Bad Wife?

Erica - posted on 03/20/2010 ( 17 moms have responded )

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My husband Joe is wonderful... he works 12 hour rotating shifts and comes home takes a shower and instantly sends me away for a break he will cook supper if it's not started and bathe Caroline with out being asked. Caroline will fall asleep 20 min. faster for him and chants his name all day long (she's 10 months) I have the dream husband who rubs my feet at the end of the day and draws me a bubble bath with a glass of wine. But when Caroline does things for him that she won't do for me like take a bottle or quit crying eat her dinner or giggle I want to slap him! I don't know why but I get so hurt and angry and I know there are times he sees it in my eyes. This man who pampers me and allows me to stay home with my daughter and has given me everything I ever wanted asking for nothing in return doesn't deserve my snide remarks or my jealousy of his relationship with our daughter but that's what he gets w/o me even thinking about it.... Am I a terrible wife or is this normal? Should I seek help for my frustration or just realize it's part of married life?!?!

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Rebecca - posted on 03/21/2010

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i went thru this after my first child was born. it felt terrible. she seemed to favour him, but consider that children (even babies) often behave worse for the more familiar parent -- they feel safer so they play up and then turn on charm for those they know less well. it's normal. wait till she starts nursery school and the teachers tell you what an angel she is, while at home she acts like a horror :))) (joking!) but seriously, part of being a mum is that it often seems like we get the short end of the stick when it comes to our children cos we don't have the advantage of novelty that others do. being dependable is kinda boring, but its very important to your daughter's well-being.

however, if the feelings are really strong, you should discuss them with him: let him know you definitely aren't accusing him of anything, and that you greatly appreciate him but share your feelings of jealousy and admit that they probably arise from insecurity about your role as a wife and mother. you may well find that the jealousy abates once you have told him, received his positive input and reassurance about your role as a mother and wife and see your parenting from his perspective. often when we feel guilty about our feelings, being honest about them, instead of trying to repress them allows the feelings to lift.

next, every time your daughter shows affection or smiles at you make a special note of it and allow it to lift you -- remind yourself that she relies on you and loves you and would be lost without you.

if it doesn't abate after that, i would consider talking to a doctor to find out it you possibly have a mild post natal depression (i did, i didn't get it diagnosed and the depression spiralled until i had a nervous breakdown after my 2nd child was born -- i was in denial). often our hormones take a long time to come back to normal after childbirth ... that could be contributing to your feelings of jealousy.

if you do have post natal depression, of course you need to discuss the treatment options with your doctor, but i had a combo of medication (tried one kind and only worked for a while, then they switched me), individual therapy and a few weeks of marriage counselling in which my jealous feelings were discussed.

my eldest daughter is now 6; after she was about 2 1/2 the marked preference she seemed to have towards my husband shifted, and i would say now there is no obvious preference (so there is light at the end of the tunnel).

Taralee - posted on 03/21/2010

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Oh Erica....I feel your pain. You are not a bad wife. A bad wife would not care about hurting his feelings. You obviously do. My daughter consently says "Dada". And never has said mama yet! She giggles like bad for him and looks at him with such love when he walks in the room. What you are feeling is normal!! You love your hubbie, and he obviously adores you!! Actually you sound like you have a hubbie who really respects and appreciates women!! That is why he treats you and his little girl with such love. It's it great, because little girls marry men just like their Daddy's. That means you are showing your little girl what really men should act like and treat their wives like....good for you!! You are feeling what I think many of us feel. My little girl just turned 10 months as well....and like I said Daddy has become the centre of the universe....and I feel jealousy too. Maybe, plan a night for just you and your hubbie and take an opportunity to show him your love and appreciation. Make him a great dinner and spend sometime asking about him, and telling him how much you appreciate him. I am sure lots of Grandparents will jump in to take her for a evening. Would that make you feel better? A chance to show him your appreciation.

