Sick of being the buffer between my daughter and husband

Jessica - posted on 07/17/2015 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I have a 12 (almost 13) year old daughter from a past relationship, but my husband has been in her life as her father since she was 2 weeks old. She knows he is not her real father. That being said, I have "mom guilt" about it and feel like I constantly have to be a buffer between she and my husband. He is a black and white kind of guy, he's a yeller (that's just how his family is...we're pretty used to it) and I'm a really laid back kind of person. I could care less if my daughter keeps her room clean or does her dishes on a regular basis. Those are her only regular chores. So since she and I are much closer than she and my husband, she always asks me for permission to go places, do stuff, etc., and since I just want her to enjoy her childhood, I generally just let her go wherever as long as it's appropriate and safe. He throws FITS though, if he comes home and her dishes aren't done or her room isn't clean. Right now, he is saying he's going to take her phone and smash it on the ground in front of her because he specifically told her to clean her room, do her dishes and finish mowing a small part of the yard before she went anywhere yesterday. I didn't know he told her to do all that and of course she didn't mention it to me, so I just told her to pick up her room (not to spotlessly clean it) and she could go. I don't know what I'm really looking for her, I'm just TIRED of being this buffer. I feel guilty for what I did to her, she has never met her real father because I didn't want him in her life and he chose to not push the matter. She has only ever known my husband as a father. I am just scared to death that she is going to resent me, resent him, rebel and do a bunch of stupid crap. I want her to have a good, rewarding, fulfilling life, not end up a pregnant teenager or dating some loser or something. And my husband has no idea how hard this is to try to keep them both happy. He is so convinced that his way is right. And he takes any instance where she doesn't do what he told her to do as a personal affront, blatant disrespect. I want them to have a GOOD relationship. A girl needs to have a Daddy she can go to, count on to be there for her and I feel like she's never going to feel that way with him. How do I handle this?! I am so lost, and terrified, and upset, and I'm so afraid to hurt them both. I'm sorry if this didn't make any sense. I just am at a loss...

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Dove - posted on 07/17/2015

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She knows you have 'mom guilt' and that you and your husband do not agree on her behaviors, so guess what? She is TOTALLY playing you against each other.

You need to sit down w/ your husband and get on the same page in parenting... which will likely require you both to make some compromises. If you can't do this you may think about seeking some couple's counseling together otherwise this situation will never improve and it will cause some major issues in your daughter's life.

It does sound like your husband may need to seek some anger management as well.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 07/17/2015

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So...you got into this relationship knowing his personality traits from the get go, and you're only NOW concerned about your daughter's mental health in regards to his treatment of her for the last THIRTEEN YEARS?????

Honestly, though...if you two aren't on the same parenting page, how in the hell is your daughter supposed to have a stable environment? She does have chores, etc, you admit, and you also admit to never enforcing those chores...so what is your husband supposed to do? You're a namby-pamby parent because you 'want her to have fun'. Well, taking care of responsibilities ALWAYS comes before fun, my dear, and you've given her a skewed view of things by allowing her to slack on the TWO things required of her, which aren't really chores, but something that need to be done for the household to run smoothly...

Not to mention that you've never been honest with her about her biological father, and you arbitrarily made the decision that she was your possession and that her biological father didn't need to be involved...I'd love to be the fly on the wall when you admit that to her.

What any child needs are CONSISTENT rules and parenting. Not one playing against the other because they want to be the kid's friend, and they feel guilty about the situation that their child is in due to their choices in life.

Raye - posted on 07/17/2015

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First of all, she is your daughter, and you are the one that should be enforcing the rules and giving most of the discipline. However, you and your husband need to be on the same page about things. His opinion should be respected. Your daughter should treat any instruction from him as if it came from you. You're not doing anybody any favors by putting yourself in the middle and contradicting your husband.

Stop feeling guilty and trying to overcompensate by being a pushover with your daughter. Kids need rules and they need to learn to respect adults. Of course she didn't mention to you that your husband gave her chores to do. She knows she can play you and get what she wants with minimal effort. She's not going to be as close to your husband as she could be, because you're teaching her that she doesn't have to respect him... you're teaching her that he doesn't matter... because you don't take his opinions seriously and you allow your daughter to disobey him. You didn't let her know her real father, and you're robbing both her and your husband of him being a father to her, too.

You can't please everyone all the time. Disappointment is actually a healthy and positive emotion that plays an essential role in children's development. How your child learns to deal with disappointment will determine their future achievement and happiness. You should teach your child responsibility and show that life has challenges that must be met before we get what we want. People must put forth an effort to achieve their goals. Your daughter's future boss is not going to feel sorry for her and let her get away with not completing work. With the attitude you're instilling in her, she will lose her job and not be able to get her wants or needs. As parents, of course we want kids to enjoy their childhood, but they also need to be prepared for what life really has in store for them.

Furthermore, you and your husband need to listen to each other and come to an agreement on how to raise your daughter. Maybe he wouldn't yell and push so hard if he felt he was being heard and his opinion respected. Maybe you wouldn't feel so tired all the time if you allow him to help with the parenting and have your daughter listen to him more. There needs to be compromise on both sides.

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