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When a husband loves daughter more than wife, how do you cope?

(63 Posts)
RonnieScott Sun 01-Sep-13 19:39:49

My husband (of eight years) doesn't love me. I am his housekeeper, joint wage earner, sexual partner, mother of two of his children but he gets his emotional fulfillment from his 15 year old daughter. I feel so rejected and lonely. He (and I know I will be flamed for this) acts like he is in love with her. He hangs on her every word, laughs at all her jokes, asks her opinion on everything ( and listens intently). When he is on the phone to her, he talks in a lowered voice, giggles like a teenager, he blows kisses to her and tells her how much he loves her, that he cannot wait to see her. They act like they are teenage lovers. I am invisible when she is here. I never thought I would be in this situation. I am a grown woman in my thirties and I long for mutual affection and companionship but how can I compete? I thought this would get easier but as she gets older they become more of a couple. We went on holiday last month, it was so emotionally draining. He spent the whole time trying to find excuses to be alone with her, do stuff with her. I wish I could turn a blind eye and do my own thing. I wish this whole mess didn't make me feel so rejected and unhappy. I try so hard to love her but I resent her so much and I'm starting to hate him. We had a massive row when he went to collect her this weekend. He called me disgusting and sick. I feel that he's right. This is such a mess.

Wdigin2this Wed 03-Aug-16 19:31:55

Mumstheword if you're sure nothing is s going to change his thinking, and positive that you can't continue with the situation as it is, then you have to do some serious thinking about your future with this man. Is he aware that your relationship is in danger, if not, perhaps now is the time to make it clear to him?!

Mumstheword80 Tue 26-Jul-16 16:01:24

Thank you for your advice swingofthings!
I have told him I think it's great how he is so devoted as a father, I had a tough upbringing and didn't have that relationship with my dad so Think it's lovely that she has that from him. He does think I have issues from my past though so brings that up a lot but he's so blind to her behaviour. I've told him I don't accept the way she treats him and talks to him and never will as he is such a kind caring loving person. Which she takes advantage of! When we first got together I was a lot closer to her as she was a confused little girl dealing with so much crap at that time. He said one of the main reasons we moved in together was because we were so close, But now she has turned into a spoilt brat and he wants me to have the same relationship we had before, but I can't make myself feel that way about her the way she is now. I feel awful for feeling like that about his child. I don't want to loose him as what we have is so good and this is our only issue. I know I've got to put up and shut up or get out because nothing is going to change his way of thinking. He wants me to be a perfect step mum and I just don't think I've got it in me! It's helped me just getting it off my chest and posting on here lol

swingofthings Tue 26-Jul-16 15:33:42

If you want your relationship to work, you have to be honest. Say that you respect, out of love for him, his devotion for his daughter, however, you don't feel devoted to her and actually doesn't like much the way she treats him. Say that you are prepared to tolerate her and respect their relationship, but that he can't force you to feel towards her something that isn't there. Say that things might change in the future, that when she is older, maybe you will get along better, but as it is, this is how good it is going to get.

If he loves you, he should actually feel grateful that you are not interfering and letting him be the father he wants to be with his daughter.

