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Wife doesn't treat our son the same as our daughter?

(30 Posts)
MrMGG Sat 04-Feb-17 02:37:13

Our daughter is 12 and son is 10. I'm still very much happily married to my wife. Our kids are amazing.

I know it's very common for daughters to have a close bond with their mums and that's great but it's really hard to watch my son really trying and I don't want to outright say to him something like "don't worry about mum responding like that" because then it just confirms it doesn't it? I am trying to speak to her about it, but am not really getting anywhere and wondered how you would like to be approached?

It's really simple things but you can just tell it knocks him down. She always invites our daughter to do things with her like going to town or even simple things like baking and our son's interests aren't really seen as important as our daughter's, etc. he has really began to make an effort (after my son and I had a chat) he was close to tears I think and asked me if mum even liked him, it was really sad and I explained that of course she does and asked why and he spoke to me about it and I told him to just ask mum and I'm sure she would be ecstatic that you want to do the things your sister does with her and so when daughter didn't want to go to town, etc. he said he would like to go and she would always find an excuse even if it was something as silly as "you don't need any clothes", etc. when our daughter has lots more clothes than our son!

I have tried speaking to her about how it's really obvious and hurting his feelings for her to tell me "well you take him out" which of course I do, I always end up taking him somewhere but he wants to spend time with his mum and I don't want to confirm that he is actually right and his mum isn't bothered.

Any advice on how you would like to be approached? Thank you

ElspethFlashman Sat 04-Feb-17 02:54:41

So you told her her son is really upset and was crying and she effectively didn't give a shit?

doggle Sat 04-Feb-17 03:06:50

Start planning lots of fun family things to do together?
I have to say that I probably did lots more things with my 12yo daughter than my 10yo son at that point (there were a number of mum/ daughter necessities to care of - bra shopping, sorting out periods etc - but equally my 10yo son really didn't want to go clothes shopping, he actively fought against it.) With a finite amount of time available, it's exhausting to have to ensure equitable alone time with all the kids. But obviously if he really wants to spend time with his mum, then I would go for family days out and make excuses to pop off and take your dd with you. Out of interest, how much alone time do you spend with your 12yo dd? I know here that dh will happily take any kid, or all kids, out for the day, but I know a lot of families where the dh really doesn't spend any 1-1 time with the kids at all.

Flum Sat 04-Feb-17 03:10:13

Yeah, just talk to her about it. Without being too critical. She may not even realise and might be flattered he wants to hang out with her. If it was me, I woudl want to be told. Having said that, say a couple of really flattering comments first as that always helps to buffer a criticism in any situation. Good luck.

HarmlessChap Sat 04-Feb-17 03:57:50

I have the opposite our DS is definitely DW's favourite. While DD is the younger she's very much the more independent and seems chilled but it bothers me, as DW had a poor relationship with her Mother and I fear that will be passed on down the line. I encourage her to do things with DD which she does. However she is in total denial about having a favourite despite how blatant it is for the rest of us to see.

Northernparent68 Sat 04-Feb-17 08:23:20

I'm surprised by the responses on this thread, there is no excuse for what your wife is doing, as it will cause untold damage to your son.

Have you suggested counselling ? Her behaviour is probably as a result of her own childhood.

If she is not prepared to change I would think about separating and gaining custody of your son.

Cakingbad Sat 04-Feb-17 08:30:45

Write your concerns down in a letter and give it to her. Start off with lots of compliments about what a great job she has done raising two amazing kids then move onto your concerns for your boy.
Good luck! It's great that you are doing something to fix this. Needs to be sorted before your boy hits puberty and goes awol.

Joysmum Sat 04-Feb-17 09:46:22

Why can't you just say you think she needs to organize some 1 to 1 time with her son as he's feeling left out because his sister gets this and he doesn't.

OhHolyJesus Sat 04-Feb-17 09:55:03

I wonder if she had a particularly difficult birth with him compared to when she has your daughter?

I think counselling might be the answer if some of the other suggestions previously posted don't work.

Bluntness100 Sat 04-Feb-17 10:32:22

you need to talk to her about it again, in terms of the fact he asked if she liked him and the upset she is causing and try to get to the bottom of this. What's causing it and what can be done to fix it, let her know the seriousness of her behaviour and the long term ramifications of growing up in an environment where

When it gets to the stage where he asks the question, it's already causing long term damage. I'd also start to think about separating, for the simple reason I couldn't be with someone who emotionally neglected and subsequently damaged their own child, and my priority would be the child.