Heather - posted on 03/20/2010

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You are not a terrible wife, in my opinion. It sounds to me like you have a husband who enjoys pampering his wife. Let him enjoy it! Your daughter will always go through stages of playing favorites. My son still does it to me and he's 7 yrs old. It hurts, but I try to think of when I was his favorite and remind myself that I will be again. Just love your husband and appreciate him for what he does for his family. Enjoy every day of your child's life and don't get hung up on the little things. You know she loves her Mommy!! =)

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Tah - posted on 04/14/2010

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Its because you stay with her all day and you expect to be the favorite..she loves you but there are daddy's girls..lol..your not a bad wife..i've seen those....just try to understand that her loving her dady is a good thing, if she is going to bed faster for him and taking a bottle, enjoy it....and enjoy watching them enjoy each other...

Erica - posted on 04/11/2010

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Thank you all so much for your support I'm glad that I'm not the only one who feels this way!

Brandice - posted on 04/01/2010

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I kinda feel the same way sometimes. I stay at home with my 13 mt old lil man and my daughter goes to pre-K. During the day my son is stuck with me... all day everyday except Sunday which is my husband's only day off. It bothers me sometimes how much my son wants just his Daddy and acts like I don't exist, but I just look at it that I had the entire day with him, so I can't really complain. Your daughter sees you for hours during the day and is only acting that way because she missed her Daddy. The only advice I can give is to not take her daughter's behavior personally. She loves you and gets to spend all day with you. She's just making the most of her Daddy time.

Lisa - posted on 03/31/2010

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I think it's more being a mom that has you feeling that way then anything. I can relate to you. The instance that sticks out most in my mind when I read you question was when my oldest son was a baby he wouldn't stop crying... no matter what I did. I rocked him, walked with him, made sure he was full and dry, nothing helped!! My husband comes in like superman, wraps him up in a blanket the baby instantly quit crying! My husband was just trying to help but I was furious! I was so frustrated I even made the superman comment in front of him!! so don't feel bad.. it happens to all of us!

Victoria - posted on 03/31/2010

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ERICA,PLEASE DONT LET YOUR JEALIOUS RUN A GOOD MAN AWAY. I HAVE THREE GIRLS AND THEY ARE ALL DADDY'S LITTLE GIRLS. WHEN HE SAY SOMETHING THEY DO EXACTLY WHAT HE SAYS THE FIRST TIME. I LOVE THE IDEAL THAT THEY LOVE BEING WITH HIM AND DOES EVERYTHING HE ASK THE FIRST TIME. I LOVE IT. I LOVE HAVING HIM ENFORCE WHAT HE SAYS THE FIRST TIME. WE AS MOTHERS TEND TO BE A LITTLE LIGHT ON OUR BABIES BECAUSE THEY ARE OUR BABIES,BUT DONT GET JEALIOUS. LATER YOU WILL BE HAPPY .THIS YOUR FIRST CHILD, GIRL HAVE ANOTHER OR TWO AND YOU WANT CARE HOW MUCH FUN THEY HAVE TOGETHER BECAUSE YOU WILL BE TRYING TO YOUR COMFORT SPOT TO BE ALONE. LOVE HIM FOR EVERYTHING HE DO AND ASK HIM HOW HE GETS HER TO DO WHAT HE WANTS HER TO DO. LOVE HIM AND HER. THATS JUST A FATHER AND DAUGHTER BOND. WHEN SHE GETS OLDER YOU AND HER WILL HAVE A MOTHER AND DAUGHTER BOND AND HE WILL BE JEALIOUS OF THAT.

Marilyn - posted on 03/31/2010

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your a good wife, like someone else mentioned it should help to remember of all the children who don't have a dad that cares like that for them. I really love to see the relationship between father and child..so priceless. Probably a day will come when your daughter prefers mom over dad. Keep being that happy family! =)) Blessings...

Tracey - posted on 03/24/2010

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erica, your not a bad wife. my daughter does things for my husband that she will not do for me and when he is gone she will sometimes say how she misses him and wants him to be home. i do think if you are becoming more frustrated than normal about this issue it might not hurt to have someone to talk to about it. just this way you can help yourself from what ever you are feeling. that and she may do things differently or somethings for you she does not do for dad , you just may not be really seeing it. I have that problem a lot.

