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Husband cares more for daughter than me

(39 Posts)
user1471525759 Thu 18-Aug-16 14:32:59

I need to reach out and hope that someone can help me. My husband's estranged adolescent drug addict daughter passed away leaving behind her 2 year old daughter who was being cared for by my husband's ex-wife. We were left with 2 options.. either my husband and his ex-wife jointly adopt or my husband and I adopt the child. Considering my husbands bitter divorce from his ex, I consented to the two of us adopting the child. The problem is that since the adoption my husbands entire life revolves around his grandchild/daughter. We have had very few couple time since her arrival. He talks so sweetly to her and spoils her while he treated my 2 children (who have since left home) as if they were lesser beings. I am so tired of trying to talk to him wherein he says that there is no problem and that I hate the child. If the child is naughty and I say anything, he will side with her and say so in front of the child (who is 5 years old). He wants me to be the perfect mother to her and the perfect wife to him but what about me? I am not going to compete with a child, that is for sure. I feel like a prisoner in this situation. He watches my every move including checking my mobile messages and calls. All I do everyday is go to work and come home where I cook and clean and then still criticises me for not making time for the child. The child manipulates him and he doesn't even see it. He must feel guilty for not being on talking terms with his daughter when she died but why does our relationship have to suffer. I hope I am making sense. I just don't know what to co anymore. I am so miserable. I want this to work and I want to do so from my heart

CalmItKermitt Thu 18-Aug-16 14:36:46

Apart from anything you need to LTB for the mobile phone thing.

Mytrustybucket1 Thu 18-Aug-16 14:50:53

Dh and I had couple counseling for 18 months and it went a long way towards curbing his guilt/ Disney parenting, mostly by having the therapist point out at length how very damaging his behaviour towards his dd was. You probably also need an objective third party to do this and considering how tragically your dsd died, it might just work this time round. Good luck!

JenLindley Thu 18-Aug-16 14:55:10

This is a horrible relationship! Even before the issue off his grand daughter he was treating your children like lesser beings! That is not a man you should want to be with! Why did you accept that treatment of your children. Please recognise this is a bad relationship and you need to get out of it. There is no cure for how you two are.

OhNoNotMyBaby Thu 18-Aug-16 15:00:21

yes to what CalmitKermitt said. Everything else is not exactly irrelevant, but the fact that he is checking your messages and calls is just totally, completely and absolutely unacceptable. You need to LTB on these grounds alone.

And I'm afraid it doesn't sound like you have any relationship with him or the child. You probably could have one with the child if he acted 'normally' but he clearly can't or won't, so I'm sorry, but I don't see much hope here.

Hockeydude Thu 18-Aug-16 15:05:41

LTB seriously

BubsAndMoo Thu 18-Aug-16 15:06:16

A 5-year-old girl does not 'manipulate' anyone for sinister reasons. She is 5, and has had massive upheaval and inconsistency in her short life so far, which will have left her with complex psychological problems. It's not a competition between you and her for your husbands attention - you are her adoptive parent, jointly responsible for her care and wellbeing, and she is a vulnerable child. The attitude in your post towards her stinks, quite frankly. 'The child'? She's your daughter!

You and your husband need to be working together, communicating effectively with each other so you can agree on your approach to parenting your daughter, on how you relate to each other, expectations for dividing household responsibilities etc. It sounds from your post that there may be some worrying controlling elements to your relationship in the first place though. Are you comfortsble with him looking at your phone, why does he do this?

Do you have post-adoption support from social services?

SaggyNaggy Thu 18-Aug-16 15:11:34

So a 5 year old girl has lost their mother and the person to fill that void is spoiling her?
Ignoring the phone thing, which in the thread is grounds for LTB but in other threads its absolutely fine. I think ypoure being massively unfair.
You accuse him of treating your kids as lesser beings and yet you're treating a 5 year old girl who's mum has died as if she's a manipulative evil doer. hmm

Lunar1 Thu 18-Aug-16 15:44:56

The thing that you have missed is that you have adopted a little girl who lost her
Mum in traumatic circumstances. She is your child, no different to your older ones.

She is not the child, she is your little girl. Your dh doesn't sound nice, but you can't take your relationship problems out on your daughter. Maybe post on adoption, they are the experts when you have difficulty bonding with your adoptee.

Do you see her as yours?

wheresthel1ght Fri 19-Aug-16 08:05:40

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

LewisAndClark Fri 19-Aug-16 08:07:35

I can't get past 'the child'. She is YOUR DAUGHTER.

swingofthings Fri 19-Aug-16 08:29:49

This is such a sad thread, but I don't think you deserve to be bombarded with criticism. I think the emergency situation meant that since the death of your SD, all the decisions your husband and you had to make were reactive, having to be made in urgency and by default, you more than anyone else.

Firstly, it sounds like you agreed to adopting the child mainly as default because you didn't want your husband to do with his ex. This is an understandable decision, the last thing you would want is for them to form some sort of relationship again, which would have been inevitable considering the situation. So I expect you ended up becoming a mum even though it wasn't what you wanted just so that she didn't and worse, you had no time to reflect on the implication of this decision.

Then you probably assumed that this decision meant that you and your OH would approach the whole situation as a unit. Unfortunately, it seems that not only you didn't adapt to it similarly, but actually in very opposite ways. It sounds like he took on being a dad to that child immediately whereas you needed more time. It doesn't help that she is the child of his daughter who he probably loved, and there is likely some sort of unconscious desire to do better by this child than he did by his daughter, a chance for redemption. He adopted a grand child, you adopted a brand new kid, and that will have got you on different paths from the start.

