 22:57:22

How do you get him to spend time with S- you sit him down for a really serious talk one evening, with no distractions. He has to listen to your concerns for 5 minutes without interrupting. Rather Than 'you always x y z', say 'when this happens, it makes me or S feel y'. Then it's his turn. You both need to come up with a solution together.

Allthewaves Tue 28-Mar-17 23:12:19

He's being a bit of an ass. Of course he needs time for each child. He needs to take middle son swimming and watch him. Every kids needs a little 1:1 time

notrollsleftbehind Tue 28-Mar-17 23:14:37

Your DH needs to sort this out asap or he risks causing no end of emotional damage to your sons, particularly the middle one.

My DH is in his forties and suffers with depression and anxiety which he is currently self medicating with alcohol (I know sad). His problems are linked to his childhood where he was the least favoured child. He has an older brother and a twin sister who is far more outgoing than him so naturally got more attention. His family are reasonably close and I don't think he was intentionally sidelined, but as the quietest child and also a twin I think he always felt like an unwanted extra in the family. His brother and sister don't have the mental health problems he has, and while there is more to it than that, it definitely laid the foundations.

Make your DH aware that he must share his time equally with all his sons. They are not his mates, they are his children and he has a duty as a parent to make them feel loved, safe, included and worthy.

HermioneJeanGranger Tue 28-Mar-17 23:16:43

Your poor DS having a father who can't be bothered to spend time with him sad

JigglyTuff Tue 28-Mar-17 23:19:41

He's damaging the emotional wellbeing of one of your children. If he can't see that, there's something wrong with him. Why aren't you furious? confused

attheendoftheday Tue 28-Mar-17 23:21:42

Very damaging to your middle son, I think.

I'd be very concerned that your dh isn't making an effort to improve their relationship. Does he really think this is OK?

TinklyLittleLaugh Wed 29-Mar-17 01:27:07

My Dad was like this, despite my mother always asking him not to show favouritism. I feel I spent my childhood trying to get him to like me. To be honest I had very little time for him once I grew up. And (though I would never say it in real life) I didn't particularly grieve when he passed away. We just didn't have much of a relationship.

TinklyLittleLaugh Wed 29-Mar-17 01:32:04

And my own DH, while he loved taking the boys to football (the girls hardly ever wanted to go), would very happily paint the girls' fingers and toenails and have a good chat with them to get in some one on one time. He is absolutely adored by all our children.

ScarlettFreestone Wed 29-Mar-17 01:35:12

No, all Dads are most certainly not like this.

I have a DS who is a carbon copy of DH and a DD who is very like me the complete opposite.

DH makes sure he arranged time alone with DD to balance time he takes with DS (they share a sport). He takes her to do things she loves and has a lovely bond with her.

Similarly my own Dad has much more in common with my sibling that with me. It hasn't stopped us being close.

Speak to your DH this will damage your sons' relationship for years to come.

emmyrose2000 Wed 29-Mar-17 02:02:04

Your poor little boy. Of course your husband's favouritism of one child and rejection of another is going to cause damage. It'll damage both of them, but moreso the rejected boy.

Graphista Wed 29-Mar-17 02:34:51

Google 'scapegoat and golden child'

This dynamic doesn't just damage the less favoured children.

The golden child has unrealistic expectations placed on them plus the relationship between the gc and the narcissistic parent can become enmeshed, this can cause the gc to have difficulty developing their own identity.

The scapegoated child can never do right so can either be stressed out constantly TRYING to be right or can give up altogether and rebel.

Your youngest son is already showing signs of trying to be all things to everyone which is also unhealthy.

Their father needs therapy, though I doubt he'll think so, and family therapy may be a good idea too.

At the very least he needs to spend more positive time with the younger two and do things all 3 enjoy with them and doing things the eldest isn't the best at.

PerspicaciaTick Wed 29-Mar-17 02:39:54

Is your DH generally lacking in empathy and imagination? Only you make it sounds as though he is unable to appreciate people who aren't exactly like himself, who have different perspectives on the world - which is a very limiting way of interacting.
Lots of children are interested in things that their parents aren't - but as a parent you listen, ask questions and have a conversation. You enjoy the interaction and seeing your child develop and learn new skills. You revel in their enjoyment of something they are passionate about. You congratulate them on achieving things that are important to them - and enjoy watching them blossom because they are so happy you noticed them trying and succeeding.

So unless you have some mahoosive dripfeed waiting which explains why your DH is so emotionally stunted, I'm going to go with "numbskull" too.

ChrisYoungFuckingRocks Wed 29-Mar-17 02:44:28

I'm another one who was the least favourite of my DF. The sun shone out of my sister's backside as far as he was concerned, and it's even worse now that we're adults. I won't even bother going to his funeral when he dies. It most certainly will impact on your DS.

JonesyAndTheSalad Wed 29-Mar-17 02:45:33

You are minimising your husband's behaviour. By neglecting one child he is effectively emotionally abusing him.

Are they all his sons? You call them yours as in "I have three sons" and not "We have three sons"

You need to give him an ultimatum in my view.

And someone who won't accept that he is behaving in negative way...won't even entertain the a numbskull OP. You say he's not but then you say he doesn't even see the issue as important.

That's numbskull-like.

OlennasWimple Wed 29-Mar-17 02:46:51

Yy, Graphista - no-one benefits from an unbalanced family dynamic like this

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 29-Mar-17 10:22:44

It is unkind to spend more time with one child even if he clicks with him more easily. Children notice such things.
If DS2 doesn't like mainstream sports I bet there will be something he likes; come on Dad, get looking, help him out.
Card games instead of video games?

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