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Step-father's criticism tears down the child - Page 2

post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yaelita View Post
I feel that I have changed in 4 yrs, unfortunately, not for the better, - I have become as critical of my DD 6 as he is!
Help!
I understand your negative feelings about your DD. When someone is constantly pointing out all the bad things a child does you start to only see the bad. Plus as mothers we sometimes see all the faults in our DD because we usually have the same faults and we naturally want to change them. What you need to do is spend alone time with her and find something that she could be good at and that you will appreciate. Then just focus on this one this until you find another. Your husband could possibly start doing the same; it should be something he enjoys as well. I know this is a simplistic approach but it’s worth a try. I think you do need to start working on how you feel towards your daughter first. Part of the problem I see is that you think there might be some truth to your DH criticisms and this might be one reason you have yet to really be able to stop what he’s doing. He needs to see your appreciation for her and the role she plays in your family. Every child has something special to offer. Our job as parents is to find out what that something special is and nurtures it.

Also many parents have negative feeling about there DC/DSC they just never voice them. It's good that you came to this forum and are brave enough to let people help in any way they can. I wish you all the best.
post #22 of 32
If my husband was being verbally abusive to my children - he would be gone. I love him with all my heart, but it is my "job" to protect my children, no matter what it costs.

A child never deserves to be treated like that.
post #23 of 32
I have several friends who are survivors of abuse and such. And I concluded awhile ago that those who were abused (by someone outside the family), yet had healthy family lives, recovered pretty well. For others it seemed like what, in a way, had actually harmed them the most were the constant messages of low-self-value, and the dysfunctional relationships, and any other weird messages that they grew up with. And these can affect people who weren't overtly abused or attacked either (although nowadays it's often considered emotional/verbal abuse).

I think there's a huge amount of happiness at stake for your DD here.

I agree with the PPs who suggested counseling for yourself. It might help you to get oriented.
post #24 of 32
Thread Starter 

Thanks!!!

Thank you, ladies. All your responses are very helpful. I did have a serious talk with DH today, and even managed to keep calm through the entire conversation (it was over the phone which is always easier for me). It helped to have had your input, and just seeing my own words on "paper" made me think more clearly, so I was clear in what I found unacceptable in his behavior. DH promised to give my DD a break - and so far (today), he has.

I also wrote a letter to a person who is both his friend and a rabbi, and happens to be very wise and knowledgeable and has a happy family. He lives in a different city, so we don't have much contact with him, but DH respects him and values his opinion. I essentially told him the same thing, asking for advice. He's known my DH since they were kids. Maybe, if he chooses to, he might have a conversation with my DH and DH might listen to him. But even the fact of telling it to him made me realize that I am not alone, I have someone to turn to.

Wow, this is one eventful day for me. After agonizing for years about telling anyone "my dirty little secret", here I am, talking with you ladies on this forum, and this is just great. Thanks, and I mean it!

Yaelita

BTW, to reply to some of the posts, I do step in every time to defend my daughter, and that usually doesn't help, just escalates the arguments in the house; and I do try to let her know (when we are alone) that I love her and do not agree with whatever was said by her step-father.
post #25 of 32
OMG. this is horrible, heart wrenching, and it must stop. Find a way to make it stop, even if you have to leave your "functional" marriage.

s:
post #26 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yaelita View Post
BTW, to reply to some of the posts, I do step in every time to defend my daughter, and that usually doesn't help, just escalates the arguments in the house; and I do try to let her know (when we are alone) that I love her and do not agree with whatever was said by her step-father.

I hate to say it, but if you are doing all you can, and it's not enough, then it's simply not enough is it....?
post #27 of 32
You say this is your "dirty little secret". Does that mean that your dh can control himself around others and doesn't criticize your dd except in the privacy of your own home? If so, then he has no excuse! (Not that there is any excuse for child abuse anyway, but...) If he can act like the "good guy" around others, then he KNOWS what he's doing to your dd is wrong, and he DOES have self-control. He just CHOOSES to use her as his whipping boy. It's all about choice; you can't make excuses for a grown man.

Maybe your marriage isn't as "functional" as it seems. If you and dh both stopped picking on your dd, maybe you'd have to come to terms with whatever is driving the anger behind this behavior, and I'm willing to bet it has nothing to do with an innocent six-year-old. It sounds like your dh has issues, and maybe you are critical of your dd because you just want her to somehow "be perfect" so you can stay in your marriage. But it's not the kid's fault that your marriage is problematic, that your husband is abusive.

The other posters are right: your dd is going to end up with serious problems if this continues, and in the end, she will probably blame you, not your dh. I think you know this is wrong but your childhood experiences are telling you to accept as normal what is NOT normal. Don't feel ashamed about divorce, if that's how it all ends. Think of it as a learning experience. I don't think anyone has the right to judge the choices a person makes as they strive to make a good, healthy life for themselves.
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yaelita View Post
I also wrote a letter to a person who is both his friend and a rabbi, and happens to be very wise and knowledgeable and has a happy family. He lives in a different city, so we don't have much contact with him, but DH respects him and values his opinion. I essentially told him the same thing, asking for advice. He's known my DH since they were kids. Maybe, if he chooses to, he might have a conversation with my DH and DH might listen to him. But even the fact of telling it to him made me realize that I am not alone, I have someone to turn to.
This is great. I just wanted to say that I'm happy you let everyone here try and help. As mothers we cary a lot of guilt over the things we do or don't do and it's always good to seek help when we need it. Whatever happens take care of yourself and your dc, especially your little girl.
post #29 of 32
thats awesome that you're finding some help for your dh, but what are you doing for yourself? Your feelings towards your dd need some help too.
post #30 of 32
My DH and I have had similar struggles..his DD's are 7 and 5, visit EOWE, so he doesn't get to see the everyday tantrums, whininess...etc, meaning that he doesn't have a full picture of what his biological daughters do on a day to day basis.

Now, my DD...he lives with and is sees/expirices her good moments and her bad, DAILY. There is some comparing there. I *try* to gently remind him that comparisons are futile and do more damage than good. Or sometimes, I say (and this is prolly counterproductive) something like "Yeah, I remeber when OSD was going thru that stage last year....." to remind him that his DD's are NOT perfect.

Or maybe you have to just have a "if you have nothing nice to say...." policy
post #31 of 32
My stepfather's verbal abuse triggered body dysmorphic disorder, eating disorders, low self-esteem, and essentially ruined my school years and interest in playing the musical instruments I loved playing. There were times I was self harming and suicidal because I didn't feel that I was worth the life given to me and I believe that it was a direct result of his verbal abuse.

You absolutely have to make him stop. My mother praised me and supported me and it could not erase his hurtful words. And I agree with the pp who said that she is going to grow up to resent you. I cannot forgive my mother for not standing up for me. How could she let him make me think I was worth nothing!?

Have you ever tried telling her right then that he is wrong about her? Interjecting immediately in her presence that he is wrong about her and that he is way out of line to say the things he says? Telling him in front of her that his behavior is not okay?
post #32 of 32
hugs, this must be so hard for you!
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