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Old 05-29-2009, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Minnesota
25 posts, read 41,339 times
Reputation: 22
Default What to do when your husband isn't a good parent?

My husband works very hard. He works full days on the rail road and then comes home and works the family farm. He provides well and is always planning ahead for our four children's financial needs. He shows his love through his work.
When it comes to parenting, the down and dirty day to day life, he just doesn't cut it though.
He has his pet peives and if those pets were real animals, they would be raging lions and screaming tigers! He hurls irritation around like platter paint when he is triggered and he has NO issue with where it hits. He wants the entire household to know he is upset when he is.
I put my foot down when it comes to his tantrums. I will not allow him to frustrate himself in my direction. It is harder with the children. I know this should seem like a cut and dry issue to some people. Protect the children. But how does a woman do this? He does love them. He does so much for them. But when it comes to his irritation he has zero sensitivity to how he is making them feel.
OUr oldest child left the phone off the hook last night and it went dead. Meaning when the phone does ring, it only rings up stairs and one has to RUN to get to it in time. This has happened a few times. And he had enough last night. He threw a tantrum on her and asked her if she had had the phone earlier. She lied. (Something she does not do with me.) She lied because she is afriad of his anger and made the hasty decision to "try to run from it". He caught her in it by checking the memory on the phone and finding her best friend's number last in the bank. He hates lying. She knows this. But I feel he is responisble for her lying as much as she is. I try to explain to him that the children and I have an entirely different relationship. They generally will not lie to me...because I have a completely different approach with them. They know I do not tolerate lying, AND they know that telling the truth will immediatly receive a greater chance at reprieve if they tell the truth up front. When they admit fault, I explain...not rage...my irriation over what ever issue is in front of us. He does not have control, nor feel a need to control his.
He feels I undermine him. I feel he gives me no choice. He feels disrespected. Iknow he has little respect for their feelings when such situations arise. I am a holistic parent....every member of the family counts. He is of the old school mentality, where the adults come first.
She ran away last night and hid behind our shed. He was so upset with her and I, that he wasn't going to look for her. I was forced to get involved by pushing on him the need to look for her. She didn't come out to his calling and night was falling. So I had to go out to. I found her when she let her presence be known by sniffling in my vicinity. She was crying. She felt horrible that she had lied. She said she didn't like who she was becoming...a person who lies. Well, now I was upset! This is too much feeling for what should have been a simple daily irritation! I had to tell our daughter that when it comes to his behavior, unforcunately...she is unable to care about it. It felt awful to say, but the truth is, I told her some people we have to just let go of when they are acting unreasonable. We can not let their crap become OUR crap. He found us, and he started to put in his two cents, which was still heated with anger...and I told him heatedly myself....that he has already made her aware of his feelings and she doesn't need to hear it again. He stormed off. And she and I discussed her wounded self esteem. Again I told her, yes, we do not condone lying in this house. But we also do not condone ranting and raging. You see my dilema? How can I respect their father and the children at the same time? He is angry with me today, because I undermine him. Sigh....how do I get him to see he needs to grow up and see who he is hurting?
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Old 05-29-2009, 08:39 AM
 
Location: NW Montana
283 posts, read 443,450 times
Reputation: 247
I am sure your husband love his children, but they will not grow up believing so unless he can get a handle on what it means to be a parent. Perhaps this is how his father ran his home as well? Does he ever attend their extra-curricular activites or do things with them, or is he constantly working?
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Old 05-29-2009, 09:18 AM
 