Melanie - posted on 03/24/2010

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Enjoy having a husband who pampers you. We are very lucky to have husbands like that. I do know how you feel. My son will allow me to put him to bed but he won't sleep until daddy comes in and tucks him in. He also tends to behave more for him. children do tend to play us off against each other no matter how small they are xx

CASEY - posted on 03/24/2010

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no not a bad wife, my husband and i have 4 kids, he dosen't rub my feet all the time, but he will do supper if it isn't already done, and help me bathe the kids, and our 3 yr old, i can't do anything with him, he does not listen to me for nothing, i can call my husband at work, and let him talk to his daddy on the phone then he is perfectly fine, so i know how u feel, but our kids are 5 3 2 and 6 months old, so it stays pretty crzay at our house, he is a logger so he leaves at 5 am and gets home between 6 and 8 pm, and still helps me out, goos luck on these feelings, they come and go

Michelle - posted on 03/24/2010

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Hi Erica.
I know the feeling of being second in line all to well. I felt that way all the time with my oldest. Then my youngest got really sick and I lived at the hospital with him for the better part of a month. My oldest Cameron had never been away from me in his entire life for more then a few hours. Even when his brother was born he came to visit the hospital every day. Any way when I finally returned home after the month I was shocked by all the hugs and my then 18 month old repeating to me over and over "love" and kissing me. Up till then he hadn't really spoke but suddenly he found his words for Mommy. Almost a year has passed now and things are back to the way they were but doubled. Both boys are always happier to see Daddy then they are Mommy (although my youngest Nathanial is a bit of a Mommy's boy) but I now know in my heart that they love me and would miss me if I left. Hope this helps and just keep telling your husband how much you love him and even how you feel. I am sure he will understand and might even have some hard feelings of his own. Like jealousy of the time you get to spend at home with your little one, I know my husband does.

Emma - posted on 03/23/2010

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You are not a terrible wife, this jealousy is a normal part of being married with children because us women spend more time with the children and then when the husband comes home they want to show daddy that they appreciate him and that they've missed him so they do things that they have never done for you but don't worry it's normal and I'm sure your husband feels the same sometimes as he's out working all the time and misses your daughter doing things for the first time. My husband is like yours, pampers me and lets me have a break even after or before work and he never complains but at times I know it upsets him and makes him jealous (as it would with your husband) that our daughters do things for us first and not him. This is part of married life and it's very normal so don't worry and just be proud of your family. Take care and relax :)

Jane - posted on 03/22/2010

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Hi Erica, I don't think you're a bad wife. This may be silly to point out, but considering how young your daughter is, the first thing that came to mind is how much easier it is for babies to say DADA than MAMA. As babies learn to make new noises, it is easier for them to place their tongue in the right spot to make the DA noise than the MA, so most children will say Dada before Mama. Even if she can say both, she may say dada more simply because it's easier for her to pronounce.

That being said, you should be glad that your daughter has such a wonderful father... something every child deserves but not every child has. I think your jealousy is normal, but don't let it get the better of you. I think Rebecca raised a good point that if you're having problems dealing with those feelings, maybe it's a sign of something else going on and should be looked into. But maybe just keeping in mind that your daughter is likely to change favourites at several points in her life can help you keep things in perspective. I think it's common that the parent who spends most of the time with their child deals with more of the bad moments, and less of the good moments. Your husband might even be jealous of how much more time you get to spend with your daughter.

Hope that helps... you're fortunate to have such a wonderful man in your life :)

Erica - posted on 03/21/2010

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Thank you so much Heather and Taralee! Joe is a wonderful husband and father. I am sooo lucky to have found him and to be loved by him! I'm glad that you feel this is normal because I hate being angry or anything negitive with him. He is such a positive influence for our daughter. Caroline does say Moma but only when she's mad or hurt... guess that should mean something... it does... I just want her to say moma with the gusto she says dadda I guess. I know it's kinda silly and childish but I sometimes feel like I've put my whole life on hold for her and he's getting all the credit! But I think a night out with Joe so I can show him how much he means to me and Caroline would be a fantastic Idea! Thank you again!

Erica - posted on 03/21/2010

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Heather thank you. I don't know why it hurts so much, it can't hurt as much as hearing her call my name and needing to walk out the door to go to work. I want to be the wife my hubby deserves How do you keep your self from having word vomit and saying things that will hurt your hubby's feelings? I know it's out of his control what Caroline wants or does.

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