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Husband jealous of child

36 replies

allthingswillpass · 17/09/2013 17:34

We are into week 11 of placement.
All going massively well so far.
LO attached very quickly to DH and attachment to me took a bit longer.
I have been at home the whole time with LO with a strong presence from DH but last week I went out and DH was in charge for the day.
They had a fine old time but since then, LO only wants mummy and runs to me when DH appears.
DH is really finding this hard, I don't support LO behaviour and actually walk away but DH can not cope with this level of rejection.
Help pls.

OP posts:
WeleaseWodger · 17/09/2013 17:39

So you reject your newly adopted child's affections just so that your adult husband doesn't get his feelings hurt ?

FruitSaladIsNotPudding · 17/09/2013 17:44

How old is the child?

ALL children do this - sometimes favouring one parent, sometimes the other. It's totally normal and not something I would discourage. If your child wants a cuddle from you, give them one! I think your husband will need to learn to cope.

BlackMogul · 17/09/2013 17:51

My DH was jealous of his own children! They had more attention from me than he did, apparently. Men do see to have this need to be held in high regard by someone; wife, child, boss, their mum etc.

allthingswillpass · 17/09/2013 17:51

Thanks fruit. I do indeed comfort and cuddle my LO.
Unfortunately I'm of the nature that I try to please all the people all the time - impossible I know.
My DH has suffered with depression in the past and I worry about him as well as my wonderful LO.

OP posts:
allthingswillpass · 17/09/2013 17:54

Thanks Black. My father was the same.
Just need some strategies.

OP posts:
FruitSaladIsNotPudding · 17/09/2013 17:55

Well, I think the best thing is to reassure him that this is a totally normal stage of developing attachments - I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to find some books/articles on the subject. I guess you're still in contact with your social worker, could they talk to him about it?

allthingswillpass · 17/09/2013 18:00

Thanks fruit.
Our SW has not visited since placement ...... Sick leave.

OP posts:
Middlesexmummy · 17/09/2013 18:08

Hi Allwiling
My husband can have shades of the same behaviour sometimes . My daughter is v attached to me my mum and sister and sometimes when they are over she naturally goes to them over my husband and he gets the hump ... I tell him to get over it !!!

Sindarella · 17/09/2013 18:15

Um i'd tell my dh to grow up to be honest. Lo spends most time with you, they're bound to bond quicker with you. For a newly adopted child i'd be concentrating more on how they felt rather than my adult partner.

gamerchick · 17/09/2013 18:19

You can't be for real surely?

ALL kids go through this stage bio or not. Tell your bloke to grow up.

shockers · 17/09/2013 18:27

Perhaps your LO has feelings he/she doesn't understand about you being out of sight for the day and is trying to make sure it doesn't happen again. Lots of reassurance from you will help.

allthingswillpass · 17/09/2013 19:26

I don't post very often and to me this was a problem.
Thank you to all those who have been supportive with their advice.

OP posts:
Happiestinwellybobs · 17/09/2013 19:40

Completely normal for children to do this. They go through phases of favouring one parent over another and then back again - and in the case of DD, only wanting the dog and neither of us!

I think a good book or Internet research should help him understand the stages they go through.

AngelsWithSilverWings · 17/09/2013 19:47

I think it's a bit harsh to tell the OPs DH to grow up actually.

If a new adoptive mum posted on here saying that her DC preferred her DH and that she was feeling upset about it she would get lots of support.

I had the situation where my DS seemed to prefer my DH to me. There had not been any men in DS's foster home so having a new Daddy was a huge deal. I naturally found that hard to cope with. Our SW told my DH that when he comes in from work he had to make a big deal of greeting me and hugging me first so that DS got the message that I was important too.

It's understandable that your LO is more attached to you if you are the primary carer. I would suggest leaving LO alone with your DH for short periods and gradually work up to longer periods. Make sure LO knows that you are coming home soon.

CharlieAlphaKiloEcho · 17/09/2013 19:54

I think the timing of this switch is key really. LO was strongly attached to DH until you went out for the day and since then has been very attached to you over DH.

Maybe it's because you were out for the day?

Maybe you need to reassure your DH that LO seems quite confident in his presence being a constant but you being gone has thrown their confidence a bit so they are being more clingy?

FamiliesShareGerms · 17/09/2013 20:01

I agree with Angels and Charlie. LO is that you are going to go - not sure how old they are, but separation anxiety is common in children aged 2-3 and children who have been through a lot of changes in their lives may experience this particularly strongly.

DH needs to understand that preferring one or other of you (or a grandparent etc) is normal, and he isn't being rejected per se.

