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Sulking and other awkward behaviour

(22 Posts)
Patinkin Sat 04-Jul-15 14:15:24

Hey, so seeking views.
Hubby tends to the emotional side of things - he is prone to extreme emotional reactions that can lead him to saying he should leave.
We have spoken about this and he thinks it is due to his relationship history and staying too long in a broken relationship. He knows that I want to work out any problems we have and find these 'I'm leaving ' things threatening and has agreed not to.
Well, we are a 'step' family - two older daughters from previous relationship and one daughter from this marriage. He treats the step children rather differently - he says he is consistent (and I am not) but I think he is overly hard on them and doesn't give them any slack. He has made my eldest (10) cry about 4 times this week and she feels he is finding fault every day.
I think he is too. He is a bit of a pedant and does pick out fault prior to praising anyway but this is silly.
But he is sweetness and light with out youngest.
I want to go to counselling. He is refusing saying that it is clear what o think and I don't value his thoughts and feelings. I have said that he doesn't appear to value mine on this subject either and that is why I want a neutral person to help us.
I am currently being given the cold shoulder and he is not being particularly nice to me in front of the children.
This is so freakin hard.
I was raised by my mum and my emotionally and physically abusive step dad and don't think I know what normal is.
How out of kilter is my situation? confused

pocketsaviour Sat 04-Jul-15 14:28:49

Why was your eldest DD crying? Had she done something wrong and was crying because she was told off for it (as some kids will) - or was he being nasty to her?

goddessofsmallthings Sat 04-Jul-15 14:29:55

He has made my eldest (10) cry about 4 times this week and she feels he is finding fault every day.

FGS listen to your daughter - he's destroying her and you're letting it happen and he's not just damaging her, his favouritism towards the child of your marriage is creating a 'golden child' who may be in for a rude awakening if s/he displays spoilt brat tendences with their peers.

There's no point in you going to counselling with this emotionally retarded abusive twat because he has got no intention whatsoever of changing his ways - and why should he when you're condoning his appalling behaviour to your dc and to yourself ?

Tell him that unless he gets his act together and starts behaving like a mature adult you'll be consulting a solicitor with a view to divorce... and do it if there's no improvement otherwise your dc will also grow up to not know what 'normal' is.

Patinkin Sat 04-Jul-15 14:33:04

There is something every day that she gets told off for. Sometimes lots of things. She is not great at remembering to do stuff and gets distracted easily - I talk with her about it a fair bit and we have reminder lists for her (like what she needs for shook each day and the like). I don't have a problem with Dr being told. It's the way he does it - it is most often a lecture and some of the things he says cut a bit deep. I am concerned that this hard heavy approach is crushing her - she's usually a bouncy happy child but is becoming increasingly anxious about stuff.
That could be prepubescence but I don't think so.
Not having had a 'normal' dad myself I don't feel confident in saying what he is doing is wrong.
It feels wrong to me.

Patinkin Sat 04-Jul-15 14:33:29

*her not Dr!!!

Patinkin Sat 04-Jul-15 14:39:24

It has to be said that there is more to him than this. He takes full part in the house, cooking, housework, cooking, getting the children to places and so on. And he can be really good with them all and the older two see him as more of a dad than their birth father (who was never and isn't very involved).
He gets like this when he is stressed. But he seems to be stressed more and more of the time.

goddessofsmallthings Sat 04-Jul-15 14:52:25

Trust your instincts. If it 'feel wrong', it is wrong, and what he's doing to your eldest is very wrong indeed as he is crushing this 'bouncy happy' child's spirit and is causing her to become anxious about small 'stuff' that really shouldn't be sweated.

Please don't be in any doubt about the fact that your h is a bully who is emotionally and verbally abusing your eldest daughter on what sounds to be a daily basis and if you let this continue you will be as responsible as he is for whatever behavioural or psychological problems she develops, some of which may plague her forever well into adulthood.

I'm not given to violence but I could make an exception for men like your h who are invariably pathetic little cowards under their controlling and abusive exteriors.

If he wants to lecture others, tell him to take a soapbox to Hyde Park Corner tomorrow and not come back.

The role of a parent is to nurture, encourage, and instill confidence in their dc and on current showing your h is not fit to be a father, nor should he be allowed anywhere near the 2 dc that are yours.

BettyCatKitten Sat 04-Jul-15 14:57:17

Your H is creating the classic 'scapegoat' 'golden child' scenario with your dd and the youngest. This is a very damaging dynamic which will stay with your 10 year old and influence her relationships in the future. Also her self esteem is already affected. The reason she is forgetful and seems distracted is likely due to the anxiety and stress she is suffering.
If this continues then don't be surprised if she suffers depression at some point in the future.
It's interesting that you had a similar upbringing and are now repeating that pattern with your own family. Have you considered psychotherapy?

goddessofsmallthings Sat 04-Jul-15 15:02:30

Stop making excuses for him; what he's doing to your dc is inexcusable because he knows very well the effect it has on her... and so do you.

A loving and caring man doesn't take his stress out on others, let alone take it out on powerless children.

Please fulfil your duty as a parent and protect your daughter from the incalculable harm he's doing to her.

BettyCatKitten Sat 04-Jul-15 15:03:22

Also, you need to get your children away from this damaging situation as soon as possible flowers

Patinkin Sat 04-Jul-15 16:29:03

K. So I appreciate all the input, even though some of it was a bit 'heavy handed' ladies!
I have decided to be clear about the expectation: This behaviour stops now or he goes.

