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Old 03-12-2010, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is my first post here, and truthfully I am not sure if this is the right place. I have been separated from my five year old's father for three years. For two and a half of those years we have been living with the man who I am marrying this summer. And recently it has come to my attention that he is totally intolerant of her- totally impatient, and just plain immature and cruel to her on days when he is having a hard time in other places in his world.
I guess I have seen it before...but yesterday it hit home in a way it hadn't before.
And then with that, I also had this stabbing realization that if we have children together there will be a distinct favourism for him. I could never pick favourites- my mother "picked" my brother over me as a child, and I can't imagine feeling OK about that. EVER. But somehow I know that my little girl would be feeling the brunt of that. And it's almost more then I can handle. I know that I love this man, and more often then not we make a wonderful little family- but. The days he looses his stuff and aims it with out regard at my kid I can't help but jump to my guard.
Does any one have any perspective on this? or advise?
THANKS!
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Old 03-12-2010, 08:47 AM
 
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I love my DH with all my heart, and i would be torn to shreds if i couldn't be with him. But the day he was needlessly cruel to any of my children (his or XP's) would be his last in this house.

In addition i would be wary of marrying anyone who is capable of mindless cruelty to small small children when they're having a bad day.

I don't know you or anything about you, but i wouldn't marry the man you describe in your short post. I wouldn't live with him either. If i really loved him i would date him, but i wouldn't mix him and DD if he couldn't be trusted to be kind to her.
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Old 03-12-2010, 10:35 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It's hard because nine days out of ten he is fantastic; great with her, funny, good to both of us- but then occasionally (ok, maybe once a week) he has this day where he is flat out a meany.
I guess I know just what you mean- but it seems to me he isn't even aware of how selfish he is.
I feel bad- mostly because I am able to guard off anger most days, but with him she is exposed to it in a way I find immature, ridiculous and totally uncalled for. But mind you, it's not everyday. It usually isn't even that bad because he goes to work, and I do too. We see him at night and first thing in the morning.
But this has me wondering if this is worth the heartache and drama it is pushing on both of us.
Not to be a drama queen or anything, but...
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Old 03-12-2010, 12:32 PM
 
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You're not being a drama queen.

You say you're able to "guard off" the anger most days. (Edit: I'm not sure if you mean you guard off your own anger or your husband's.) Are you getting the impression that he really has to fight it off, or is he genuinely happy on the good days? Are you the only think keeping him from unleashing? Do you want to be with someone who has to make such an effort to ask nice toward your child?

Have you talked to him about this?

My husband was childless when we started dating, when my daughter was three. She's five now. He had never had any experience with children, and like all of us had to learn how to manage the irritations that children bring in a constructive manner. I think the first six months of living together were the hardest, but we had a lot of conversations and today their relationship is wonderful and loving.

If I were you, I would look at his progress over the last two and a half years. Has his behavior gotten better or worse? Does he dismiss your concerns and tell you there's no problem (or, worse, blame it on your child)? Or does he think he needs to explore better ways of coping?

Honestly, and this is really hard to say, but if he doesn't see a problem, or if his behavior is getting worse, or if he really has to try so hard just to be nice to your child, I would leave him. I wouldn't want to be with someone who couldn't LOVE my kid, much less be nice to her. And I wouldn't want to live with someone who I always had to referee into good behavior.

The thought of leaving my husband is really, really hard. But I would do it if my happiness was at the expense of my kid's.
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Old 03-12-2010, 12:40 PM
 
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One of my biggest regrets is not taking a similiar situation more seriously.

My DH is the similiar with my dd. Always has been. I have almost left many times and considering it again. Most of the time is fine, sometimes great, but occassionally he is just incredibly inpatient, unkind and almost mean.

Unfortunately, he and I have two other kids. He is better with them but there are days my heart breaks for my oldest.

We have had many many many conversations. He is currently in therapy. It's been almost 8 years and it is still the largest issues and the biggest stressor in my life.

(I became pregnant 3 mos after our first date. We married 4 months later. Had we had a longer dating period it would not have stayed together.)

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Old 03-12-2010, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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He makes a point of talking about how frequently he has to "try" to be nice to my "spoiled rotten kid".
Maybe I am being overly critical, we've had a hard few days.
He also frequently asks why I don't go back to my x. (my x and I are really good friends. We always have been. We just made a lousy couple.)

He tells me he loves my daughter.

This morning I asked my daughter very casually if she thought he was nice enough to her. And she said "sometimes. but then hes mean and I don't like it when he talks mean to me."
And honestly I can't help but feel he is more intolerant then tolerant of her.

