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Old 02-09-2012, 06:52 PM   #1
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DH can't handle the kids!

Need to start this off by saying we'll be looking for some sort of counseling as soon as I have insurance again. Right now though I am SO frustrated, and I don't know what to do. DH just doesn't seem like he's able to handle the kids at all. He's got no patience, and was raised with the idea that kids should behave like small adults, and taken that to the extreme. He does ok with the 8 year old most of the time (although she has autism, and he doesn't "get" any of her issues- thinks she's spoiled by me, etc..), but has a really hard time with the 2 yo, and I'm scared for what the next few years will bring because we just had another baby girl. He can't handle noise, can't deal with the fact that dd2 is a mama's girl right now because I just had a baby (I do see how this can be hurtful that she doesn't want to spend as much time with him, but the way he guilts her about it now is awful), swears in front of them, and today swore AT dd2. She told him "no" and he said "how can I not be offended by her behavior if I can't even talk to the ****** kid?" as he was pointing to her. Well, maybe she doesn't want to play with you because you swear at her! He sits in his chair playing video games, doesn't want to take them outside to play on the weekends like other dads around here do, acts like it's a chore when I suggest he do something with them. He has never been on a fun outing alone with them other than to run an errand. I know some of this is normal guy behavior, but when it's all piled up together it's rather obnoxious. He also uses this awful sarcastic tone with them that just makes me sad .

In addition to all that, some of his physical interactions with dd2 have been borderline abusive IMO, and I have had to intervene. Things like pulling dd by the arm, trying to push her away from him a little too hard when shes mad and she falls over. Not on purpose, but still not appropriate at ALL. It got to the point earlier this month that I told him if he couldn't change, we may be looking at a separation. His reply was that he would take the kids, the car (which is mine, in my name, so he couldn't do that), and cut off my financial supply. I'm able to work and support myself, and a car is a car, but the thing about the kids was awful, especially considering all of this. Oh, and this was two days after I had a baby, so of course I completely lost it. Had to put the baby down and just went and sobbed in the bedroom. I don't even think I could handle being separated from the kids for half a week if we had shared custody, so it just freaked me out . He did apologize and really seemed to feel bad, but it didn't mean much to me. I feel bad, because he can be a really good guy. If it was just the two of us, things would be totally different. He really does try hard in a lot of ways, but he's really immature. The guy is almost 40, though, and I'm at the point where I just want a parenting partner- not a 4th child. When he gets home from work the stress level in the house goes up ten notches because I feel like the kids can't make one wrong move. During the day dd2 may do her tantrum thing every once in a while, but otherwise we are relaxed and happy. I go visit other couples and their kids, and the kids are just having fun and, although I know better than to think things are peachy all the time, everyone is generally relaxed and people are trying to work together.

Has anyone ever been in a situation like this? I feel like it's not good for the kids (obviously), and I hate being on edge all the time. It affects my parenting, too, and I find myself snapping or sending the kids to their room just so I can try to nix any potential issues with DH (and of course those things don't help much). UGH! I have a feeling this relationship may not work out, and I'm just so bummed for everyone involved. . I feel torn because I was raised without a dad, and the thought of taking the girls away from their daddy is awful- but the thought of them living in this environment isn't too appealing, either.

Thanks if you made it this far. I needed somewhere to vent. I am so fed up. And yes, we have talked about all of this- EVERYTHING several times, and he ignores it. He might act like he feels bad when we're talking, but it's all out the window ten minutes later when someone starts to throw a tantrum. Grr.

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Old 02-09-2012, 06:59 PM   #2
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Re: DH can't handle the kids!

(((hugs)))
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:16 PM   #3
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Re: DH can't handle the kids!