Msqueen33 Sat 04-Feb-17 10:34:45

Not an excuse but maybe she feels she has more in common with dd than with your ds but if your son actively wants to spend time with your wife she needs to make time for him as he's her child too.

MrsDustyBusty Sat 04-Feb-17 10:51:14

Does your wife realise what's going on? I only have a girl and I do know that I am in the process of turning her into my little buddy. My mother was the same with me, but since I was an only girl with several brothers, it probably wasn't that noticeable.

I think you have to blunt. Yes, she may want a special relationship with her girl but she can't do it at the expense of her son.

Have you tried picking up the slack with your son and developing a special friendship with him? In case your wife refuses to understand?

AllTheLight Sat 04-Feb-17 10:55:19

You have to talk to your wife again, this is awful for your son. She needs to find a way to bond with him.

My DH and our two DSs are all really into football, he realised he didn't have a similar activity with DD so now he takes her horse riding once a fortnight.

MattBerrysHair Sat 04-Feb-17 11:00:03

You need to tell her about his crying and asking if she even likes him. If her response is positive then hurrah! However, if she isn't receptive I would be seriously considering finding temporary alternative accomodation for yourself and your son while you give her the opportunity to realise how damaging her attitude towards your boy is. Let's hope it doesn't come to that though.

FuckTheDailyMail Sat 04-Feb-17 11:59:42

What did you say to her response "well you take him out"? Frankly I'd have torn a strip off her in your shoes. You need to spell out that your son feels neglected by HER, that he wants HER time and attention. Her response to that may well make you want to reconsider your relationship.

Andro Sat 04-Feb-17 12:01:11

I think you need to be really direct about your concerns and the impact on your son, but you also need a plan for how you will protect your son from what is an emotionally unhealthy situation.

TheStoic Sat 04-Feb-17 12:06:18

Your son's well-being comes first, and you should not be walking on eggshells around your wife on this.

This situation will have serious consequences for your son if it isn't tackled ASAP.

Tell her bluntly that her behaviour is upsetting your son, and that if she doesn't work on fixing it immediately you will be arranging family counselling.

Being the 'golden' child will not be doing your daughter any favours, either.

LucklessMonster Sat 04-Feb-17 16:26:35

You just need to tell her straight - you are damaging our son by playing favourites with his sister.

There probably are underlying issues. Did she have PND, or might she have had undiagnosed PND with your son? Was it a traumatic birth? Was she abused by a male in the past? Before she can get help she needs to accept there's a problem, and I think you need to be straight with her.

missyB1 Sat 04-Feb-17 16:35:55

You are going to have to be very frank and very firm with your wife on this issue, no pussyfooting around. She is doing something very mean and unacceptable to your son, whether she means to or not she is causing him what could be potentially long term issues.
Tell her to start working on her relationship with him or you will have to consider if this environment is right for him.

MockTurtleSoup Sat 04-Feb-17 16:41:56

I agree with TheStoic

FearTheLiving Sat 04-Feb-17 16:45:34

My mum was like this with me. My dad took me and moved out. Best thing that ever happened to me. I'm NC with her now as she just really never bothered with me. She had her precious boy. Funnily enough, I'm very close with my brother and he can't stand her.

reallyanotherone Sat 04-Feb-17 16:46:18

Ach this pisses me off.

Your wife may be an extreme example, but this kind of attitude isn't uncommon. Women want girls as they think they can do "girly" things together, get nails done, shopping, giggle over boys, while sons are their dad's business.

A friend of mine does it. Saturdays she goes shopping with her dd while her dh takes their son to the football.

I know people often dismiss every day sexism, and/or honestly believe girls genetically prefer pink, glitter and shopping, but something needs changing.

Introvertedbuthappy Sat 04-Feb-17 20:35:20

Tell her how your son he is feeling, he is suffering already, poor boy. If she doesn't give a shit please be prepared to leave her. My mother favoured my brother (often made excuses to do things with him alone over me etc) and I have suffered massively since then from the effect that had on me. I wish my Dad stood up for me rather than just trying to mitigate the effects - it actually made her favouritism all the more obvious IYSWIM.

Your poor boy.

SunshineOutdoors Sat 04-Feb-17 20:42:42

Really sad reading this. I have a dd and a ds and can't imagine prioritising time with one over the other. If this is the case it will be so damaging for your little boy, please don't avoid confrontation with your wife if you need to, you need to show him how important he is to you. Equally try to ensure your dd doesn't feel penalised because of this. What a hard situation for you flowers

SunshineOutdoors Sat 04-Feb-17 20:43:51

I feel I need to say again that it's important your dd doesn't feel punished for this too.

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