He had a very strict religious upbringing, and honestly I don't know anything about it...but I somehow think he might tap into it when stress is too much for him. It's true, I don't like the idea that he has to "try" to be nice and "try" to love her. Either you do or you don't. He is under an enourmous amont of stress lately- but that's not an excuse.
I don't know.

I don't want to mess up.
I could try being alone again. I think though that if I question anything, he will leave the state and never talk to me again. He is just that cut and dry.
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Old 03-12-2010, 01:24 PM
 
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What kind of "mean" things does he do....is it just impatience???
Does he have your blessing to go off and do his own thing if he's getting frustrated, or do you ask that he sticks around and sorts though it?
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Old 03-12-2010, 02:55 PM
 
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Maybe I am being overly critical
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I don't want to mess up.
Sometimes we come here because we need to vent and just get everything off our chest. Sometimes we don't say things we really mean.

I think you're going in the opposite direction. You're making excuses for him. You don't seem to think your feelings are justified, when really you're in a very serious situation.

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He makes a point of talking about how frequently he has to "try" to be nice to my "spoiled rotten kid".

He also frequently asks why I don't go back to my x.

I could try being alone again. I think though that if I question anything, he will leave the state and never talk to me again. He is just that cut and dry.
If these things are true, I just don't see how he's worth being with.

I'm sorry.
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Old 03-12-2010, 03:04 PM
 
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I could not marry someone who didn't love my son as much as he loved me. If that means I'm single forever, so be it. Small price to pay for my child's happiness. I've seen far too many women pick their new husbands over their children, and even when it doesn't seem like it (because they are advocates for their child) they have to constantly fight to keep some sense of peace and normalcy in the house. It's all up to them--if the kid is behaving "as he sees fit" then it's all good. Otherwise they are free to pick on them and be big bullies. Then their kids grow up feeling unwanted and like they did something wrong.

No way, no how.

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Old 03-12-2010, 03:18 PM
 
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Just to offer the kid's perspective - my mom was engaged to a man who clearly saw me and my brother as an annoyance. He said he loved us, and on some level, I think he did, and was really generous materialistically, but we knew that he genuinely enjoyed his own kids and grandkids, but that we were different. I can only think of a handful of times I would say he was overtly "mean" - it certainly wasn't weekly. But, it was always clear that his kids would be favored and he really didn't want to be in a parenting role again (he flat out told us that).

I thank god my mom did not marry him. It was so hurtful to me as a child to know my mom was willing to let someone into our home and lives who viewed us this way. As an adult and mom now, I really don't get it.

Please stand us for your daughter by protecting her. You are not being a drama queen.
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Old 03-12-2010, 03:28 PM
 
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And recently it has come to my attention that he is totally intolerant of her- totally impatient, and just plain immature and cruel to her on days when he is having a hard time in other places in his world...

He makes a point of talking about how frequently he has to "try" to be nice to my "spoiled rotten kid"...

This morning I asked my daughter very casually if she thought he was nice enough to her. And she said "sometimes. but then hes mean and I don't like it when he talks mean to me." ...

And honestly I can't help but feel he is more intolerant then tolerant of her...

...I don't like the idea that he has to "try" to be nice and "try" to love her. Either you do or you don't....
Take a good look at your words, and think about your daughter. Mama, this is not good. This man may "say" that he loves your daughter, but his regular actions and words are screaming the exact opposite. Talk is cheap... what is he really showing? That his disrespects your parenting, doesn't respect your child, acts like being kind to her is a chore, and feels entitled to use her as his verbal punching bag every week when his life feels stressful.

Your little one does not deserve this abusive treatment. And I am not just using strong words here: this kind of treatment is abusive. If it continues it will effect her for the rest of her life. Think about the lessons that you might be teaching her by allowing this treatment of her to continue:

1. When you are upset it is okay to spew verbal anger all over innocent bystanders and loved ones.
2. Love means having to tip toe around adult anger in order to win approval.
3. It is okay for other people to take their anger out on her even when it is not her own fault. (And she might go so far as to seek out exactly this kind of abuse in her relationships when she is a grown woman).
4. She is the "second rate step-kid," not as well loved as the others, because her "father" prefers his other children.

Please think about what is best for your little one. I know it is so hard to be alone and that you are in love, but your daughter needs you to step up and protect her, do the best thing for her. She is too young and can't do it herself.
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Old 03-12-2010, 03:43 PM
 
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"He makes a point of talking about how frequently he has to "try" to be nice to my "spoiled rotten kid"."