Thanks . Going to call my mom later and see what she thinks. My grandma was the one I always used to talk with about this stuff, because my mom and I aren't particularly close, but she passed away earlier this year .
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:19 PM   #4
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First: (((hugs)))

I can't relate with my DH. He was born to be a daddy but I grew up with a dad much like this. It was horrible. I always felt in the way, not wanted and that I was a big burden. Dad was a warden, someone to be tiptoed around and feared a little. We did have some good times but mostly I kept to my room when I got older and he was home. Sadly he grew to be abusive towards my mom which was horrible for a young child to witness and had affairs. My mon and dad separated about 6 years ago and my dad went through some rigorous counciling and has really turned around. He's is an amazing dad to my 10 year old sister and a loving husband. I don't know what switch flipped when my mother left but it did the trick. I guess what I'm saying is, if you feel it, your kids feel it. Don't sweep it under the rug because I'd hate to see this get worse. You sound like a strong woman and I can understand how this can be so painful. I really think counciling will help. He sounds a little depressed and maybe feeling like he doesn't get time with you as a husband. Do you think setting aside one night a week for date night, couple time might help him??
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:35 PM   #5
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Re: DH can't handle the kids!

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Originally Posted by andyoly82 View Post
First: (((hugs)))

I can't relate with my DH. He was born to be a daddy but I grew up with a dad much like this. It was horrible. I always felt in the way, not wanted and that I was a big burden. Dad was a warden, someone to be tiptoed around and feared a little. We did have some good times but mostly I kept to my room when I got older and he was home. Sadly he grew to be abusive towards my mom which was horrible for a young child to witness and had affairs. My mon and dad separated about 6 years ago and my dad went through some rigorous counciling and has really turned around. He's is an amazing dad to my 10 year old sister and a loving husband. I don't know what switch flipped when my mother left but it did the trick. I guess what I'm saying is, if you feel it, your kids feel it. Don't sweep it under the rug because I'd hate to see this get worse. You sound like a strong woman and I can understand how this can be so painful. I really think counciling will help. He sounds a little depressed and maybe feeling like he doesn't get time with you as a husband. Do you think setting aside one night a week for date night, couple time might help him??
This is pretty much exactly my story but my dad was verbally abusive to my mom and also us kids as we became teens and then after the affairs he divorced my mom and moved multiple states away. Us kids have almost nothing to do with him anymore as he is a toxic and cruel individual. It is really sad because he has a lot of good points about him but we just can't take the landmines that lurk in every corner.
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:46 PM   #6
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Re: DH can't handle the kids!

I was thinking a date is a good idea, but dd3 is still a bit too young. She's only a week old and I'm not ready to leave her. Maybe a movie night or something after the kids are in bed. I'm not sure how much it would help, because even when something really good happens, or we have a good day as a family, it goes back to being the same way once something bugs him again (not sure if that makes sense).
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Old 02-09-2012, 07:59 PM   #7
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Re: DH can't handle the kids!

That actually sounds like a hard situation. The part that scares me is what he said about you leaving him. Would he really try to keep the kids just to spite you? That's pretty awful and sounds dangerous. I would start documenting as much as you can should you end up needing to fight for custody. I would not be comfortable with unsupervised visits. The thing is he sounds like he doesn't even want to be there. That alone would be a deal breaker for me. I want to share my life with someone who wants to be there 100% no matter how tough it gets. Someone who is willing to be in the trenches with me and takes joy in our children.

Having children is hard, hard business but feeling like you're alone in it would make it so much harder. Was he not on board with having more children? He really needs to take a parenting class and I think before marriage counseling, I would highly recommend individual counseling for you. Do you think he would agree to anger management and parenting classes? If he didn't I would really reconsider if I could continue to live like this. I would really worry about what it was teaching my daughters and then what kind of men would they seek out as teens or adults. Sorry mama, this sounds so tough.
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:34 PM   #8
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Re: DH can't handle the kids!

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That actually sounds like a hard situation. The part that scares me is what he said about you leaving him. Would he really try to keep the kids just to spite you? That's pretty awful and sounds dangerous. I would start documenting as much as you can should you end up needing to fight for custody. I would not be comfortable with unsupervised visits. The thing is he sounds like he doesn't even want to be there. That alone would be a deal breaker for me. I want to share my life with someone who wants to be there 100% no matter how tough it gets. Someone who is willing to be in the trenches with me and takes joy in our children.

