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Looks like DD has finally broken our marriage

(72 Posts)
DisgraceToTheYChromosome Wed 10-Jul-13 10:22:15

Dd is 17, 18 in 6 months. For a year she's been fine. 13-16 was pretty horrible, but we persevered and I really thought the phase had ended.
Last night she came and BARKED at DW to clear her bed of clean laundry and put it away. Not help, mind you. DW did so even though I was the one who'd put it there. All the while DD has music playing at earshattering volume. After a bit DW kicked off, there were words, DW backpedalled and went to bed crying. Tried to comfort her, she told me she felt like a skivvy. When I suggested that perhaps a flat refusal would have worked better, she started wailing she was a shit mum, she'd raised a monster, we'd all be better off without her.
This is standard practice and has been for the last 15 years. Normally I reassure her.

This time I just can't see the point. Sorry for length.

Eyesunderarock Wed 10-Jul-13 10:32:08

Why does your wife find it hard to stand up to her DD's unreasonable behaviour? Is DD your bio child too?
Does DD behave like this with you, or do you set boundaries and expectations and maintain them with her? Why did you not ask her to turn down the music? Why did the dreadful behaviour stop for a year and begin again?
If your DD is bullying your OH, then what are the chances of your wife disengaging completely and you being the one who deals with DD?
What is DD doing next academic year? What about Uni or moving out in 6 months. DD, not your wife.
Your OH's response is very common. It's often either weeping and feeling useless or rage and incomprehension about how ungrateful and selfish the child is.
You need to sit down together and work out specifically why things are so dreadful, what you want to fix and how you are going to get there.
Why would you say your marriage is broken and not your family?

amumthatcares Wed 10-Jul-13 11:39:14

What was you doing when DD was behaving so horribly to your DW? If you was the one that had put the laundry on her bed why did you not intervene and tell DD it was you and let her take it up with you? Tbh, if my DH stood by and let our DD treat me like that (not that I would let her anyway), knowing she was kicking off about something he'd done, I would be the one not seeing the point. Surely it's more a case of supporting her and backing her up rather than letting your DD treat her like that and then try to reassure her or am I missing something here? confused

PelvicFloorClenchReminder Wed 10-Jul-13 11:44:40

Why didn't you stand up for her?

Sheshelob Wed 10-Jul-13 11:50:17

Your title says it all. Denial, much?

Why pin this on your DD? It is only you and your wife in your marriage. It has nothing to do with your DD - she can neither make it nor break it.

You have no-one to blame but yourselves. Stop scapegoating your child for the breakdown of your marriage. It is utter bullshit.

Eyesunderarock Wed 10-Jul-13 11:50:46

If he always steps in to defend and protect, that won't do anything to help with the lack of respect that the DD is showing to his wife.
DW needs to either be assertive and set some basic rules in place, or disengage and stop running round like an unpaid servant because she's told to.
It was also why I wondered if he was the bio dad, as that can affect relationships and the balance of power.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Wed 10-Jul-13 12:00:21

Hi peeps. I set boundaries and tasks when we're alone. If DW is present, it used to be the case that she would countermand them, do them herself or say I was being a bully. This could be something as minor as passing the salt or the peas at table; DD in the recent happy phase would actually have to wrestle the food off Mum. It has got better: DD has been brilliant recently and DW has taken a step back. I fact, DD suggested that we go on holiday as a couple this year and she'd stay at home because the arguments on holiday were so bad. DW agreed and we booked the holiday of lifetime for next month. Hmmm.

Last night I didn't interfere because if DW is actually showing backbone my appearance would make it disappear. I dried her tears, hugged her afterwards, we went to sleep.

Everything seemed fine this morning, but at some point DW must have gone into DD's room and been grunted at. I was shaving and there was a load of crashing downstairs, door slamming and the car being driven away at speed.

DW will not disengage. I don't think she can; we didn't go anywhere as a couple for about 9 years because she'd fret constantly. We tried early on with a babysitter and she just cried in the restaurant.

I do know she has real issues with attachment, as MIL used to let her cry for hours as a baby.

As for breaking the marriage rather than the family, the next bit might get me flamed.

I chose DW, and she chose me. DD was given to us. It is my joy and my duty to bring her up as a human being, but I've always known that one day she'll be gone. DW and I are together for life, or that was the idea.

Right now DD is cleaning downstairs, I've just finished the bathroom, we'll have lunch like civilised people.

amumthatcares Wed 10-Jul-13 12:02:13

Eyes If he always steps in to defend and protect, that won't do anything to help - surely if she was kicking off about something he'd done he should have manned up and intervened? In my eyes, that's not defending and protecting, that's not letting someone else take the crap for something they had nothing to do with. I also believe, in a lot of cases, that if a DC sees two parents that don't pulling together and support each other, that's generally when the DC learns that they can treat their parents like shit get away with things!