Drop him like a hot rock.

Seriously, he started living with your daughter when she was a toddler. Now she's five. If he was going to fall in love with her he would have already done so. You wouldn't be posting here if he were her beloved stepdaddy who sometimes lost his temper and was short with her when she was being a supreme irritant. You are posting because you know at some level that he has not attached to your daughter, and he doesn't love her.

When the new guy is not a good enough stepfather, then he's not a good enough husband/father. Period full stop end of story. Go forth and do better for yourself.
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Old 03-12-2010, 05:50 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah...In all truth, I am venting.
It's true.
But I mean every word.
I grew up with a stepfather that loved me like his own, and seeing the relationship that my partner is NOT giving my daughter I can't help but feel very hurt. He doesn't even Try. He doesn't exactly abuse her verbally, but he isn't as kind to her on a daily basis as I know he would be to his own.
And on days when he is being his normal self, he hugs her goodnight and helps her tie her shoes...you know. But when he is a stressed out stress junkie, he doesn't do any of it. Maybe it is too much of me to even ask...but...
and in all truth, I guess he doesn't give me the time of day when he is so stressed about finishing this or that work project. He was single for seven years before we came along. And sometimes I have this undeniable feeling that he would rather still be. I know he loves me- and her- but he is a harsh abrasive self absorbed dude sometimes. Not to mention Dr. Jeykel and Mr. Hyde.

I don't want to leave him. I love him- I do. And I know my daughter does too. It's hard on everybody. I guess I feel like sort of a moron- mainly just cuz I don't know how to make this feel better. I know that I can't force a connection there that simply isn't.
I just wish He would TRY. Like my step dad did. I guess I can't make comparisons, but how could you not?


thanks for listening everybody.
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Old 03-12-2010, 06:06 PM
 
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You are brave to admit these feelings. Now you have to be brave enough to put your daughter first. She deserves better.

I could not marry someone who did not love my daughter as much as he loved me. I would be sacrificing her well-being.

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Old 03-12-2010, 06:23 PM
 
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My stepdad was like that. He didn't like me, didn't love me, merely tolerated me. He met me when I was 1 and moved in when I was 2, how could he not fall in love? I was a lovable tot. When he had kids of his own, he definitely and obviously favored them, but you know, he wasn't a great dad to them, either. He did many nice things over the years and provided for me physically, but when he lost his temper he was scary and downright cruel. My older brother and I bore the brunt of it. And most of the time he just ignored us. We learned to just what tinuviel described-- tiptoe around him and try to make him angry. I still have serious issues stemming from this to this day.

In contrast, my aunt remarried a nice guy with three mostly grown kids, and he treated my aunt's toddler daughter like gold. Even though my cousin is very close to her father, she has a close and affectionate relationship with her stepdad as well. And you know, my uncle, her stepdad, never had to "try". She was just one of his kids, and he's a really good, sweet, loving man.

In analyzing my mom's choice vs. my aunt's choice, it occurs to me that my mom had a horrible relationship with her father, low self-esteem, and was fairly self-absorbed both in choosing her relationships and other areas. My aunt had a good relationship with her father, strong self-esteem, and her daughter was truly her number-one priority. My mother moved in with my stepdad within weeks of dating him, and my aunt had to be patiently courted as she was cautious to trust anyone into her and her daughter's lives.

I think you know what you need to do. IMO, the next question is, where are you going to find the strength to do something fairly difficult?

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Old 03-12-2010, 06:51 PM
 
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"

Drop him like a hot rock.

Seriously, he started living with your daughter when she was a toddler. Now she's five. If he was going to fall in love with her he would have already done so. You wouldn't be posting here if he were her beloved stepdaddy who sometimes lost his temper and was short with her when she was being a supreme irritant. You are posting because you know at some level that he has not attached to your daughter, and he doesn't love her.

When the new guy is not a good enough stepfather, then he's not a good enough husband/father. Period full stop end of story. Go forth and do better for yourself.


OMG, RUNNNNNNNNNNNNNN

Seriously. Please. this is possibly the hardest thing you might ever have to do for your child, but please do it. You know in your heart this will not end well.
If you and he have been together for 2.5 of the 3 years since you left the other guy, then basically, you jumped right into a relationship with him after your ex....is itdifficult for you to be alone?? it might be TERRIFYINGLY SCARY, and that's completely normal, but it's better than what you've got now.
But this is not just cold feet, this is not over-reacting. Your instincts are trying to SAVE you from a horrible mistake. Please listen to them.