Stepmum82 Tue 26-Jul-16 15:14:42

I am so pleased to read this thread. I feel like I'm going mad and I'm a bad person for thinking the way I have been, but I have the same issue. I have been with my partner for 2 and a half years and i have 2 children, my partner has an older son and a daughter, she is now 12 and it's like they are obsessed with each other! She lives with us half the time and her mum the other half. (His ex left him for someone else) I really struggle with their relationship as it's the same as what's been mentioned before. She is always by his side, constantly on the phone when she's not here, sits on his lap all the time, He runs round after her, spoils her rotten, she can do no wrong, is so spoilt and we are now at the point where we are arguing all the time about her. Hes only just stopped helping her wash her hair in the shower because I said it's not right him doing that (I was made out to be the bad one to point this out) but in my eyes she's a fully developed young woman, she's not a little girl anymore. She is very crafty in the way that she plays him to get her own way. Puts on the tears, makes him feel bad untill he gives in. Demands things from him all the time, designer clothes, bags, just stuff all the time! She is so rude to him it's embarrassing but he doesn't see there is anything wrong with her behaviour. I love him so much but I am at the point where I am so emotionally drained I just feel so down all the time as I'm the one that's made to feel in the wrong. I used the detached scenario which worked well for me. I'd let them get on with their time together, go a bit quiet when she has one of her turns or is being rude, I'd let him deal with it. I'd never say anything to him or moan about any of it but he'd just pick up that I'd go a bit quiet. But now he's saying I need to be more affectionate to her, show her I love her and want her here. I'm not horrible or rude to her, I run her about, do all the duties of cooking for her cleaning, washing, tidying, shopping but he says this is now not enough! I try so hard but whatever I do is never enough.

B2000 Tue 26-Jul-16 12:31:20

What did you do. Are you OK now? I'm in same situation with my partner of ten years, he dotes on his 16 yr old daughter and our relationship over the last three years has been crumbling, I feel horrible. See my note thread 'Been with partner ten years won't marry'

swingofthings Thu 14-Apr-16 18:08:30

There are no financially linked situations that you can extract yourself from. You might end up worse off financially, but personally, I don't think there is any money in the world that is worth feeling the way you do.

Bananasinpyjamas1 Thu 14-Apr-16 12:59:43

You all do deserve better, it's not healthy for your DH, his daughter or you. No one wins here. I'd hate to be a husband or bf of the daughter too. There is definitely a line and he crosses it.

DurhamDurham Thu 14-Apr-16 09:54:38

I love my children more than I love my husband and I'm sure that my husband loves them more than he does me, I think that's how it should be. We have tow girls, aged 22 and 18, he spends a lot of time with them and is very loving towards them, it's never 'creeped' me out and I don't find it weird at all.

Wdigin2this Thu 14-Apr-16 09:48:58

Lulube your situation sounds even more odd than the OP's! Don't beat yourself up, you're not being ridiculous and your DH's behaviour definitely doesn't sound normal!!

I would have said, if the DC in this situation were very young, that he's being over interested because he doesn't want his DC to have any reason not to visit, but at over 20 years of age, there can be no obvious reason for it.

I would agree that you should get some counciling, be very honest with your councillor, tell them exactly what you see and how it affects you....try not to get emotional (difficult I know). If the councillor is any good, they should be able to a) tell you why he behaves like this, and b) options of how to deal with it. What you do with this information, and how you proceed with your marriage should then become clearer!

Lulube11e Thu 14-Apr-16 03:06:28

What's your current situation ? What you describe is exactly what I have experienced over the last 7 years. God help us. I am in a situation that I cannot easily walk out on, though we don't have children together, we are financially enmeshed. I keep hoping that it will all miraculously change...

Lulube11e Thu 14-Apr-16 02:57:59

I am in exactly the situation of the original post. I have been married for 7 yrs. my husband's daughter is now 24. She is not so interested in him, but he is flushed when she is near. He fiddles with her clothing, sits very close. She is the ONLY girl for him. She has his undivided attention, he hangs on her every word, giggles with her, is interested in everything she says, looks her in the eyes, etc, etc. I am a gooseberry! I am extremely unhappy and have developed eczema in the last couple of years. I feel so alone and have wondered if I am, indeed, as he insists, insane. I just want to have a 'normal' relationship.

