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Daughter and wife in physical fight - what to do?

(186 Posts)
northernDad38 Thu 15-Aug-13 22:12:06

My 13 yr old daughter is really pushing boundaries at the moment, all the usual smirking and cheeky answers etc. But today which was meant to be a family day began with her refusing to put her shoes on. It sounds silly but it just got more and more antagonistic.

I managed to make peace with her and she helped me in the garden for a an hour or so.

But before we went out an argument about clothes with her mother got so out of hand I had to physically step in and pull them apart as her mum was actually trying to throttle her.

They both said appalling things which neither really mean and they spent the rest of the afternoon apart, and things have calmed down now but U'm just so shaken and upset by what happened I just don't want anything like this to happen again...

lisad123everybodydancenow Thu 15-Aug-13 22:14:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

HeySoulSister Thu 15-Aug-13 22:14:51

Family day? Perhaps these are a point of conflict. I'd leave her to do her own thing if she preferred

Violence is never acceptable. They both need this re iterating. Did your wife apologise?

northernDad38 Thu 15-Aug-13 22:21:15

She did apologise.

And I pointed out how horrific it would sound out of context. I spent a long time with my daughter talking things through in the afternoon and when she went to bed I talked things through with my wife.

It was an horrific moment, even worse that my 2½ yr old was in the same room, mercifully she was oblivious.

It breaks my heart to see them fight.

ExcuseTypos Thu 15-Aug-13 22:25:16

Your wife 'throttled' your dd? I'd want your wife to leave the family home.

She needs to go to the dr and get some help so this never happens again.

WorraLiberty Thu 15-Aug-13 22:29:49

And I pointed out how horrific it would sound out of context

I'm not sure what you mean by that?

It sounds horrific in any context

Because throttling your child, is. confused

TheYoniWayIsUp Thu 15-Aug-13 22:33:45

Your wife needs to go. Temporarily if necessary, but your daughter needs to see that you will not accept anyone being violent against her.

My mother was a nightmare when I was growing up, and my dad 'wouldn't take sides'. Well he bloody should have, I was a child.

Please don't fail her now. Teenagers are meant to be hard work- physical violence is not the answer.

WorraLiberty Thu 15-Aug-13 22:35:08

OP, what did your DD say when her Mum apologised?

Did they talk things out?

northernDad38 Thu 15-Aug-13 22:47:38

I managed the peace between them and 4 hours later they were able to go clothes shopping together(!)

My wife is under treatment for severe emotional issues (not an excuse, just a fact). But when she sees red she cannot be argued or reasoned with.

I've told her she needs to go back to the Dr a.s.a.p. and get some help.

WorraLiberty Thu 15-Aug-13 22:51:17

Yes but did your wife just say 'sorry', or did she explain that she was ashamed (if indeed she was) and that there is never any excuse for violence?

If your wife 'sees red', she could have actually killed your DD if you hadn't have been there to step in between them.

Do you think your DW is aware of how serious it all is?

AdoraBell Thu 15-Aug-13 22:53:18

How does DD feel about this, did she tell you? And how does she view the apology?

As already said, it is horrific in any context, and if had been you instead of her mother it would be viewed as domestic violence by most people. In reality it is, gender makes no difference.

Your wife needs to take urgent and serious steps to control her temper and not simply rely on apologising. Don't let it turn into a cycle of attack/apology/attack. My FIL does this with a GC, hits him and then says 'are we still friends?' Don't let your family slip into that.

ExcuseTypos Thu 15-Aug-13 22:53:19

I'd insist she's makes an appointment tomorrow.

You really need to protect your children. You can't all be walking around on egg shells waiting for her to lose her temper again.

ExcuseTypos Thu 15-Aug-13 22:55:07

And as Worra points out, if you hadn't been there to remove your wife, she could have killed your dd.

mignonette Thu 15-Aug-13 22:56:06

Can you go with her to the GP to ensure a complete picture of what happened is discussed? Is any other service involved such as a CPN/Mind/other MH services?

I sympathise with you OP and can imagine just how shaken and shaky you are probably feeling.

Whilst I agree that this absolutely cannot happen (I was continually physically/emotionally abused by my Mother and my Father) I also hope that anybody who offers you advice here doesn't offer it in an aggressive or hectoring tone. You have asked for help and support so clearly you want to do something.