I was just reading a study that said that 1/3 of divorced women KNEW their marriage was a mistake ON THEIR WEDDING day.........

hugs and strength.

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Old 03-12-2010, 07:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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eh.

my heart hurts

No, I'm not scared to be alone. I have known him for almost ten years, it wasn't as if I jumped blindly from one relationship to the next. We have this sort of stop traffic kind of love for each other.
But I guess I am sort of blindsided by the fact he doesn't feel the same sort of affection for my girl. And as her mother I can't help but feel "how could he not! she's incredible!!!" but maybe non-parents just don't?
I take care of other people's children (babies) as a day job, and I am IN LOVE with all of them. I guess the innocent sweetness of a child doesn't rub everyone the right way...Is it possible he is just not a "kid guy"? and if that's the case, fine, but we have one in our lives together.

I'm scared to leave him.

I don't know if I can.

I don't know if I want to.

I guess if he comes home tonight and makes peace, I will temporarily forgive, but my heart is aching with this.
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Old 03-12-2010, 07:44 PM
 
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I hope your daughter isn't scarring too badly while you figure out when you can be without this guy cause you will not last with him. Second marriages with self absorbed, angry men don't go well and leave a lot of casualties. You can prolong this and make it more painful for your daughter and more harmful to her self-esteem or you can just take care of the problem. I know this is harsh and it's clear that you adore your daughter and, I'm sure, would die for her but what children need is for us to live for them.
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Old 03-12-2010, 07:55 PM
 
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"But I guess I am sort of blindsided by the fact he doesn't feel the same sort of affection for my girl. And as her mother I can't help but feel "how could he not! she's incredible!!!" but maybe non-parents just don't?"

Some do, some don't. Happy marriages can only be contracted between single parents and the type of non-parents who can extend themselves emotionally towards to the child.

Your guy is probably a wonderful person in a lot of ways. The inability to attach to a particular kid (or kids in general) does not make a person bad or wrong or unworthy of love. It's just makes them a unsuitable life partner for a person who 1) has or 2) wants children.

Listen to your gut. You do not have to hate this man, you do not even have to stop seeing him necessarily, but if he doesn't adore your child then it would be cruel and awful of you to make him part of her family.

FTR, I'd be saying the exact same thing if you were posting about a man who was the biological father of your child. 5-year-olds deserve to be shielded from people who should love them, but don't. It can be a life ruining experience to be unloved by a parental figure.
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Old 03-12-2010, 09:31 PM
 
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eh.

my heart hurts
I'm so sorry.

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No, I'm not scared to be alone. I have known him for almost ten years, it wasn't as if I jumped blindly from one relationship to the next. We have this sort of stop traffic kind of love for each other.
You CAN have that with more than one person at different times. You might find the book Getting The Love You Want to be interesting-- the author describes why people are attracted to certain people-- sometimes passionately attracted to the "wrong" people for us-- and how it relates to our own unfinished business.

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But I guess I am sort of blindsided by the fact he doesn't feel the same sort of affection for my girl. And as her mother I can't help but feel "how could he not! she's incredible!!!" but maybe non-parents just don't?
I take care of other people's children (babies) as a day job, and I am IN LOVE with all of them. I guess the innocent sweetness of a child doesn't rub everyone the right way...Is it possible he is just not a "kid guy"? and if that's the case, fine, but we have one in our lives together.
You are right that it really doesn't matter why he doesn't. He just doesn't.

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I'm scared to leave him.

I don't know if I can.

I don't know if I want to.
You can. I have faith in you. Every part of your mind doesn't have to agree that you want to leave him, in order to do it. You can do what's right for your daughter even when it's hard. This choice will either build your self-respect or hurt it.

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I guess if he comes home tonight and makes peace, I will temporarily forgive, but my heart is aching with this.
I can imagine. I suggest giving it a few days to mull things over and be present with your feelings. Monday is the new moon, perhaps the new moon will bring new strength for change.

♥ blogger astrologer mom to three cool kiddos, and trying to figure out this divorce thing-- Blossom and Glow ♥

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Old 03-12-2010, 11:38 PM
 
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The days he looses his stuff and aims it with out regard at my kid I can't help but jump to my guard.
That is no kind of way for you to live and build a family life with this man, or most importantly no kind of way for your daughter to live. What is the attraction to walking on eggshells the rest of your life?

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I think though that if I question anything, he will leave the state and never talk to me again. He is just that cut and dry.
For me, that would be a red flag the size of Montana. He's already made you an emotional hostage, not to mention what he 's doing to your daughter's evolving sense of self.