StayWithMe Sat 04-Jul-15 16:35:49

Oh darling please listen to your little girl. I see a similar situation next door and I break my heart for the oldest child. You can clearly see the difference in the way the sf treats the two boys. The youngest one gets away with awful behaviour and the sf seems to turn nasty on the oldest at the drop of a hat. The oldest always looks anxious.

Patinkin Sat 04-Jul-15 16:44:15

We have been trying to sort things as a couple for a while and I have been giving him time. But I will be clear now.
I know it is not too late for the kids. And they have a lot of other protective factors.
It is his behaviour that needs to alter now though.
He can be really loving with them and helps them with stuff and spends time with them in a nice way. But the amount of hardness is, I feel, increasing. So I will do something now.

KetchupIsNearlyAVegetable Sat 04-Jul-15 17:59:21

We have been trying to sort things as a couple for a while

Are you? Really? I think you are confused. I think you have been trying to change the family dynamic. I think he has been shutting that down. I think he has absolutely no intention of changing anything about himself.

That's based on you writing this...

I want to go to counselling. He is refusing saying that it is clear what o think and I don't value his thoughts and feelings. I have said that he doesn't appear to value mine on this subject either and that is why I want a neutral person to help us. I am currently being given the cold shoulder and he is not being particularly nice to me in front of the children.

Good luck.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 04-Jul-15 18:18:11


What do you get out of this relationship now?.

Your situation is very out of kilter; this is not a healthy relationship and also you were never shown a decent template of a relationship to begin with. We learn about relationships first and foremost from our parents -
what did yours teach you?.

What your H is doing feels wrong to you because it is wrong. You know this.

Its no point at all in going to counselling with someone like your H who is basically creating a dysfunctional family dynamic under your very nose. His behaviours are emotionally abusive and certainly not those of a loving father. The fact that he does some chores is irrelevant really because it does not make up for the emotional damage he is doing to these children.

I would actually seek legal advice asap and start divorce proceedings. Honestly the amount of harm he is doing to these children now is actually incalculable. Is this really what you want to teach them about relationships?. Look at how badly you've been affected by growing up within such a warped template of a relationship yourself. History has a nasty habit of repeating itself.

You need to be decisive now for your childrens' sakes. He has no intention at all of changing his behaviours. He will never go to counselling either as he feels and believes he is not doing anything wrong in the first place.

junebirthdaygirl Sat 04-Jul-15 19:20:28

This will only escalate when your dd becomes a teenager as even the most patient father can find hormonally charged teenage girls difficult.

blueribbons Sat 04-Jul-15 22:09:28

My eldest and DH have clashed a lot - when we got together he tried to be his idea of a dad, which unfortunately included believing that children should do what they're told all the time and right away with no arguing back. That's not how my kids have been brought up, if I ask them to do things, I explain why and I don't stress if it takes a wee while to get done. We had more than one family meeting where I made it clear that none of us were willing to accept his methods of parenting, and DH has had to try to change his ways.

Could you have a family meeting where the kids can explain how his behaviour is affecting them? Maybe they could write down beforehand how they feel rather than having to say it to his face, and he could read and digest it? If he flat refuses to see that he's doing any harm, then you would be better without him - it must be tearing you apart watching him hurt your daughter.

Patinkin Sun 05-Jul-15 07:05:04

I like your idea blue ribbons.
Last night I told him that his behaviour is damaging and has to stop. No argument from him on that aspect.
He tried to tell me that it was my lack of enforcing of boundaries that put him in a position of having to do that.
I rejected this on the grounds that they are lovely kids (everyone says so) and know their boundaries. If they were really naughty kids I may have accepted it. Plus. I told him, it is not my parenting that is causing then problems but his.
So he knows now that if he doesn't stop now this marriage is over.
I've said he needs to fix it himself but if he wants me to be part of any counselling or whatever then I would do that.
I actually used the phrase 'I have drawn the line - it stops now'.
We shall see from here.
But I am not taking it any more.
I've never 'threatened' divorce before (not prone to excessive gestures or statements) so he should know to take this very seriously indeed.

seamistbythesea Sun 05-Jul-15 07:41:12

This really sounds awful, your poor DDs and poor you. My step dad was so critical to my brother that my brother started stammering.... FINALLY my mum left (only cause the prick had an affair) and the stammering went.

I would go, for your DDs and for you. Go.

Howsithanging Sun 05-Jul-15 08:34:09

Your 10 year old is a bit disorganised? That's completely normal isn't it? How can he not be tolerant of that?

I think it's awful If he treats the children so differently and very damaging to them. You need to protect your dd.

blueribbons Sun 05-Jul-15 21:19:35

Well done Patinkin - my dh also tried to initially argue that I was not strict enough, that the kids should obey as soon as told to do things etc, but like you, I have over the years had so many people compliment me on their behaviour and manners, so I wasn't having any of that nonsense! Dh still has times when I know he wants to let loose with his 'male-dominated household' issues, but he takes himself off to the bedroom for the evening until he gets over it! I hope things do improve for you all.

Cloudhowe63 Sun 05-Jul-15 22:29:06

People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did - but people never forget how you made them feel. He may well pull his weight in the house. You should expect no less, frankly. However, the relationships within your family are much more important. This is where your children learn this stuff.
I split with exP after putting up with this for longer than I should have done.

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