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Splitting up due to spoilt child?(7 Posts)
Sorry to intrude, but I am at my wits end and would value input from a mum’s perspective.
I am a married man aged 45. We have been married for 18 years and we have two beautiful daughters aged 11 and 8. I worked part-time and brought up our eldest daughter up to 4yrs old, when I returned to full time work. The problem is that since the birth of our second daughter in 2006, I have not slept in the same bed as my wife. She always sleeps in a separate bedroom with my youngest daughter who will be 9 years old this year. My youngest still behaves like a small child when she has a tantrum and still sucks on comfort blankets, which has affected her dental development.
She’s a bright kid like her sister, but can be badly behaved and spoilt at home and when visiting friend’s parents and grandparents. Like her older sister she is doing well at school, but whenever I try to discipline her at home my wife rarely supports me, citing my youngest’s age etc. ‘She’s only 5’ became ‘She’s only 6/7/8’
Whenever I try to discuss the whole situation with my DW, she becomes unreasonably defensive and cannot see any problem. Her mother recently challenged her face-to-face and my wife responded by posting on facebook about how everybody close to her thought what a terrible mother she was. My wife has many friends who jumped to her defence, which caused increased tension between her and her mum. Thankfully this has now been resolved. She is a good mum and has a fantastic support network, which includes me when things really go wrong
The only thing I have to live for is my kids. We are as poor as church mice, which is part of the problem possibly as we had a healthy income before kids came along and we had to retract our city jobs in favour of bringing up our kids – no regrets there from me!
I guess I just wish she would just LISTEN and not become defensive.
I would appreciate your objective opinion....
Have you asked her to come back to your bedroom? Do you have any sex life? Sorry, its a personal question I know but is she perhaps avoiding that part of your relationship?
I would find it very hard to tolerate her attitude to bad behaviour. Does your daughter respond to sanctions from you?
When you were the primary care giver to your eldest, what was your wife doing?
What was the situation that led to you being the PCG? Was it a joint decision or did your or she insist it should be that way?
Did your wife have any form of depression after the birth of your eldest?
How old was your eldest child when she returned to work?
I am asking these questions because I wonder if your wife is feeling guilty or resentful for not being the primary care giver for your eldest and is going overboard to make up for it with your youngest.
Its not good for either of your children or your marriage, I get that, I am just trying to understand how this situation has come about.
So you are splitting up? Sorry if I misunderstood. She sounds dismissive of your concerns and opinions. That must be very frustrating for you. However, if the only thing you live for is your kids-where does your dw fit in?
Age7-8 can be difficult because children are developmentally going through the good kind of narcissism of asserting their independence and identity. Imho, negative personality traits should be sort of nipped in the bud (as best as one can) at this stage lest they become ingrained and hard wired into their brains. If your dw will not/can not participate in this nurturing and guidance then it will be up to you to take up the slack. This doesn't mean be harsh with your daughter, just consistent and patient and understanding. Validate her correct behavior; gently correct her errors at the same time providing examples of correct choices. "How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk" is one of my favorite books on parenting
and may work with your dw as well.
Um, may not be relevant, but I bunked in with our youngest (separate beds) for six years because dh could snore the roof off. He has since lost 25 pounds and doesn't snore anymore, so I am back with him at night. I just couldn't do with the sleep deprivation anymore.
In what way has your youngest's dental development been affected and what is being done to rectify/remedy this?
I'm confused as to why you felt it was necessary to 'retract' your city jobs to bring up your dc. When you went part-time to raise your eldest until she was 4, was your dw working full-time and has she become a sahm or is she also in employment now?
What behaviour do you find unacceptable and in what way do you 'try to discipline' dd2 and, other than citing the child's age, in what way does your dw object to you doing so and does she raise these objections in front of the child?
How does dd1 react to her sibling's tantrums and are you aware of whether she feels pushed out or less worthy because of any real or perceived fear that she has to achieve more or is not loved as much as dd2 who, from what you've said, appears to have worked out what buttons to press to ensure she gets attention on demand?
If you dw immediately becomes defensive when you talk her, I would suggest you try writing out your concerns and give them to her to consider in advance of any debate/discussion of the subject.
However, it would seem that the problems inherent in your marriage, and in your different expectations of dd2's behaviour, are deep-rooted and there's unlikely to be a
magic wand quick fix cure which can resolve these issues overnight.
It sounds as if you're in a lonely place but you will find support here that may help you formulate solutions, albeit this may take the form of family therapy or couples counselling which you may have to put before your dw as something of a dealbreaker in order to ensure her co-operation.
Do you and/or your dw have hobbies which you engage in outside of your home? Do you have an active social life and are you able to employ babysitters or prevail on friends/family so that you can get away together occasionally?
From what you've said, it seems you are of the opinion that your dw "is a good mum" but are you also saying that her "fantastic support network" only includes you "when things really go wrong" and can you give an example of things that have gone 'really wrong'?
I apologise for these numerous questions but it is necessary to gain an overview of sorts before a considered opinion can be given.
Thank you so much for your responses! I will respond after carefully reading them - thank you!
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