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Should I leave grumpy critical DH?

(11 Posts)
Iglooo Mon 01-Oct-12 20:40:39

DH and I have 3 children. Our eldest is not his biological DD but we have been together since she was 1 year old, she is now 7.

It has been an ongoing thing in our family that DH and DD don't always get on. They either get on brilliantly or not at all. She is strong willed and he is very intolerant. On the other hand dotes on DS1 as he is very mellow and always happy & smiley. I'm not perfect, I do shout at DD when she misbehaves but DH can be a bit of a bully.

This eve she was in teh bath telling DS1 he should try honey, he said no and she kept pestering him. DH was also in there and shouted at her, telling her to shut up and leave DS alone, she started crying and he stormed off after shouting at her again. She was really upset saying she didn't want to live with him anymore.

DH can also be quite grumpy towards me but takes it badly if I ever pull him up on it and gets hyper defensive. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to his moods.

The rest of the time he is great which makes the situation confusing. Every now and again after he's been hard to live with I find myself wondering what life would be like without him then it blows over and he is fine again.

Am I over reacting, is this normal?

Iglooo Mon 01-Oct-12 21:13:07

Anyone? smile

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Mon 01-Oct-12 21:17:26

It doesn't sound that abnormal, tbh, but a lot of people have pretty crappy relationships and probably those that do are more likely to come on here.

There is obvious friction between your husband and daughter and it sounds like he finds her a bit of a challenge. Don't rush to attribute this to her not being his biological child, it sounds like your son is just a bit easier. Much as parents want to be treat children equally, easy, happy children just feel more rewarding to parent, don't they?

But it sounds like this tension between your dh and your daughter can easily escalate and get worse.

And if you are seriously thinking about leaving him because of it, you need to do some work on your relationship to stem the rot. You need to talk to him really, but if you want this to be productive you will make this more likely if you get a babysitter and go out and talk away from the home.

Iglooo Mon 01-Oct-12 21:20:59

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange - thanks for the reply, what you have said makes a lot of sense, sometimes it's hard to get perspective when you are in the thick of it!

AlmostAHipster Mon 01-Oct-12 21:24:09

I've been divorced twice and both times I was screaming to get away from the arsehole I'd been stupid enough to marry smile

If he's usually great and makes you happy, doesn't control or undermine you etc then I would stay and work on the troublesome bits. No relationship is perfect - maybe Relate could help? Or just a calm chat in a neutral environment when you're both relaxed?

Hassled Mon 01-Oct-12 21:28:17

Agree that I think you need to identify if he and your DD clash because he's less tolerant because she's not his child, or if they clash because, often, fathers and daughters clash and 7 year olds can be quite hard going. Within any family group, some siblings are just "easier" - it doesn't mean you love them any less.

But you don't actually sound like you like him very much, let alone love him very much. Would Relate work? Might be worth exploring.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Mon 01-Oct-12 21:30:48

And it's certainly 'normal' to fantasise about life without your partner sometimes when you have small children! It doesn't mean it's over.

But don't let it get worse between him and your daughter; she will be damaged if she thinks she's always the bad one.

tiredofwaitingforitalltochange Mon 01-Oct-12 21:33:01

you don't actually sound like you like him very much, let alone love him very much.

That's a bit crushing.

The rest of the time he is great doesn't sound like she doesn't like/love him does it?

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 02-Oct-12 06:43:22

How much time do DH and DD spend doing things together solo? 'Strong willed' children often behave that way as an attention-seeking measure. Doesn't matter to them that the attention they get from their bossy behaviour is negative, all attention is worth having. If the pair of them could go off and do something together, her getting his full, undivided attention on a more regular basis and him getting to know her as a person, then they may decide that this is a good swap for the argumentative stuff.

OTOH no adult should tell a little kid to 'shut up'. That has to stop.

BethFairbright Tue 02-Oct-12 09:54:52

Periodic explosions of anger that upset a child and cause unpleasantness and tension for the whole household are certainly not normal or acceptable. Telling your daughter to 'shut up' was a disproportionate response to a very minor incident, as I'm sure your son wasn't in any danger of being traumatised by being urged to eat honey. I expect that response frightened him a bit too.

Be careful. This sounds as though it's mainly directed at your daughter. It might not be because he feels less for her than his biological children, but she will sure as hell think it's because of that and not only can that screw her up and damage her esteem, it will affect her relationship with you because you stayed with a man who made her feel that way.

HeathRobinson Tue 02-Oct-12 10:02:35

'she kept pestering him'

This would bother me, a little. I was the youngest of two and quite often it felt like my brother was badgering me about this, that or the other. He was also stronger than me and made it known. Maybe your husband had a similar dynamic?

You may not like your dh saying 'shut up' but could you explore other phrases? Such as be quiet, that's enough, or use distraction? Bath them separately?

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