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Wed 10-Jul-13 12:03:48


What do you think the board's response would be to a poster whose DH was spoiling DCs, constantly undermining her and kicking off when the DCs went too far, as kids without boundaries do?

AuntieStella Wed 10-Jul-13 12:04:27

It does seem there is a major communication problem between you and DW. You describe exchanges between the two of you that are essentially antagonistic. When was the last time you actually co-operated productively on any task?

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Wed 10-Jul-13 12:06:36


You don't get it. My intervention will ALWAYS make whatever behaviour DD is engaged in, not OK, but immediately less serious. I am not ALLOWED to defend DW from DD.

yamsareyammy Wed 10-Jul-13 12:06:42

Soundslike you are the stepfather?
Try posting in step parenting for further advice.

[I think, if I was a step parent, I would need to have equal say on day to day parenting, otherwise a child can run rings around the both of them]

amumthatcares Wed 10-Jul-13 12:12:08


I reiterate my point then: I also believe, in a lot of cases, that if a DC sees two parents that don't pulling together and support each other, that's generally when the DC learns that they can treat their parents like shit get away with things! - Whichever parent won't pull together with the other

amumthatcares Wed 10-Jul-13 12:13:55

sorry * --treat their parents like shit-- get away with things!

Sheshelob Wed 10-Jul-13 12:14:00

My response was not about gender, so that question is irrelevant. I was responding to your blaming your child for your marital problems, which is how you framed your OP.

If a woman came on and blamed her child for her marriage breaking down, I would say the same thing.

There is no double standard here. You seem to be rather keen on focusing on the presumed faults of others rather than having a long, hard look at how you might be able to change.

yamsareyammy Wed 10-Jul-13 12:14:24

Sorry. I posted after only having seen some of the earlier posts.

tbh, I am always surprised how some marriages are run.

this could just be a tiff.
I suspect it will blow over. As you say DD may move out soon - in which case some problems over.
or she will stay, or come back, as realise she has a cushier life at home
or she may get pregnant - whole new ball game
or, as most likely will happen, your wife goes back to doing what she has always done, and you go back to doing what you have always done.

happybubblebrain Wed 10-Jul-13 12:15:43

I think you are scapegoating your daughter. You won't fix the problem until you take responsibility.

LEMisdisappointed Wed 10-Jul-13 12:16:49

You don't sound like you like your DW very much sad Also, you need to get over your rather pompus attitude to the whole thing. Teenagers are vile creatures - they just are, but this too will pass. Do you have other children?

MayTheOddsBeEverInYourFavour Wed 10-Jul-13 12:19:14

It sounds as though your DW is the one causing problems in the relationship

There's not much you can do to fix it by yourself

ouryve Wed 10-Jul-13 12:21:01

That's a pretty heavy accusation to lay at the feet of your child hmm

Eyesunderarock Wed 10-Jul-13 12:22:45

Amum, in my house my OH does the laundry, so if either of my two (22 and 18) had BARKED at me to clear her bed of clean laundry and put it away, I'd have said ' Don't look at me, talk to your father'
And he'd have just stared at them, because the command is so outrageous.
But it wouldn't have crossed either of their minds to say anything but 'Thanks'
If he continually steps in every time, then the rudeness towards her mother will just increase. I'm mystified why she allows it when it doesn't make her happy.
I have a neighbour who is a slave to her family and loves it, it makes her feel her existence is validated. Husband provides the money and she serves all four of them and lives her life vicariously through them. hmm

OP, what do you think is going to be the answer? What can you do to support your wife into moving away from this helpless doormat stage if she can't manage to do so on her own?
Does she have friends she could share her problems with?

valiumredhead Wed 10-Jul-13 12:24:53

Good grief,I agree!

valiumredhead Wed 10-Jul-13 12:25:16

I agree with ouyrve I mean

Marcheline Wed 10-Jul-13 12:29:28

It doesn't sound like this is anything to do with your daughter.

Why don't you post in relationships instead?

Do you actually want a relationship with your wife?

DoesBuggerAll Wed 10-Jul-13 12:30:07

Disgrace - I feel your pain as regards to discipline etc. The constant undermining by DW of a DH's attempts to deal with a situation is par for the course I'm afraid. It gets easier when you realise that communication means DW telling you what to do. Even when you are doing that the undermining and countermanding will still continue though.
Whenever I'm asked something by DW I just give the answer I think she wants. If I don't get a pleased response I give the opposite answer. If the DC ask for anything I just tell them to ask their mother since any decision I make will usually not be the 'right' one. It's called marriage I'm afraid.

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