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Husband dislikes my daughter...

post #1 of 68
Thread Starter 
I'm new here, and after reading many posts in this subect, am hopeful that I can get some help here- you sound like a very caring community here.

I married my childhood sweetheart 11 yrs ago, and my daughter was 3.
Through the years, my husband (has no kids from previous relationship) and daughter's relationship has gone downhill steadily. We have tried counseling, but hubby seems to think that my daughter is the problem, not him.
He picks on her through me, constantly "tattling" on whatever the latest infraction is, wether it's hair in the bathtub or a glass left on the coffee table. He acts like a bratty brother more than an adult. It's so bad my stomach hurts when she is home and he gets home from work. She is a sweet, normal 14 yr old with the usual teenage girl habits who now says she hates him and stays away from home as much as I will let her.
I am near tears as I write this because I feel he is forcing me to choose between them...last night she and i were cleaning out her closet and I don't even know what she said, but he screamed at her, A___, shut the f___ up!!

I know this is hurting her (she cried in my arms and he stomped off somewhere). Can anyone offer me any advice? I am just sick over the whole thing.
My husband is fine except when he is around her...
post #2 of 68
Ouch
This must be very tough for you.

I probably would sit him down and let him understand that it's NOT an option for him to listen. We never use that kind of language with the adults, let alone the child. Boy, do I know how the teenager can push your buttons, but it sounds all twisted in your scenario. Do you think something along the lines "If we don't fix it, WE won't last" can get his attention?

New rules:

* He needs to take a BIG step back. Recite "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." The two of them need to learn to interact civilly, and if he needs to make more effort, being the adult and all...

* No more tattling. Period. Done. Unless it involves a serious safety issue, he is not to tattle on your daughter.

* He needs to understand that if he makes you choose between him and her, he is fighting a losing battle. A loving parent cannot disingage from their child. What he is basically working towards is a nice pile of resentment on your part, and that can only lead into an ugly place. Does he GET IT when you put it in those terms?

* Maybe offer some counseling for your daughter (?) Tell her that you talked with her stepdad, and that you insist on changes, but she needs to understand this might take time, but you are taking this seriously, and maybe she can work with you. Ask for some patience and support, and offer the same back.

* Realize that any change takes time. Big changes take long time. Baby steps.
Compliment your husband if you notice him trying. Stand up for your daughter when he is not.

Hang in there.
post #3 of 68
Choose her and divorce him.

I am sorry you are in this situation.
post #4 of 68
Honestly, yelling at her like that is verbally abusive. Your responsibilty is to be a mother first and wife second. I think that you need to consider living somewhere with just your daughter for the next four years. She deserves better.
post #5 of 68
If you feel forced to choose, make a choice. It shouldn't take that much thought - your husband is an adult, who can get an apartment of his own and support himself.
post #6 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by lalaland42 View Post
Choose her and divorce him.

I am sorry you are in this situation.
I agree on both points,
post #7 of 68
That was basically my relationship with my stepfather, except my mother was either unwilling to "take a side" or she would tell me to just "lay low for awhile" until he calmed down. Or that I deserved it. I left home at 16 and moved in with a bunch of guys in a crappy one bedroom apartment. I am 22 now and have very minimal contact with my mother and my stepfather is the main reason. He convinced my mother not to help pay for college or even sign financial aid paperwork that would allow me to get federal student aid. I'm in a lot more debt than I should be because of him.

Get rid of the guy.
post #8 of 68
Also, I wouldn't force your daughter into counseling.
post #9 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
Ouch
This must be very tough for you.

I probably would sit him down and let him understand that it's NOT an option for him to listen. We never use that kind of language with the adults, let alone the child. Boy, do I know how the teenager can push your buttons, but it sounds all twisted in your scenario. Do you think something along the lines "If we don't fix it, WE won't last" can get his attention?

New rules:

* He needs to take a BIG step back. Recite "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." The two of them need to learn to interact civilly, and if he needs to make more effort, being the adult and all...

* No more tattling. Period. Done. Unless it involves a serious safety issue, he is not to tattle on your daughter.

* He needs to understand that if he makes you choose between him and her, he is fighting a losing battle. A loving parent cannot disingage from their child. What he is basically working towards is a nice pile of resentment on your part, and that can only lead into an ugly place. Does he GET IT when you put it in those terms?

* Maybe offer some counseling for your daughter (?) Tell her that you talked with her stepdad, and that you insist on changes, but she needs to understand this might take time, but you are taking this seriously, and maybe she can work with you. Ask for some patience and support, and offer the same back.

* Realize that any change takes time. Big changes take long time. Baby steps.
Compliment your husband if you notice him trying. Stand up for your daughter when he is not.

Hang in there.
This is VERY valuable advice. I would add that you and your husband should consider counseling as well. But be really thoughtful about who you choose for any counseling and be open to finding a new one if the first doesn't seem right to you.
post #10 of 68
This situation is so foreign to me. I married my husband when my ds had just turned 4, and dh considers him to be his. He chose and married us as a package deal. We've since had another son together and he is raising our sons without any preferential treatment. I'm sorry to say, it would be a deal breaker for me if couldn't parent "our" child after a decade together. That's a long time.

Really need to put my siggie back in...
post #11 of 68
Thread Starter 
Thanks to you all.
We did counseling the last 4 years, he still feels it is her fault that they do not get along. I don't think he will change at this point, but i cannot go for at least several months until my new business generates some steady income.
It breaks my heart to think of leaving but it does look like that's what is going to happen.
What can I do in the meantime? Do I tell her to just hang on? I don't know if I should tell him or not yet- could be very ugly during the interim.
I just feel so alone and sad at the opportunity lost for them both
post #12 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zugzwang View Post
Thanks to you all.
We did counseling the last 4 years, he still feels it is her fault that they do not get along. I don't think he will change at this point, but i cannot go for at least several months until my new business generates some steady income.
It breaks my heart to think of leaving but it does look like that's what is going to happen.
What can I do in the meantime? Do I tell her to just hang on? I don't know if I should tell him or not yet- could be very ugly during the interim.
I just feel so alone and sad at the opportunity lost for them both


I would insist for him to stop talking to your daughter unless he can do it nicely. I would also let her know that you recognize how hurt and frustrated she feels, apologize, and assure her that you are looking for a solution.