WhoGivesAFlying Fri 15-Jan-16 09:49:06

I wouldn't be surprised if this is how my DH and dsd end up, the signs are all there, things already bug me but if I bring it up I'm being ridiculous. She's not even 10 yet and already has way too much say. Pretty much all of my suggestions, requests are run by her first. I never get time with DH, never get to walk with him, sit with him, do anything with him when she's here. I understand they need time together but to shut someone else out completely is wrong IMO. He will even pull me up in front of her if I've asked her to do something like tidy, make bed, take plate out, stop picking nose

daftgeranium Fri 15-Jan-16 08:48:20

I have to say from bitter experience, both to the OP and to sosad.... I would seriously consider leaving your relationship.

I battled with a situation for years where my partner not only put his teenage daughter above everything, all the time, but had brought her up badly so that she turned out to be bitchy, entitled and knowing she could get away with anything. It was only when he refused to come to my mother's funeral, saying that his UK holiday with his daughter was a higher priority (even though he could easily have left it for the day) that I realised the problem all rested with him and his attitude.

If there is nothing there for you in the situation, and your needs and contributions don't even come into the picture, then it is not really a relationship. You are being used.

Best of luck to the both of you in the future..... but I would strongly advise you to get out.

SoapandGloryisDivine Tue 12-Jan-16 20:12:20

He cuddles up to his nearly 20 year old daughter on the sofa?... hmm That's not normal at all.
He cuddles up to his adult daughter rather than you. Yuck.

Lunar50 Tue 12-Jan-16 19:56:35

Hi, I can understand exactly how you feel, my daughter's nearly 20 and when she's home I may as well be invisible. My hubby cuddles up to her on the sofa and keeps looking at her, like he did with me when we first fell in love. I feel sick with it. She swears at me and continually tries to create arguments from nothing and he takes her side every time cos she manipulates him and cries. In the past she has shouted at me and called me names, swore and accused me of stupid things and he has just stood there and not said anything. On holiday he walked ahead with her and he's constantly critising me, but she can do no wrong. I know it sounds crazy but he treats me like the child and her like the wife, telling me off and agreeing with her. I would never have believed I'd be in this situation, but it's slowly becoming worse as he doesn't seem to be able to let go.

Wdigin2this Sat 04-Jul-15 13:02:58

Sorry, hadn't realised this was quite an old post!

Wdigin2this Sat 04-Jul-15 12:59:06

It's not about loving a child more than a partner, it's a totally different love, and is normally expressed in appropriate ways...this does not sound appropriate at all! When you say, he found ways to be alone with his DD on holiday, do you think this was because he just wanted to make the most of his time with her, or was it deliberately excluding you because they, a) wanted to be alone together or b) didn't want to be with you? If it's a, well there could be all kinds of reasons, but if it's b, then you probably know where to go from there!

rready06 Thu 02-Jul-15 10:00:14

I may be a little late on this post but I wanted to share. Mt daughter is two and I give her kisses, sometimes she blows me kisses when I leave for work and I blow them back, we have a very affectionate relationship as I'm trying to set a standard for her when she chooses her future spouse. I don't however shut my wife out, my wife and my relationship is totally different. I'm also very affectionate with my wife when we are getting along. I wouldn't say that his relationship with your daughter is innapropriate bc he may still see her as the cute 2 year old that gave him slobber kisses. Maybe your relationship with him is in dire straights and he has just decided to pour his energy into his daughter. Or maybe is a creep, but I doubt it. You should take pride on the love he shows your daughter. Some of them get no love at all. Sadly...

Chottie Fri 30-Jan-15 19:10:57

I agree with the suggestion of moving the thread to Relationships.....


cardiandcrocs Mon 26-Jan-15 22:51:14

Sosad....maybe ask for this to moved to 'Relationships'?

I'm sorry to hear of your situation.

I think you'd receive many more answers.

Runnyhunny Fri 23-Jan-15 16:22:40

I am so upset reading your story. Unfortunately I don't have the experience to advise but would it be worth a try with another, perhaps more experienced counsellor? It's pretty obvious that the first stop is councelling for your daughter, your dh seperately. Also hoping someone more experienced will come to advise soon x

barrackobana Thu 22-Jan-15 09:44:58

Sosadandlost This is a terrible situation, I'm 'bumping' for you in the hope a more experienced person will come along.

