Marilyn - posted on 07/09/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )
My husband loves me and the children, but he wants to be more of a pal than a father. He can't say no and often ignores or actually cannot perceive bad behavior. Our two boys--ten and thirteen--test the limits all the time and I'm the one to say no--it's small and big things: put on sunscreen before you go out, and he bargains and pleads while I insist they stand still and stop being impossible or their computer is gone for the day. And so on, resulting in "I hate you Mommy; I love you Daddy." Believe me my husband and I have run every conversation, from "I know this won't change but please don't undermine when I'm disciplining" to "Please support me." Sometimes I tell him to act like Hitler, since that would be impossible, i.e. if he tried very hard to act like Hitler he'd begin to approach a firm voice and "Because I say so." He's got no problem managing difficult colleagues but he can't set boundaries with our boys. We have a daughter--that's less a problem because it's not conflict-ridden for her to identify with me, her mother.