Having children is hard, hard business but feeling like you're alone in it would make it so much harder. Was he not on board with having more children? He really needs to take a parenting class and I think before marriage counseling, I would highly recommend individual counseling for you. Do you think he would agree to anger management and parenting classes? If he didn't I would really reconsider if I could continue to live like this. I would really worry about what it was teaching my daughters and then what kind of men would they seek out as teens or adults. Sorry mama, this sounds so tough.
I know, it's weird. He seems so irritated when he's here, then makes threats when I suggest it isn't working and we need to think about changing our living situation. He told me one time he wanted to go for anger management after something that happened at his work, then when it blew over at work and I brought it up again he refused @@. Documenting things is a great idea, thanks. Not sure why I didn't think of that before. Keeping the kids would totally just be to spite me. After he chilled out, he did tell me he was sorry and that he would never do that to me, but if he threatened once I don't see what would stop him from doing it again. I don't doubt that he loves them, but he obviously wouldn't be happy trying to take care of them full time, and yes I would worry about them. I worry about the relationship issues my dd's could face as teens and adults as well, and brought it up to dh, who blew it off. Surprisingly he was on board with having more kids, and keeps saying he wants to try for a boy! After three girls I doubt a boy is going to happen, and I've already told him I don't want any more children. I always wanted a big family, but there's no way I'd bring more into ours the way things are now. Sort of sad.
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:48 PM   #9
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Re: DH can't handle the kids!

**hugs to you**

It sounds like he has some anger issues. I'm sure couples counseling would help, but really I think individual counseling for each of you before the couples counseling would be most beneficial. He can figure out why he is angry and you can show him how hard you're willing to work on the relationship. One rule that DH and I have when we fight is we never EVER use the "D" word (divorce) because that can invoke fear and insecurity in the other person. If you constantly threaten to leave, it will make him feel insecure which could result in him becoming more angry (and by him threatening to take the children and finances with him, it sounds like this has already happened). I'm a list person, and when something is bothering me, I will write it down and then write down my explanation as to my feelings. This seems to help as well. DH and I hit a really rocky point about 3 yrs into our marriage and it was a very very difficult time for us. But so long as you are each open and receptive of what the other is saying, there is always hope.
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Old 02-09-2012, 10:00 PM   #10
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Re: DH can't handle the kids!

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**hugs to you**

It sounds like he has some anger issues. I'm sure couples counseling would help, but really I think individual counseling for each of you before the couples counseling would be most beneficial. He can figure out why he is angry and you can show him how hard you're willing to work on the relationship. One rule that DH and I have when we fight is we never EVER use the "D" word (divorce) because that can invoke fear and insecurity in the other person. If you constantly threaten to leave, it will make him feel insecure which could result in him becoming more angry (and by him threatening to take the children and finances with him, it sounds like this has already happened). I'm a list person, and when something is bothering me, I will write it down and then write down my explanation as to my feelings. This seems to help as well. DH and I hit a really rocky point about 3 yrs into our marriage and it was a very very difficult time for us. But so long as you are each open and receptive of what the other is saying, there is always hope.
This is the problem. He is not open or receptive to anything. He's really set in his ways. I have given up lots of habits, tried to adjust some of my parenting ideas so that I could see where he is coming from, but I get nothing out of him. His idea is that the kids should listen to him, no matter if it's age appropriate or not, and that's it. If they don't listen he's either super angry, or offended, or both. Then he tells me I'm manipulating them because they listen to me. Well, they listen to me more often because we have a mutual respect. I don't yell with my face two inches from their nose when I'm unhappy with them. I hug them and tell them I love them a lot, and play with them every day, while he's sitting in his chair playing video games. It's a really frustrating situation.
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