Sosadandlost Thu 22-Jan-15 08:37:07

Hi, I know this is very old, but could you please tell me how your family member is doing now? I've lived this life for so long it's breaking my marriage and the sad part, I raised my daughter. I quit my job to be at home while my husband was never involved. I handled everything and he was the "good time" friend. As soon as 18 hit and I couldn't do anything to stop her from spinning out of control. She was just (terrible to me) stole my things, lied, swore at me, ruined my clothes(what she didn't take)took school money for purses and shoes. What she wanted was to take my place. Very entitled child. I asked her to leave until she could treat me with respect. She laughed at me and hit me. He threatened to kill himself if she left, at 23 years old? He took her side on everything, and then behind my back paid for a hotel room for her... Then a home while our bills were piling up. She's now 25 and living At our business (behind my back) we've pay for insurance, her new vehicle(not my choice). I've lived a life of the maid and she the wife. I watched as my life was taken over by my child. I always knew she had issues with me but it began when she would break up with her boyfriends, take it out on me, throw temper tantrums, kick the walls and then go out on dates with her dad to be "calmed down". They'd leave me home alone and she'd come back all smiles and he'd say, "she just needs your understanding". She'd say, "it's your fault I cant have a boyfriend". You're an abusive Mom. I never mistreated her. I love her and gave her everything. She'd even call me from school to pick her up if she needed to use the bathroom because she claimed she had phobias of public toilets. My only fault is, I gave her too much. One day I came home from being in the hospital, my house was redecorated, she had gone threw all my person things and all my old modeling photos were torn to shreds. They were never hung up. I never had them on the walls to flaunt them. They were in my closet just tucked away. She lied and said she was going to make a collage for me and needed to cut them up(he believed her) I came home another time and she had dug up my wedding gown and was modeling it for her father. If he kissed me, she'd jump in and say me too, at 23? What have I done wrong? Can this be fixed? She sits on his lap. I have never felt more alone in my entire life. My daughter whom I love hates me. She tells people he only married me because I was pregnant, I was young when we were married 20 but we were engaged long before I was ever pregnant. I would have given anything to have my parents love one another. Why is she doing this and why does my husband continue to not see how's he's caused this! He came between my daughter and me. All I ever wanted was a family... I made sure to get a degree(s) in psy, read parenting books, work in day care... Everything I could to change my parental skills from my Moms. So I wouldn't repeat the abusive behaviors my mom exhibited onto us kids.... I ended up failing anyway. I loved her and tried so hard and she hates me anywaysad I've taken her to counseling. They call her entitled. I've taken my husband, they tell him to get out of her life, but here I sit. Have anyone of you seen this get better?

VenusRising Sun 09-Nov-14 12:27:17

Wow, those cherries were a peace offering to her as he'd 'betrayed her' (in his mind) by being intimate with you,
It's classic.

I think you need to have counselling.
His relationship with you is falling apart, and his relationship with his dd is damaging to her.

He's chewed up with guilt about breaking up with her mother and 'destroying' her childhood. You are paying the price of his guilt in your relationship now.

You need joint counselling and family counselling later on, for your SDD and you.

Boomeranggirl Sun 09-Nov-14 12:15:42

One of our family members has this kind of relationship with his daughter (they are a together family) and its always appeared as though there were three in the marriage. Dad and daughter would gang up on wife in front of people and put her down, it was uncomfortable to watch. Now daughter has grown (early twenties) the best way to describe it would be 'failure to launch' - no education to speak of, no boundaries, no drive, no prospects. Still has same type of relationship with dad and mum looks quite miserable. To be fair, I think the dad has finally realised what effect this has had on her but it's too late, feels very guilty about it. Now he's just taking the view he'll have to support her financially for the foreseeable future.

Strange situation.

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