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STBXH and my DD would this concern you or am I over reacting?

(45 Posts)
Licketysplit123 Thu 26-Dec-13 19:54:03

Hi everyone,

i am wondering ifs this a battle worth picking?

Me and DD's dad have recently separated. She was two in October. I am uncomfortable with something STBXH does and I am wondering if I am just being silly and it's not that big a deal and to leave it or whether I should mention it.

Our relationship is very tense at the moment, so it wouldn't be a case of raising a concern and talking about it nicely like adults. He will perceive it as a massive criticism and react pretty badly, so I want to pick battles carefully.

Anyway, he makes her say sorry to him all the time for any little thing. When she is genuinely naughty (which is fine I guess) or when she chucks food or drops something or spills something.

I know it probably doesn't sound much but I feel a bit funny about it because she says sorry to me now all the time, whenever anything minor happens like she bumps into something or even when I drop something.

She just freezes and says "sorry mummy" really quickly. When I say "no need to be sorry darling its ok" she says "not my fault?"

I just don't her worrying about stuff like that.

I've them when it happens and she hangs her head and gets sad. Sometimes she won't say it straight away and he gets very close to her and repeats "say sorry, say sorry" over and over again until she does.

The reason why I am so bothered is because I don't want him controlling her how he tried to control me. Also a big thing for me is feeling guilty about anything and everything and I don't want her growing up feeling sorry all the time.

Is this a normal toddler thing or is it signs of him being a bit controlling with her?

To be honest, I don't find I need to make her say sorry. Shes a good little girl and rarely naughty. The only time I would tell her to,issue an apology would be if she did something to another child.

Feel free to tell me if I'm overreacting. I'm finding perspective difficult lately

Licketysplit123 Thu 26-Dec-13 23:23:50

Reading my post back and thinking of the last few days, I think that too. So hard to justify when you see them together the other 95% of the time. Although obviously I would prefer it if he stayed away.

And thanks, nice idea, but Ive sworn to myself
I'm a celibate lesbian now!

nobodysawmedoit Thu 26-Dec-13 23:12:09

Hmm, I think seeing your dad lots is important if your dad is a decent human being. If your dad is a manipulative, emotionally abusive psycho (and god knows what else, makes me shiver to imagine) it is important to see him as little as possible. Sorry, I have no right to give you advice on how to lead your life but it sounds really sinister from here. Don't be brainwashed into thinking you have to maintain her relationship with him if it's clearly not in her best interests. and an emotionally abusive dad is not in her best interests. Find her a lovely, lovely step dad instead, eh? hugs.

Licketysplit123 Thu 26-Dec-13 23:09:06

I've already got rid of him but I stupidly gave in and let him stay over for Christmas.

I'd love to limit the amount we see him, but I've read so much about how important it is that she sees him lots. I didn't realise until the last couple of days how he is with her

nobodysawmedoit Thu 26-Dec-13 23:01:37

I think that's kind of the point - things that seem trivial are not trivial when they happen a LOT. Which is why having a record is so important. And it breaks my heart reading about the really quiet "sorry daddy" over the beer. Santa can stick that beer up his %^&^&(* arse. Get rid of that man asap and don't let him near your daughter, that's what I think.

Licketysplit123 Thu 26-Dec-13 22:55:18

Thanks nobody, I had actually thought of doing that as things do happen a lot but seem so trivial and I am used to forgetting them after a day or so

My mum actually bought me a diary for Christmas and I thought that's exactly what I'll use it for

Licketysplit123 Thu 26-Dec-13 22:52:38

Yeah. More so with his treatment of me to be honest.

I've never heard him punish her severely but then she genuinely is a good little girl on the whole and has never really been one for kicking off or getting into too much trouble, so she won't have disappointed him yet. But she will, she's bound to!