All you can do is to support your daughter, recognise that she will be feeling pretty shocked and that actually sometimes seeing a parent react in this way can cause delayed response. She may have gone shopping but that might have been a cathartic appeasement by the pair of them and the true reaction will come later.

WorraLiberty Thu 15-Aug-13 22:59:50

Whilst I agree that this absolutely cannot happen (I was continually physically/emotionally abused by my Mother and my Father) I also hope that anybody who offers you advice here doesn't offer it in an aggressive or hectoring tone

I can't imagine anyone doing that??

The OP has done nothing wrong, it's his wife who appears to be the abuser...not him confused

tribpot Thu 15-Aug-13 23:00:08

when she sees red she cannot be argued or reasoned with.

This doesn't sound like a safe person to be around children - big or small.

AdoraBell Thu 15-Aug-13 23:00:11

And the 2.5 yr old, she may not articulate it but she knows what happened. I know this because my mother used to send me upstairs while my father beating my siblings, apparently it was okay as long as I didn't see it, but I heard it and it's stayed with me.

onenutshortofasnickers Thu 15-Aug-13 23:00:22

So your wife throttling your 13 year old daughter is
child abuse. Something your daughter will never forgive, all kids push boundaries, really badly but as a parent you never ever, ever, do that.

You need to chose you daughter over your wife now!

Sounds like there is ongoing stuff and I bet your wife is doing more when you aren't there- that's why your daughter is pushing boundaries.

Why didn't you call the police fgs? If you weren't there would your daughter be dead?

No matter of 'emotional issues' make it okay to see red and not be reasoned with and then throttle your CHILD.

If social services find out and you haven't made your wife leave they will take your daughter and any other children away from you. You would also fall under child abuse with neglect for failing to keep you children safe/keeping them in a dangerous environment.

If you don't want that to happen or anything else again; your wife has to leave until she is not going to see red.

Anything less that that is just silly and your putting your wife ahead of your children.

That's my advice and my opinion, please don't let your daughter down.

cory Thu 15-Aug-13 23:01:24

"But when she sees red she cannot be argued or reasoned with."

Does she realise, and do you realise, how unsafe this is? How easily she could seriously injure your older dd and emotionally damage your younger dd?

I would do two things:

first tell your wife that she must make this appointment tomorrow

secondly tell your wife (and your daughter) that no violence is acceptable in your home and that if it happens again you will ring the police

you have to mean this

and be prepared to see it through

WorraLiberty Thu 15-Aug-13 23:05:07

OP, is there anyone your wife could stay with for a while until she has at least spoken to her GP?

If I were in your position, I would feel completely unable to leave the house and leave her alone with the kids.

What's going to happen when you go to work?

You'll be worried sick if it means leaving them together.

mignonette Thu 15-Aug-13 23:05:18

Worra I'm talking about the tone of some posters who can be very !!! !!!.

Have seen some posters shot down in flames by over excited responders and can imagine (from my own experience) just how shaken the OP must be. Wanted to suggest treading carefully and not scaring him off grin by aggressively demanding that his wife must leave the house. That would actually cause more trauma to the child who would feel responsible for that...

cory Thu 15-Aug-13 23:07:03

I think we all sympathise with the OP and understand how worrying this must be for him.

WorraLiberty Thu 15-Aug-13 23:07:55

Oh I see, sorry mignonette blush

I thought you were saying that people might be aggressive and blame the OP grin

FWIW though, I would suggest she leaves the least until she's sought help.

Especially if the OP is going to have to struggle with leaving them alone together...and going to work etc.

mignonette Thu 15-Aug-13 23:10:12

Maybe if OP's daughter went to a friends for the day or a relative if there was one nearby? Just to give some time and space to all concerned..

hufflebottom Thu 15-Aug-13 23:12:30

yes your wife is totally in the wrong but also teenage girls push and push and push. the amount of times i pushed my mum to the point of hurting me.

your wife needs to see someone, make an appointment tomorrow, offer to go (if you can) so you can support her, take your dd out for the, try and chat with her.

i wonder if people would be saying the same thing if dd had been a boy? (prepares for flaming)

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