Inevitably, it went downhill as the more he settled in his role, probably being self-rewarded by the growing love between them, the more you became resentful that it was taking away your need to get used to this little girl and built your own relationship as a mother with her.

I think the situation is in crisis and need sorting out asap. What support did you receive from SS? Have you received any counselling? If not, I think that's very poor practice from them.

Don't beat yourself up, don't hate yourself for how you feel, but do accept that you need help to sort it out and that involves changes from your OH as much as yourself. You need to go back to working together and a professional to help both of you understand how the situation has impacted on the other.

I really hope you turn this around and make it work as that child deserves parents who are united, and love her both equally.

Ledkr Fri 19-Aug-16 08:39:43

Op. I am a post adoption worked.
You are entitled to an assessment of need which may identify areas where a therapist can help you all.
The adoption support fund will pay for this.
Ask today and pm me if you don't get anywhere.
She will have extremely complex needs and it's important that you two get on board and his nastiness is not helping this. A therapist will uncover and challenge his behaviour and if he cannot change I'm afraid you may need to consider your options.

gonetoseeamanaboutadog Fri 19-Aug-16 08:44:03

You do sound as if you're not treating 'the child'(??!) exactly as you would if she were your own. That is the most important issue; you need to recognise that your new daughter's well-being is of paramount importance because she is the most vulnerable person in this situation. However, your dh is doing no one any favours in wrecking his marriage, particularly not her.

Your dh doesn't sound bearable. You shouldn't be checked up on. He's unkind. Putting that to one side, he may feel as if he has to compensate for your coldness towards your child with extra attention and affection. The fact that you are not choosing to spend time with her in the evenings is pretty poor.

I would take a couple's holiday for a couple of days if I were you (and wanted to fix things). Talk about your marriage. See if it can be salvaged. Talk about his genuine concerns for his dd. Talk about your (unfair) resentment of her and feelings of being shut out.

BTW, all small children manipulate sometimes. My dh misses it too most of the time. It's a daddy daughter thing.

Every child deserves the kind of love you gave to your biological kids. If you're not willing to go through the motions and fight hard to reach that point, you're failing her. And that, my friend, is far more of a problem than your husband failing you.

BroomhildaVonShaft Fri 19-Aug-16 08:49:39

How on earth did you get approved to adopt this child if you feel this way about her? Are you in the uk? If so there should be someone you can talk to from children's services. You can't continue in her life this way and your husband also sounds very controlling of you.

Idrinkandiknowstuff Fri 19-Aug-16 08:56:01

I don't understand this at all. If your DHs ex was looking after the poor little girl, why did your DH have to adopt her, either with his ex or with you? Couldn't her grandmother have adopted on her own? Was the poor kid removed from his exs care and placed with you after already losing her mother? And yeah, you adopted her, she is your daughter, yet your post drips contempt for her. I really feel for the poor little mite.

FallenStar3 Fri 19-Aug-16 09:10:18

I think theres reasons why your DH is maybe over compensating for the little girl. Having had a DB with a severe drug addiction often family members can blame themselves for the addiction and why they became addicted even though they aren't necessarily at fault. In your case your SD addiction resulted in her death, I'm sure that he will blame himself and he wants to do right with the child. *Lunar, bubsandMoo swingofthings are all right she is suppose to be your child you've adopted her you made that life time commitment. If you were not fully prepared to commit to her you should of let his ex wife also adopt her that was unfair to the girl your DH and his ex wife.

You speak about your children being treated differently, did they grow up with DH? If he treated them so badly why stay with him? Surely you can see that you're treating his daughter who is now also yours in the same way. Without knowing all the details I would of imagined that little girl will have seen things no child should of ever experienced, she needs love and support. If your unable to do that I would suggest leaving.

LavenderEverywhere Fri 19-Aug-16 09:13:39

Why do you repeatedly refer to your adoptive daughter as 'the child'?

I don't think your heart was ever in this, was it? Poor kid.

GodImbored Fri 19-Aug-16 09:14:20

You write as if you are not the little girl's parent.

BroomhildaVonShaft Fri 19-Aug-16 09:21:32

In the UK two separated grandparents wouldn't be asked to adopt a child together. They might share care (which wild have been more suitable for this child it seems) but not as a couple. There would also be extensive assessment of Both prospective carers so hopefully this situation wouldn't arise. The op must be outside the UK I think

jenniferbb Fri 19-Aug-16 09:38:25

I think 'the child' might be there to protect her identity folks - please remember people come on here for advice, not to be annihilated. How many other people never admit they would like advice and help?

Idrinkandiknowstuff Fri 19-Aug-16 10:10:11

As the op told us in her first paragraph that "the child" is a girl then I'm at a total loss to see how "the child" is less identifying than DD, or my daughter.

HalfShellHero Fri 19-Aug-16 10:14:24

I feel dreadfully sorry for everyone in this situation, id be wary of allowing him to raise this child as he did so badly with his and your children, she appears to be a vessel to make himself feel less guilty. If he wont listen you may have no choice but to leave, ino its easier said than done.

Waltermittythesequel Fri 19-Aug-16 10:14:59

You adopted her. She's your daughter.

She came to you when she was two. A baby. Why did you adopt her if you couldn't love her as your own??

Aside from all of that, you are with an abusive man and you really should leave.

Counselling with an abuser is a bad idea.

Get out. Really.

I just wish that little girl hadn't been dragged into it.

Waltermittythesequel Fri 19-Aug-16 10:16:07

How did he treat your dc as lesser beings?

What is your relationship like with them?

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