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Brilliant counseling advice, would like to share

(10 Posts)
Rightsaiddeb Fri 07-Jun-13 07:44:05

Dh and I together for 4 years, own ds, dss and dsd.
Mostly getting there, except for dsd. Cutting a long story short...
Dh and I attend couple counseling because he grovels to dsd who rules the roost. Ds and dss (50:50) get on fine with everybody. Dsd coming back from school term abroad very soon and I asked for advice from therapist how to keep the present authentic and loving atmosphere in tact when her regular visits start (she is intensely loyal to mum, I'm not ow, she totally disrespects dh... And me).

Therapist made it VERY CLEAR, DH MUST MAN UP AND PARENT HIS DAUGHTER. He and I are a team which must be respected as the adults present, if she is rude to him or me he is to pull her up on it. As I'm clearly established in my role and can be authentic to dss I should not remain neutral to dsd, but react to her rudeness when it happens.
To avoid as much unpleasantness as possible, we are to continuously invite dsd to join us in any activities going on, including chores. She is not to be let feel "special" in a family of 5, but given to feel she is an integrated part (of course she gets time to herself for texting etc, like own teen ds, but not at mealtimes or for hours on end hogging TV and sofa).

Needless to say I feel vindicated, have always asked dh to do this, men, wtf? Dh has agreed to this (therapist made it clear that dsd needs a strong father figure, not a bff) I feel I love him again, win-win all round.

Hope this helps somebody else out there too. Never back down if you know the situation is bad and could easily be remedied.
Or as a friend once told me while I was still a student, don't let the bastards grind you down!

brdgrl Fri 07-Jun-13 09:15:32

Yes. smile
It took a while for my DH to get the same message - hearing it from "an expert" really helped. Once that clicked, things did start to improve radically.
I hope this is the beginning of the turn-around for you.

agnes2404 Fri 07-Jun-13 10:44:04

What helpful advice! I know my DH husband took a while to recover from the trauma of not knowing if his ex was going to grant him access to his baby - she did, in the end it wasn't a problem. it never even went to court but the pure fear took a while to leave him. It meant the time he has with DSD is so precious it was hard for him to be firm with her when she needed it (she is nearly 5 now). He's all over it now! His family drove the message home one holiday. Its great having someone else to say what we can't sometimes!

Kaluki Fri 07-Jun-13 14:23:31

Hurray for common sense!!!
I hope your DH really does man up and be a parent now.
It took my a few years but now he is a lot stricter and we can tell that his dc respect him so much mire than before, it's just hard to take that leap of faith at first.
Good luck

dufflefluffle Fri 07-Jun-13 14:30:39

My dh was told same by therapist (slightly different situation in that DSD was the only DC at the time), he agreeed in theory - his family even agreed but he didn't change his behaviour one bit. Because he never "manned up" she, as an adult, has zero respect for him and he doesn't understand why (would even sometimes agree with her mother that it's all my fault hmm) but although he is a bit better with our dc he doesn't ever like being the bad guy and so they don't have a huge amount of respect for him either. And that can be the moral of the story for your DH op: if he doesn't expect respect now he may never have it nor have the opportunity to gain it later.

Rightsaiddeb Sat 08-Jun-13 12:03:14

Thanks for all your responses. I've been asking for loads of advice on mn and it feels good to be able to give a bit back.
My dh can be quite ea to me at times, we are dealing with that too.
Basically he feels he lacks courage and this makes him frightened of many situations. He feared his daughter would not want to speak to him anymore, he feared exw would stop contact, etc. all valid fears in today's world, but it was always obvious to me at least that his kids loved coming to see him and enjoyed his Disney parenting immensely.
I'm a bit of a soft touch so dh pretty much did what he felt like at the beginning of our relationship to make the situation as comfortable as possible for himself and his Dc. Took no notice of me and my discomfort. Visiting therapist was to save our marriage basically and atm he is committed to change.
I'm not holding my breath btw, once dsd is back its going to be hard work getting him to cooperate. The thing is, she's actually a lovely girl, bright, capable and responsible. But his actions are literally ruining her, and then he complains she's a lazy party girl etc. oh well.

watchingout Sun 09-Jun-13 22:57:36

New to step parenting forum.. Can I ask how old is your DSD please? Trying to find ways to deal with my own DSD who is 19...

Rightsaiddeb Mon 10-Jun-13 07:03:06

Hi watching, my dsd is 16. We met when she was 12.
By reading a lot of advice on other threads and attending therapy it is slowly dawning in me that it is always the dsc parent responsible for the awkward atmosphere in the home.

I made a huge effort to create "good feelings all round" between ds and dh, ds and his sm, and now ds and his dad! Thankfully ds appreciates it.

The honeymoon phase with dh wore off as soon as I noticed he was not putting in anything close to an effort to make everybody feel comfortable.
Although I sound angry at dsd, deep down I know her behaviour is her parents fault, but as there is no communication between her mum and me, I can only take this up with dh, who has been dragging his feet (God forgive me, but he can be as reasonable as a stroppy 10 year old boy).

Tinkerbell36 Fri 19-Jul-13 18:04:01

Could I ask those of you who have had counselling if your DP took persuading to go? I think it would really work for our family but not sure how to present to to DH? I'm lucky that I can get it funded through work so that's not an issue.
Many thanks in advance for any tips!!!

Frogcatcher Thu 25-Jul-13 12:36:05

This is really useful to read as I had been wondering whether to try & get my DP & I to some kind of counselling. The only thing we argue about is DSS who is 8. I know he feels massively guilty as he split with ex when he was just a baby but I don't think he recognises this in his parenting. I just get blamed for undermining him when I tell DSS off (which happens a lot as he is not the best behaved child). It's tearing us apart and as I am 4 months pg with our child it really needs sorting.

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