On Christmas Eve, they were putting mince pies and beer out for Santa and she knocked the beer over. He overreacted, as he is prone to. He didnt swear at get or anything, but spoke to her too sharply and huffed really loudly as he wiped it up. of course she said "sorry daddy" really quietly and my heart went out to her. But I wasn't sure if I was just remembering how it felt when he would do that to me and I was just projecting my feelings on to her.

But that's not normal either is it?

nobodysawmedoit Thu 26-Dec-13 22:50:09

That sounds really sinister and horrid.
I have a friend going through a similar kind of divorce situation. Best advice she was given was keep a notebook and note down any of these kinds of things - things that worry you about his behaviour with DD, or you, or anything. Put the date, context, and who else was there in case you ever need a witness. HOpefully 99% of it will turn out to be nothing but if one day you need to prove the 1% of it, you'll be glad you had a record. Good luck.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Thu 26-Dec-13 22:22:49

Look love, this "constant focus on her" doesn't even seem healthy. Most children need space to develop in their own way at their own pace and need only minimal strictness to do the right thing. Essentially they will always want to please you at this age, you simply should not need to enforce very rigid guidelines like he is attempting to do

People like this see children as a project and they have them on a pedestal for a while. But fuck when they dare to step out of line or "disappoint" in anyway the punishment is severe.

Hearing any parallels here ?

middleeasternpromise Thu 26-Dec-13 21:46:44

My kids were 5 and 6 months. Most of the time the controlling behaviour with the kids was also about getting at me. It has back fired enormously, they find him a chore to be with. They love him as a dad but don't feel able to be themselves with him, they say he doesn't listen, lectures all the time and has OCD re food (health nut!). The eldest takes the brunt because she is sensitive to others and doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings, he exploits that IMO. The youngest doesn't give a stuff says what she wants - he doesn't take her on interestingly. 50:50 rarely works unless you have a very good relationship, even with that its a total head screw for young kids who really need a consistent routine.

Tralalalalaaalalalalaaaaa Thu 26-Dec-13 21:40:00

it's Licketysplit by the way, gone back to a christmassy NC but forgot!

Tralalalalaaalalalalaaaaa Thu 26-Dec-13 21:37:18

Thank you MEP, how old was your DD when you split?

I really want to protect her and have been determined too, but I feel like Its out of my control. He wants to go for 50:50 which I think is absolutely the wrong thing in our case. Currently he sees her three afternoons a week with one overnight.

I am so worried though, on the face of it he is just a doting father. He probably looks better at it then me. He gives her 100% attention when he sees her, constant fun and games (until she steps out of line).

I don't know how to prevent this happening or to protect her when I'm not there

middleeasternpromise Thu 26-Dec-13 21:27:30

If he has controlling tendencies you can look forward to many more years of this. The clues are - things must be done 'their' way; they aren't bossy or bullying its just they're right and they are helping you (apparently); they are often rigid and uncompromising; they are very moody when they don't get obedience and they have limited insight into the impact of their behaviour on others (low empathy). The general guidance is not to give into them but also don't fight with them. Its a fine line, but its a case of being firm, keeping your contact to a boundaried minimum. Don't let them get away with it otherwise they will think they always can. Have been dealing with one of these for several years so have earned my stripes but just had the sad misfortune to hear him attempting to guilt trip our teenage daughter over something that was absolutely his responsibility to sort. I cant stop him being an arse to her but I can teach her to look out for the signs of this type of person and not take it personally. A 2yr old needs greater protection so that's were you come in I'm afraid.

Licketysplit123 Thu 26-Dec-13 21:11:01

Thanks. It's hard to know your instincts are right when you've been ignoring them for so long.

Also, and I'm not excusing him in any way at all, but he dotes on her. Since the split, he has completely immersed himself in being a dad. But no matter how much he loves her, it's like he can't help being a twat even to her. It's just all fucked up isn't it?

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Thu 26-Dec-13 21:02:04

Good luck, love

Don't ignore your instincts. You knew this wasn't right. I imagine he managed to convince you that your radar was somehow fucked when you were together but it isn't or you wouldn't have posted here.

