DH just told me he thinks spanking is ok and he would spank if I weren't so opposed to it.
I really thought after 4 years of research, stories, articles and books that he had changed his mind. I thought I had convinced him. I thought he was proud of my mothering. It turns out he isn't. He feels like I don't discipline. Like I let dd1 do whatever she wants, like if we spanked she would behave better. He feels like obedience is the most important thing, and since it is pretty low on my list, we are having lots of issues. I feel like I got punched. I don't feel like I can trust him, even though he has never betrayed that trust. I don't know. I know that there are a lot of other things that could be wrong with our relationship, and that I should just be thankful that he is a good man. This though, this is the root of so many other things, that it is really ahrd to take. I can't even think straight right now.
I think the point is he doesn't spank, even if it is just because of you say so. while ideally you would like him to think spanking is worng I think it's good enough that he doesn't do it against your wishes.
He doesn't do something, and something that in his eyes can be even a critical part of good parenting sometimes, just because you are opposed. To me that's a strong testament to his feelings towards you. In your shoes I would try to take it as such and not as a gut punch. I know sometimes we want our partners to see everything important in the same light that we do ... but it doesn't always work that way, and that he's willing to leave that one to you is pretty big.
Even though you couldn't educate or manipulate him into changing his mind, he's letting you do it your way. And he's honest. And it's clear he thinks your way is problematic but you're still getting your way. He's respecting your wishes even though they're radically different from your own and even though he feels your way is not necessarily good for your child.
What's to be devastated about? He's putting a lot of trust in you, actually, that your child together will turn out OK even though he sees what looks to him like a child who is undisciplined and ill-behaved.
And consider this as well--if his honesty and open communication results in you being devastated and punishing him by not trusting him, do you think he will be honest and open with you again? Especially as he has never betrayed your trust.
thanks for giving me a different way to view this. last night I was devastated and may not have thought everything through. like I said he IS a great guy and I have told him I appreciate him doing things /my way, even though he disagrees. I just wish, I don't know. I wish that we thought the same way on this, so that I didn't feel like my parenting was always under a magnifying glass. It's hard to convince him of GD when our kid DOES whine and scream and what not. And no, I don't let her just get her way all the time, but I do let her have big feelings, which he doesn't agree with. And although he is doing things my way, there is this underlying feeling of being watched all the time and when things dont go well, (dd doesn't immediately comply or obey without hesitation or question) then it's always my fault for not being stricter or harsher. Sometimes it's just age expected things, but again, it's my fault. Luckily I am home with the kids, so I am the one with most of the interactions, but in the short hours he spends with them, I just cringe at how he talks to dd1 sometimes. He can be a great, awesome and fun daddy too! Just when she is doing what he wants with a smile on her face.
I guess I wish that he would have made the same turn around that I did, especially after having the kids. It KILLS me if I lose my cool and yell or treat them unkindly, and to know that he would choose to do it that way and purposefully hurt our kids is just so sad.
I don't know if it will help convince him after all this time but as a personal anecdoe; my dad and his wife are the strictest parents I know (they have 2 young kids) and they DO spank on occassion, they are totally "old-school" n their parenting. Their kids are the whiniest, sneakiest kids I know. And they totally pass their treatment down to younger kids when they can get away with it.
Ugh, what an awful situation, you are going to have to keep talking to him about how he feels. Unfortunately he has as many rights as you do in parenting your child - he can't make you do something - you can't make him not do something.
You might just have to say it loud and clear - 'if he touches her in a violent way your relationship with him will be in serious jeopardy'