Dh Xmas gift for dsd...(42 Posts)
Have just spent a lovely afternoon Xmas shopping with dh, for us, for kids etc.
At one stage dh was looking into buying dsd, 16, some jewelry as a bigger present and actually considered getting her a ring.
I found this incredibly inappropriate as we've gone through some real shit with getting him to see how his spousification of dsd was threatening our marriage. Our couple therapist wasted no time in telling him what's what and told him to cop on. There has been some occasional backsliding, but I thought it was really under control. Then this.
I remained calm, only said her taste is the opposite of mine and he'd have to decide on one himself. Eventually I also pointed out some other things like earrings as I was seething ever so slightly and he did finally choose a bracelet I found quite attractive and which suits her style really well.
Am I weird in feeling a tad resentful here? It reminded me of the chastity rings American dads give their daughters, really truly YUK!
Btw, dh never buys me jewelry... I've stopping giving hints and buy stuff I like myself.
Another btw, in a spare moment own ds wanted to buy me a present and I made damn sure it was approriate (a nice bangle, similar to something dsd helped him pick for my birthday). I'd die of embarrassment if I got something as intimate as a ring off him.
Am I mad? Or is this a case of once bitten...
Thanks everybody, all your comments really sum up the thoughts going through my head.
Yes, I'm feel totally insane to be jealous of my dh daughter, our relationship has come on in leaps and bounds lately and I'd be a fool to jeopardize that with silly squabbling (and dss is way more secure and considerate btw).
Then again, one poster mentioned lingerie, and it brought back sad memories of dh wanting to go shopping with dsd a while back - she blew him off because she wanted to buy underwear and took her mum.
Always being aware of what one says or does? Actually ellie, our therapist did ask dh to do just that, not to be replying in husky voice to her flirtatious tone etc.
Sorry to be sounding unhinged. Just to be clear though, I place all responsibility on dh, not dsd. She was raised to be his partner when his first marriage failed, this is what's meant with spousification.
And yes, it does make you sound bitter when you think "finally, our relationship is taking a turn for the better" and then dh upsets the applecart again.
Trouble is this isn't really a stepfamily problem, its a father daughter issue and has nothing to do with me. I'm just expected to put up and shut up. I know, I can leave anytime. I would have, too, were it not that our finances are too complicatedly linked.
Sorry for rambling, I'm very sad at the moment and haven't said a word to anybody.
when I was a teenager I had a couple of gold rings as birthday/Christmas presents from my parents. I didn't have any money to buy them myself.
Thanks again for replies.
It's reassuring to read that giving jewelry to daughters is normal, acceptable behaviour.
I'll gladly admit to being super super sensitive re dh and dsd as I've had to endure humiliating circumstances and dh did seem to be making headway in bestowing the role of fellow adult and confidant on me rather than his adolescent daughter...
Btw, before I read more
mind numbing comments like "poor dsd" (wtf, am I instantly the wicked sm who will rip out dsd fingernails if I'm slightly displeased?!?!)... may I point out its me taking responsibility for our second marriage by seeking guidance in couple counseling, so that all our kids feel welcome as kids, dh receives neutral 3rd party advice and stops Disney parenting we all know is to the detriment of children in general. And we've had great results! But sometimes an unexpected move will throw me completely and old anxieties will surface.
I was bewildered because my dh would never in his life have considered jewelry for any of his daughters, although generous in other ways. But then again, he never gave mum any either. I don't expect such gifts of dh, he made it clear early on I'd have to get my own, therefore my disbelief when he suddenly declared his wish to buy his daughter something special. Am I jealous? Probably, but I'm hurt more.
... My df, that should read, never considered... Not dh, who obviously does...
Spousification does exist and is very unhealthy and damaging! Google it!
In a normal situation buying ones 16 year old dd a ring is a lovely gesture but in the context of the OP I agree it is a bit wierd.
DSD was the same with DSD when we met. He bought me a beautiful expensive bracelet for our first Christmas together and then wanted to buy the same bracelet a few months later for DSDs birthday - she was 6 at the time . It made me feel a bit creeped out. I told him and he understood and we both chose her a cheaper more childlike bracelet for her.
There should be a clear distinction between the wife and the child - one is not more important than the other but they are totally different relationships.
Op realises I'm sure that there are lots of situations where this would be entirely appropriate. I think it's lovely when dads model for their daughters the way they should be treated by a partner - jewellery, dinner out, flowers etc.
But with everything op has been through, this shows a bit of a lack of understanding from her df to say the least!! Old habits die hard I guess
Will you have an opportunity totalise it in the safety of counselling, op?
Hi OP, I have to admit I had to google spousification. I personally think jewellery for DC is okay. I've picked out stuff with my DP for his DC (my DSC)
But my DP does buy me the occasional item...so I see it as normal. My parents have often given me jewellery growing up, with my DF picking things out on his travels (never a ring). And I was given a ring and matching earrings on my 16th (picked out by my mum).