I would also get some advice in Single Mom's forum on what to do to get out.
post #13 of 68
Thread Starter 
Thank you.
post #14 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by lalaland42 View Post
Choose her and divorce him.

I am sorry you are in this situation.
This exactly. You are allowing your husband to abuse your daughter. If you don't choose her, she'll leave and won't be back. Choosing her is choosing a future with her and her future children. Choosing him is choosing to live with someone who destroyed your daughers childhood and made your daughter and you feel dread every day for the last 11 years. When she leaves, who will he have left to blame for his misery...who will be his new target. You will.
post #15 of 68
nak

So sorry for you mama, I can't imagine how heartbroken you must be over your situation.

I agree w/pps who said you need to leave him. It's hard to believe that his selfishness and shortsightedness only reaches as far as your daughter, does he act self-centered in other areas?

It can be challenging for step parents but I can tell you that it is TOTALLY possible for a stepfather/mother to love a step child just as much as a biological child. My dh married me and our sons and is so in love w/them and dedicated to them that there is honestly no difference in the way that he treats older 2 boys vs baby who is biologically his.

I also agree that you should talk to your daughter about the situation honestly and let her know that you are doing something about it. There's nothing worse than feeling like your parent is choosing someone else over you.

Hang in there!
post #16 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by MeepyCat View Post
If you feel forced to choose, make a choice. It shouldn't take that much thought - your husband is an adult, who can get an apartment of his own and support himself.

Meep is right if anyone EVER made my Ds feel unloved and disliked they would not be in my life or his! She is your priority, you gave him a chance with therapy. He did not take his chance, instead he stomped out like the child "saying its not me its her" as the adult it is always you and not them because they learn from you how to be and how not to be.

I am sorry you are going through this I have left someone because of how they are with Ds it is not easy peasy but it is what the child needs because no one especally a teenager should ever feel unwanted, unloved, not liked, and not cared for by the people in her home.

I hope all will work out but no one can change just because you want them to because people can fake it for a month or two but the true them always comes back out unless it is them that chooses to change
post #17 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zugzwang View Post
I'm new here, and after reading many posts in this subect, am hopeful that I can get some help here- you sound like a very caring community here.

I married my childhood sweetheart 11 yrs ago, and my daughter was 3.
Through the years, my husband (has no kids from previous relationship) and daughter's relationship has gone downhill steadily. We have tried counseling, but hubby seems to think that my daughter is the problem, not him.
He picks on her through me, constantly "tattling" on whatever the latest infraction is, wether it's hair in the bathtub or a glass left on the coffee table. He acts like a bratty brother more than an adult. It's so bad my stomach hurts when she is home and he gets home from work. She is a sweet, normal 14 yr old with the usual teenage girl habits who now says she hates him and stays away from home as much as I will let her.
I am near tears as I write this because I feel he is forcing me to choose between them...last night she and i were cleaning out her closet and I don't even know what she said, but he screamed at her, A___, shut the f___ up!!

I know this is hurting her (she cried in my arms and he stomped off somewhere). Can anyone offer me any advice? I am just sick over the whole thing.
My husband is fine except when he is around her...
oh mama...this is so sad. you've got to leave now while you can still repair things with your daughter.

he is ALWAYS going to get in the way between you and her. he's not going to want you to spend joint money on her college. he's not going to want to give up your companionship for you to travel and see her. if she has children, he's not going to want them--or you--to be involved with them either.

meanwhile, at some point soon--4 yrs--your daughter is going to be an adult and leave. she may keep connection with you or she may decide her stepfather is too toxic for her to be able to keep up that connection. or she may decide she's upset at you for not valuing her enough to support her in these conflicts.

also, think about what you are modeling for her. in this she sees a weak mother. a mother who can't stand up for her children. maybe she will learn from this not to be able to stand up for herself to men. or maybe she'll learn not to be able to defend her children when necessary.

i know i have painted a dire picture, but it is a tough situation. your daughter is not at fault. i hate to say it, but i think you need to leave your husband.
post #18 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by chaoticzenmom View Post
This exactly. You are allowing your husband to abuse your daughter. If you don't choose her, she'll leave and won't be back. Choosing her is choosing a future with her and her future children. Choosing him is choosing to live with someone who destroyed your daughers childhood and made your daughter and you feel dread every day for the last 11 years. When she leaves, who will he have left to blame for his misery...who will be his new target. You will.
this. exactly. choose your daughter. your child.

also, don't cry for the opportunities lost between them both. your husband squandered his opportunity and he isn't crying about it! rejoice in the opportunity to raise your daughter these next few years without your husband breathing down both of your necks!

eta: if, for whatever reason, you can't leave your husband, please consider sending your daughter somewhere else to live, maybe with a friend or relative or at a boarding school.
post #19 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by lalaland42 View Post
Choose her and divorce him.

I am sorry you are in this situation.
:

Totally.


You'll regret it if you don't.
post #20 of 68
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zugzwang View Post
What can I do in the meantime? Do I tell her to just hang on?
No, you stand up to him.

You say to him, "You do NOT talk to my daughter like that." Repeat, repeat, repeat, and make your plans to leave. At least your dd will see you standing up for her.

And you know what, you could always go to a shelter. Don't make your dd stay in this situation.
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