Middlesexmummy · 17/09/2013 20:11

Hi all willing , I'm sorry if you feel I or we are not bring supportive . Believe me it is a problem for me but I have to deal with my situation with my husband with humour otherwise it would grind me down . I find myself sometimes trying to justify dd s behaviour to him and making him feel better . It's hard

Devora · 17/09/2013 21:17

Both my children (one adopted, one bio) did this and it is surprisingly tough to cope with. BUT your dh needs to understand that this is not about who is most loved, or preferred. Your LO is desperately vulnerable at this point and trying to establish attachment to you both. It sounds as though she was feeling secure about having you with her (and so focusing energies on bonding with her dad) until you went away, which panicked her and now she has velcro'd herself to you because she has lost trust that you won't leave.

Please please please don't walk away from her in order to placate your husband. It will only make her less secure. But I do understand that your dh feels vulnerable, too. Please assure him from us that this is totally normal and NOTHING to do with her lack of love for him. Once her security levels have got topped up again, it should ease.

Kewcumber · 17/09/2013 21:31

This is hard to deal with particularly as at week 11 you and your DH are not securely attached to her at present (nor she to you). Post adoption depression is incredibly common - more common its thought than PND. Its very easy to feel very deflated when the hard work of parenting a traumatised child kicks in when all the fuss dies down.

For what its worth, my thoughts:

You and DH need to be a team, talk talk talk. About how you feel, about how hard it is, about what you're enjoying, about what is differnt to what you were expecting etc. Stress to him the need for you both to be a unit to get through these early days. That doesn't mean you anxiously parenting him as well as her! And adult team who support each other - don;t be his mother - you are both parents now.

Discuss attachment and bonding with both of you and go through some of the strategies you were probably taught on your prep course. Set aside at least 15 minutes (that's my random figure plucked out of the air!) where each of you individually plays attachment type games.

Talk about the natural process of bonding which is one person at a time and how the primary carer can help attachment to the secondary carer by showing trust in that person - perhaps your DH can show that he cares for both of you as a unit to reassure your DD he isn't trying to separate her from you.

And lastly - I often lecture explain to people that we impute adult emotions to the way children behave pointlessly. Your DD isn't thinking in the way an adult would when they behave like this ie that she's rejecting him. Its a much more primitive, visceral reaction to the fear that the person she is in the early stages of bonding with is going to be taken away from her.

Unless you are going to say your DD is 15 in which case I'd like to change my advice!

Kewcumber · 17/09/2013 21:34

Which is kinda what Devora says but much MUCH MUUUUCH longer!

MissStrawberry · 17/09/2013 21:46

Maybe you going out for the day has unsettled her and she needs to attach herself to you to make you stay.

FamiliesShareGerms · 17/09/2013 23:03

One other thought: I found it helpful to actually vocalise to DD that "mummy goes away but I will always come back". It reassured her to hear that, though it might depend on your DD's age whether that's a helpful tactic (my DD was 16 months)

Italiangreyhound · 17/09/2013 23:22

allthingswillpass hi, my dear, thinking of you and I hope this will get easier.

I am not yet an adoptive mummy, as still waiting; we do have a birth child (now 8).

Please can I give some advice which may be of use?

Firstly, please do not walk away from your dd when she needs you.

Although you love your DH and want to support him too, you must make DD a priority, and so must he. You are team parents, in it together and he is a very integal part of that parenting team. So he needs to keep positive and ready.

When my dd was about 3 she got very attached to my DH and actually told me she wanted me to go and live elsewhere! Sad. Although every fibber of my being was telling me to grab her and beg her to love me, I said things like "I live here with you and daddy, I am not moving out." We did all the normal family stuff and over time DD became perfectly normal with me again.

It is probably massively more complicated with an adopted child so I would say to follow all this wise advice from Devora, Kew, Lilka and co (sorry if I missed off massively helpful advice from anyone). Whoever said to read up a bit on the internet I second that, and encourage your DH to read up too, to see how normal this all is. To find the best ways to do stuff as a family.

How old is your DD?

If you child is anywhere around age 3 or upwards I think this game could be useful - The Family Links' game

Speak to your social worker or support if you like to make sure it is OK. It is a board game and as you move round the board you tell each other things etc and also it basically gives ideas for things like 'kind touch' which could be a hug or a high five etc. You can play it as a family. If your DD sees you giving your dh a high five etc she may feel more like doing that herself. But you can't force it so you may need to make sure your DH would be OK with the game if he did not get a hug or high five.

I am not an expert so please ignore this if it sounds no good!

Can I also suggest that you and your DH need to spend some quality time together when your little one is sleeping so he can get some extra love and care from you to help him through this time. It puts a bit of a burden on you but maybe you can make the love and care nice things you will like, like a take away and a movie, a nice meal together at home or an early night once your DD is in bed!

All the best.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding · 18/09/2013 07:59

Another idea - put another post in the parenting topic asking for people's experience of their dc favouring one parent or the other. You'll probably get loads of replies. Then get your dh to read the thread. I imagine it would make him feel a lot better to see just how normal this is.

allthingswillpass · 18/09/2013 08:09

Thank you.
You are all fab and I really appreciate you taking the time xxx

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