Protect your little girl now.

Licketysplit123 Thu 26-Dec-13 20:58:51

I somehow missed your post recommending NSPCC and/or health visitor anyfucker, thanks for the advice

Thanks everyone

BertieBowtiesAreCool Thu 26-Dec-13 20:54:31

The way he's doing it sounds threatening and terrifying to me, let alone a little girl.

Theimpossiblegirl Thu 26-Dec-13 20:45:58

Listen to the alarm bells that are ringing. Anyfucker is giving sound advice. This is not normal and you need to protect your DD. You can ring the NSPCC for advice anytime, even Boxing day.

Licketysplit123 Thu 26-Dec-13 20:40:28

Ok so what should I do? Practically?

She's a very happy little girl most of the time and does get really excited about seeing daddy. It's genuine for sure.

Log it with a health visitor? Speak to my solicitor? Both? Would I get laughed at if I suggested stopping contact?

He's going away for a week so I have time to mull

Licketysplit123 Thu 26-Dec-13 20:33:57

I know that's what I do too!!

If she does it repeatedly, I tell her I'm not picking it up again but she thinks its funny so I wouldn't want to make her feel bad about it!

my 2yo says sorry all the time.
however, she says it while she's up to dreadful mischief, while she's doing her toddler thing and when she's happy.
she doesn't say it when she's just something naughty or dropped something, and she certianly doesn't stop still and hang her head, nor indeed does she show any remorse or regret in anything she does.

tbat's ormal.

sbe cetainly doesn't bave a parent telling her kveramd over to say sorry.

you really need reallife help in this.

Licketysplit123 Thu 26-Dec-13 20:32:38

He was also joking with her about doing whatever daddy says until she is 21 and trying to get her say "I promise". Again one of those things that could be something or nothing, a joke a father says to his daughter but something that riled me because I know on some level he means it.

fairylea it was quite low level, hard to put your finger on it EA. controlling behaviour, utter utter selfishness, moodiness, stonewalling. And I'm about three weeks in to counselling, hoping my bar raises very soon

Fairylea Thu 26-Dec-13 20:29:25

I feel so angry reading this.

My son is nearly 2 and if he pushes a plate off his highchair I just either say "oh dear" in a cheerful voice and put it back for him or if I think he's had enough I take it away and maybe offer something else if he still seems hungry.

No child should be treated like the way your ex is treating your dd.

Licketysplit123 Thu 26-Dec-13 20:24:46

Oh shit.

He doesn't shout or threaten, that's not his style. He holds her arm and gets in her face and repeats "say sorry" until she does. And won't let her move until she does.

I saw him do it before we split and at the time I was torn between not wanting to undermime him, knowing he's inexperienced, and wanting to kick him in the shins. I was also wondering if i was just trying to pick fault in him as i was begining to loathe him. after a fee ocassions i told him afterward not to do it again as she was too young to understand and it wasn't very nice.

Anyway, he's been spending time here over Xmas (a bit of a compromise on my part) and he did this again this morning when she pushed her plate off the high chair.

So it all fit in to place that's why she's saying sorry all the time. She doesn't jump in panic or anything, just stops what she's doing and says it, sometimes repeatedly.

And I do feel sad when she does it.

Fairylea Thu 26-Dec-13 20:23:25

Can I just add, in the nicest possible way from one abusive relationship survivor to another, I think you need some counselling as it's apparent from your op that you are minimising a lot of his actions action and trying to rationalise them - when with someone like this you really can't.

What kind of things did he do to you? You could build a case against him if you consult with a solicitor and talk about what a bastard he was to you and now you have concerns for dd.

AnyFuckerForAMincePie Thu 26-Dec-13 20:22:45

I don't agree with that.

the 2yo's abnormal behaviour is proof

2yo's do not act like this unless there is fear, coercion or worse

OP needs to take professional advice not try to manage this herself or get an untrained friend or relative to ask leading questions

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