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I'm scared to leave him. I don't know if I can. I don't know if I want to.
I think you already know the answers to these questions.

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Old 03-13-2010, 02:12 AM
 
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I think counseling would be enormously beneficial to you right now, OP. Love is not selfish, and it is not abusive. Love isn't merely tolerating the things you don't like about another person, especially an innocent child.

Single mama to one active lil pill, aged 6. Getting my Masters in Counseling while playing as much Farmville as possible
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Old 03-13-2010, 03:04 AM
 
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Speaking as a child who had a stepfather who did not even like her... guess who I blame for my horrid childhood? Him? A little. But who do I REALLY blame? HER, my mother, the person who was suppose to love and PROTECT me!! I left home at 16 and then left town and it was years before I even spoke to her again! 15 years later I finally came back to town and just now, at age 40, do I feel like I've repaired my relationship with my mother, but even so, I still have the scars from what she put me through.

My stepfather didn't beat me, he provided financially etc. but he said the meanest things that still hurt to remember to this day! I haven't forgotten one cruel word...or the cat that he killed right in our front yard.

Violence always escalates. I was married to a man who used words to hurt, was always stressed, blamed the stress, was always sorry.... it took ten years to get to the point where he hit me. I don't know why I didn't leave then, but the day he took a swing at his eight year old son, we were outta there! My now 18 year old son doesn't want to be around his dad, now that he has a choice...and he loves him, but he refuses to take the abuse.

I wish someone had told me back then what I'm about to point out to you now. What you are doing right now, is giving your daughter the model of what a relationship is. Do you want her to grow up and take whatever a man dishes out because he is stressed? As long as he says the right words later, that his actions do not matter? Just truly and seriously think about that.

What kind of marriage do you want for her someday? And compare it to the example you are giving her. Because kids do as we do, not as we say. Plus, being verbally abused leads to low self esteem and that leads to taking crap because you think it's all you deserve.

One last point to consider, I'm serious about violence escalating. It may be just words now, but one day the stress might be worse.... And if you have another child with him, consider that a lot domestic abuse STARTS when the woman is pregnant. When you are most helpless and dependent.

http://www.verbalabuse.com/faq.shtml
http://www.leaderu.com/orgs/probe/docs/verbalabuse.html
http://divorcesupport.about.com/od/a...erba_abuse.htm

~Me, mama to soapbox boy (1991), photo girl (1997), gadget girl (2003), jungle boy (2005), fan boy (2003) and twirly girl (2011). Twenty years of tree hugging, breastfeeding, cosleeping, unschooling, craziness
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Old 03-13-2010, 11:57 AM
 
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[QUOTE=Anglyn;15178926]
My stepfather didn't beat me, he provided financially etc. but he said the meanest things that still hurt to remember to this day! I haven't forgotten one cruel word...or the cat that he killed right in our front yard.


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Old 03-17-2010, 09:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by *bejeweled* View Post
You are brave to admit these feelings. Now you have to be brave enough to put your daughter first. She deserves better.

I could not marry someone who did not love my daughter as much as he loved me. I would be sacrificing her well-being.
Please listen to these words. You are your daughter's Hero. You are her protector, her mother. As her protector, you cannot marry this guy and keep her in this situation.

Locally, in the past month there has been 2 or 3 cases of babies/toddlers being beaten, to near death, by....guess who? The mom's boyfriend. Sometimes the bf doesn't have the patience, sometimes the bf feels jealousy towards the child's relationship with mom, sometimes it's just......? Do NOT let your daughter be a victim to his short temper. What if you're not home on the day he loses his cool and beats or kills your daughter? Listen to your instincts.

I'm a single mother. Finding a man who I can trust completely with my daughter is first on my list of finding the 'perfect man'. How could it not be? Even if I thought he was the perfect man, if my daughter had any reservations about him, he would be gone. Just like that. You're not the only one marrying him. Your daughter should be just as excited for you to marry him as you are. Listen to your instincts. Listen to your daughter. This guy does not deserve the two of you.

And I agree with the few posters who have mentioned that she will grow up to resent YOU if you keep this guy in her life. It will ruin your relationship and she will blame you for making her live with a stepfather who she's not thrilled about.

Wedding's are expensive. Divorce's can be even more expensive...and messy. Pray to your God (if you have one) about direction. Open your heart and listen to the answer. And please, no matter what, listen to your daughter. If she doesn't like the man you're living with/going to marry, listen to her.
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