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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My husband is the stay at home parent in our family; and he does a marvelous job. He is much more patient than I am, more thoughtful, and is generally a calm, loving parent. Perhaps it is his European upbringing, but he can be very blunt in his use of words. He has hurt my feelings many times by using harsh words to describe my actions, appearance, etc and I have learned to just shrug it off. But when he does it to our girls, I cannot tolerate it.

For example, our 2.5 year old daughter has been having trouble making it to the potty in time. This is a relatively new development - she has been very good using the potty for several months and lately she waits too long before deciding to go in there and as a result she pees in her pants or on them while she is pulling them down. The last time she did this, I overheard my husband tell her (in Dutch) that she is "hopeless". As soon as I heard him say that, when he was some distance away from our toddler, I said to him, "Don't tell her she is hopeless. Those words hurt. They cut." He looked suitably remorseful - but maybe he was just sorry that I 'caught' him. Since he was speaking to her in Dutch he may have thought I didn't understand - but I can understand a LOT - I just can't speak it.

Anyway, I'm worred this problem is going to get worse, not better. He has said things about my daughter (from my previous marriage) like that she is "lazy" and "stupid" (not TO her, but to me about her when she wasn't around). I told him that it hurts me very much when he uses those words and that I would prefer he use less harsh language. This last instance, however, was the first time I've heard him say harsh words right to the child's face.

Does anyone else have similar issues? Any helpful tips on how to handle this?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
DariusMom,
Thank you so much for replying to my post (I see it was your first post here at MDC - Welcome!). I am honored that you would reply to my post as your first time here.


I found your words extremely reassuring and made me feel so much better because I realize you are right. I have been to visit my husband's family in the Netherlands (one brother lives in the Hague and the other in Warmond) and they absolutely do value directness. I have heard them say things that I would consider hurtful and it doesn't bother them or their teenage kids at all.

I also agree with you that I need to let him know that those kind of words hurt. They hurt me, at least, and my American raised daughter. I can't say for sure if they hurt the feelings of our toddler and new baby, but I can't imagine how it wouldn't hurt to hear your parent refer to you as 'hopeless'. So I will continue making him aware.

Again, thank you.
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