I think it all depends on your situation whether it's strange or not. There are some very fashionable brands around these days, I wouldn't think this was inappropriate. In fact I'd happily help my DP pick out a stacker ring etc if he wanted to buy something like that.
I totally get you reaching out for a sanity check on this, but if you feel it's inappropriate then it's probably justified. It's hard for us to truly judge.
Personally I think a bracelet is a perfect special gift.
Schmaltzing, I'm sorry you felt pushed out. I think the difference between your and dsd situation is that you stepped up to take care of the family very unselfishly and when you realized an adult man needs an adult mate you willingly stepped aside. That was incredibly big of you and must have really hurt too, as you were filling the role of "mother" in every other way. I sincerely hope your family appreciated you.
In our case, dh turned to dsd for comfort (it's called covert or emotional incest) once his first marriage soured and eventhough she wasn't expected to help (and didn't) in the household, or her dads flat upon divorce, her feminine presence filled a void. She was angry with me before she even met me and it was clear she wasn't making room for another woman, and dh still has problems treating her like his child, not partner, and can't really see the damage he's doing to her, despite being willing to follow therapists advice.
Please don't laugh, but I've actually recently had a feng shui expert in the house trying to find ways of integrating her better in our home, making her feel more comfortable!
Thanks for moral support Kaluki! it's just the kind of thing dh is want to do. Is it a man thing, do you think? Do they simply not see differences in the females around them? I've got 3 men to deal with, I wonder how dh would feel if I didn't differentiate between him, ds and dss?!
Bellabom, I totally agree with you. I've had to point out some things to dh re dsd boyfriends (tend to bring her down) and have asked him to adjust his protective barrier as I feel by exploiting her vulnerability as a child and having her look after his needs (not meant to sound creepy, but I suppose it is) he left her thinking she is there to cater to men, not be an equal partner. I hope I install enough respect in ds for girls now he's dating seriously...
Littleowlie, thank you for your very sweet post. And yes, the bracelet I helped dh pick for dsd is really lovely, a uniquely crafted gift, just like her (despite my ranting, I don't blame dsd, she's a fantastic young woman and deserves to have a great future. I'm angry at dh for messing with both of us).
I agree with the poster who suggested jewellery was acceptable under different circumstances; ie if mum and dad chose their daughter something nice, then no one would bat an eyelid. But within the context described by the OP, then I still think its a bit odd.
Spousification is a strange thing, and I don"t always think its limited to daughters. If DSS was at his mother's, then DH and I were two equal stakeholders in our home. But as soon as DSS arrived, the dynamics changed, and the normal domestic interaction between man and wife switched to DH and DSS. For example, if DH was going to be late home, he'd call DSS instead of me. He once rang DSS to see if the electrician (who was working at our house) had finished. DH and DSS would decide what to have for dinner. And last year DH and DSS invited me to a BBQ at my own home, like they were the 'host couple.' When they're together, they become Mr And Mrs. Very, very odd.
See, within the context of your backstory, I can see how you feel your DH buying a ring for his DD inappropriate.
But in a normal parent/ child relationship its absolutely fine.
When DS was 15, when the Lord of The Rings films were out I bought him the fellowship ring, a plain gold band like a wedding ring but with the elfish inscription on it. He wears it still today, the inscription has worn off and it looks like a wedding band. There has never been any sense of it being weird or inappropriate, it is just a gift from his mum ( me) and that's it.
I agree under the circumstances with the huge backstory it is inappropriate. And I don't blame you for being jealous with the fact he never buys you jewellery.
DSS has suffered through spousification from his mum since she and my DH divorced (long before I met him BTW) but now he's got more of his own life it's not so bad. He's 21 and has been with GF for nearly 3 years and his mum has accepted that she can't be so dependant on him.
The mum and son connection was of course something that worried me while I was lp for many years. Ds and I are close and when I read up on spousification (suggested to another poster on mn) I asked ds if he'd ever felt suffocated or burdened by my needs as lp, and he said "yes" and decided that it weighed in at about 60% ?!? He was about 13 or 14 when I asked him. I was shocked how easily this can happen and leave an impression. Hence also my deep concern about dsd and her right to develop at her own teen pace, no doubt on my part selfishly fueled by my wish to lead a more relaxed life around her and dh...
Petal, there is a similar bond between dh and dss, I suppose because the dynamics of a father son relationship are foreign to me (no brothers and relationship between ds and his dad is ok but relatively superficial) I never felt personally threatened of being "cast out" and dh is quite eager to discipline him for rudeness etc, which he'd never dare with dsd. To me it always seemed dss was competing relentlessly with dsd for parental attention, and then I came in the mix so he was becoming pretty desperate (dad this, dad that, dad, dad,...).
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