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DD2 and DP at odds

(10 Posts)
ElenorRigby Fri 28-Aug-09 20:23:20

When I met DP he was separated from his ex for around 18 months, he had a DD3 who he had to fight through the family courts for.

DD was unplanned, we had been together over 12 months then but DP didnt want her.
He was strongly for a termination. I could not do that and after some of the most stressful weeks of my life I convinced DP that the least bleak of the options before us was to stay together and go with the flow.

DP tried to bond with DD but it's never quite happened. DP has nearly always run on a short fuse with DD. I've been run ragged really, either trying to promote their relationship or walking on eggshells when DD annoys DP.
Often Ive just got out of the house and still do to keep the peace.
Their was a brief period when things seemed to get better between DP and DD, but lately they are worse.
DD is going through a period of favouring few people atm. She wants me mostly and my brother (he sells ice cream, he has advantage!)
DD seems really negative to DP atm. She shouts NO when she sees him, goes to hit him or avoids him altogether (eg wont go into see him in the morning or her scurrying away to me when he's angry)
What can I do? I love them both so much but things are far from right.
Dp has acknowledged the problem he has with DD and has tried to address by going on an approved parenting course for 12 weeks. It worked for a bit but then things slipped back.

slowreadingprogress Fri 28-Aug-09 21:11:44

Does he sometimes have sole charge of her?

When ds was little i found that handing him over to ds for a morning/day at the weekend so they could have time alone was the major thing that helped to build their bond.

I think most children go through a phase of rejecting the 'other' parent in favour of mum or the one who is with them all day....it's very normal.

Personally, if this was me, I would be setting up sole charge for DP each and every weekend (DH took DS swimming, brilliant activity for them to do together imo) and also saying to DP that the 'short fuse' thing has got to stop if your DD is to come out of this as a confident little girl with strong self esteem. Feeling that you're walking on eggshells and/or can't do anything right/just annoy your dad is not healthy as you already know....

personally, I think time alone with her will teach them both ways of rubbing along together and this may help alot with his short fuse anyway.

slowreadingprogress Fri 28-Aug-09 21:12:06

oops handing him over to DH, I meant, obviously!

ElenorRigby Sat 29-Aug-09 10:08:40

Thanks slowreadingprogress!

Yeah I know DP needs to spend time alone with DD and they have done. However the last time I went to church and then did some shopping. When I came back DP was unwashed and looked at the end of his tether. So I kinda worry and avoid doing that. I take DD with me instead, for example I'm off to a friends for the weekend today to get her out of his hair as it were.

You are right though, I need to go out and leave them to it regularly. DP has to form that bond or a fear their relationship will be damaged.

Anyone with more thoughts on this please...they would be appreciated. TIA

mrsruffallo Sat 29-Aug-09 10:12:25

How old is she?

mrsruffallo Sat 29-Aug-09 10:14:50

I don't think that they necessarily need time alone until she is older but I do think you need to have more fun as a family by the sound of it.
Do you go to the park and play together for example, or takes trips to the zoo/along the river.
It is important that you do not let yourselves become a divided family and it sounds like your DP cares enough about her to wan to do something about it which is positive.

claw3 Sat 29-Aug-09 11:40:54

DP hasnt bonded, runs on a short fuse and gets angry easily with DD. Im sorry but no wonder she is negative to him.

The problem here isnt her being negative to him, but him being negative to her. He is the adult and the ball really is in his court.

Perhaps some anger management classes.

mathanxiety Sat 29-Aug-09 23:21:44

He sounds resentful and angry, maybe feels that DD's birth trapped him in the relationship with you, and immature enough to take it out on an innocent child. What does this man have that appeals to you? You need to protect your child. I wouldn't ever leave her alone with him, tbh. At most, they should do activities together that are organised and where other people are around to observe. You mentioned the time where you went to church and to run errands and came back to find DP unwashed and displaying 'end of his tether' signs. You are dealing with a sulking, immature, overgrown , selfish man, who probably sees himself as some sort of victim in all of this. The damage he is doing to his own DD is immense. Only a person with a deep-seated emotional or personality disorder would treat a child like this. Why did his exwife not want the child from that relationship to be with her father?

mathanxiety Sat 29-Aug-09 23:23:07

"overgrown toddler' oops

Bigpants1 Sun 30-Aug-09 17:37:01

I also agree that your dd should not be left alone with your dp at present-it does not seem a safe thing to do.
I think you know that, and that is why you take your dd with you when you go out. Neither you or she should have to tread on egg-shells when your dp is around.
This sounds a very sad,difficult situation for you, but you must put your dd first-she did not ask to be born, and its not her fault, your dp feels this way about her.
You were wrong in hindsight, that the best way forward was to stay with your dp when you became pregnant, and go with the flow.
Your dp was honest in his feelings, and from the outside, it seems, he cant get past not wanting another dc.
He may recognise things are not right, and have gone on a pareting course, but if those original feelings have not gone away, perhaps they cannot/willnot.
This is unfair on your dd, and will damage her emotionally-no wonder she scurries to you, if daddy is mostly angry and on a short fuse.
I too wonder why he had to fight through the courts to see his other dd-do you know?
Give yourself a time-limit and him, in which you want to see a lasting and positive change. If this does not happen-and i get the feeling it wont-then think seriously whether you should stay with your dp. No matter how much you love him, and im not saying hes a "bad" man-i dont know him, you need to put your dds well-being first,and your love for him second. Good Luck.

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