10,080 posts, read 11,012,067 times
Reputation: 9126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norskejenta View Post
My husband works very hard. He works full days on the rail road and then comes home and works the family farm. He provides well and is always planning ahead for our four children's financial needs. He shows his love through his work.
When it comes to parenting, the down and dirty day to day life, he just doesn't cut it though.
He has his pet peives and if those pets were real animals, they would be raging lions and screaming tigers! He hurls irritation around like platter paint when he is triggered and he has NO issue with where it hits. He wants the entire household to know he is upset when he is.
I put my foot down when it comes to his tantrums. I will not allow him to frustrate himself in my direction. It is harder with the children. I know this should seem like a cut and dry issue to some people. Protect the children. But how does a woman do this? He does love them. He does so much for them. But when it comes to his irritation he has zero sensitivity to how he is making them feel.
OUr oldest child left the phone off the hook last night and it went dead. Meaning when the phone does ring, it only rings up stairs and one has to RUN to get to it in time. This has happened a few times. And he had enough last night. He threw a tantrum on her and asked her if she had had the phone earlier. She lied. (Something she does not do with me.) She lied because she is afriad of his anger and made the hasty decision to "try to run from it". He caught her in it by checking the memory on the phone and finding her best friend's number last in the bank. He hates lying. She knows this. But I feel he is responisble for her lying as much as she is. I try to explain to him that the children and I have an entirely different relationship. They generally will not lie to me...because I have a completely different approach with them. They know I do not tolerate lying, AND they know that telling the truth will immediatly receive a greater chance at reprieve if they tell the truth up front. When they admit fault, I explain...not rage...my irriation over what ever issue is in front of us. He does not have control, nor feel a need to control his.
He feels I undermine him. I feel he gives me no choice. He feels disrespected. Iknow he has little respect for their feelings when such situations arise. I am a holistic parent....every member of the family counts. He is of the old school mentality, where the adults come first.
She ran away last night and hid behind our shed. He was so upset with her and I, that he wasn't going to look for her. I was forced to get involved by pushing on him the need to look for her. She didn't come out to his calling and night was falling. So I had to go out to. I found her when she let her presence be known by sniffling in my vicinity. She was crying. She felt horrible that she had lied. She said she didn't like who she was becoming...a person who lies. Well, now I was upset! This is too much feeling for what should have been a simple daily irritation! I had to tell our daughter that when it comes to his behavior, unforcunately...she is unable to care about it. It felt awful to say, but the truth is, I told her some people we have to just let go of when they are acting unreasonable. We can not let their crap become OUR crap. He found us, and he started to put in his two cents, which was still heated with anger...and I told him heatedly myself....that he has already made her aware of his feelings and she doesn't need to hear it again. He stormed off. And she and I discussed her wounded self esteem. Again I told her, yes, we do not condone lying in this house. But we also do not condone ranting and raging. You see my dilema? How can I respect their father and the children at the same time? He is angry with me today, because I undermine him. Sigh....how do I get him to see he needs to grow up and see who he is hurting?
I think there are few things going on.

Your children are being disrespectful of others by being careless. They do need to learn not to do that. However, the storm being stirred up by these careless errors are way out of proportion to the infraction. In my house if they leave the phone off the hook they are not allowed to use the phone for a period of time. It gets longer if they continue. But we don't scream and yell and make the kids scared to death of us over the phone being off the hook. Most of us did stupid stuff like that as kids, and we don't do those things any more now that we are grown up. So-yes there need to be consequences, but they need to be in proportion to what the kids have done.

Does your husband acknowledge in calmer moments that he is out of control sometimes? If so, counseling might help him. If not, you may need to consider splitting up. I don't think this is any way for your family to go through life.
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Old 05-29-2009, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Middle America
17,379 posts, read 14,510,155 times
Reputation: 20222
You can be annoyed with your kid for leaving the phone off the hook. Most people would be annoyed to find the phone dead due to carelessness.

But if it goes beyond annoyance to rage and verbal abuse, so frightening that your child feels they must lie to escape your wrath, you have anger management issues. Red flag. Verbal abusiveness is a hop, skip, jump to physical abusiveness, and also incredibly damaging in its own right. Nip it now, or get out if he refuses to alter his behavior.
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Old 05-29-2009, 09:36 AM
 
2,019 posts, read 2,547,648 times
Reputation: 3125
I grew up scared to death of my parents.

It has lifetime effects that are not good.

I wish you well.
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:53 AM
 
748 posts, read 1,059,075 times
Reputation: 906
The first thing I would try is talking to him about it. Make sure it is an uneventful day, everyone is basically in a good mood and the kids are in bed. Start out by pointing out your own faults in your parenting style, hopefully that will put him at ease and not make him feel like he is the only one with faults. Then move on to discussing his and finally talk about ways you can both change. Make a parenting plan, how you will handle punishment and what punishments fit what "crimes". The more detailed you make it the harder it is to stray or not be on the same page.

Whatever you come up with you need to both heed to it and never contradict each other in front of the children even if you think he's dead wrong. Talk about it in private and if he was wrong it will be up to him to make it right not you to be the "good guy".

Marriage counsling can help you achieve this if you're not sure how to approach it on your own. If he is unwilling to try anything and thinks there is no problem then you may have no choice but to leave. But I believe in trying everything and anything else first. Also remember that this won't work unless you are willing to admit your own mistakes too.
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Old 05-29-2009, 11:19 AM
 
6,586 posts, read 16,178,790 times
Reputation: 3002
He sounds stressed out. Can he cut back some of the working? He's supporting 5 people he doesn't seem to have any relationship with because he's not around very much.
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Old 05-29-2009, 11:41 AM
 
Location: SW Missouri
14,799 posts, read 17,229,096 times
Reputation: 18858
Quote:
Originally Posted by Norskejenta View Post
My husband works very hard. He works full days on the rail road and then comes home and works the family farm. He provides well and is always planning ahead for our four children's financial needs. He shows his love through his work.
When it comes to parenting, the down and dirty day to day life, he just doesn't cut it though.
He has his pet peives and if those pets were real animals, they would be raging lions and screaming tigers! He hurls irritation around like platter paint when he is triggered and he has NO issue with where it hits. He wants the entire household to know he is upset when he is.
I put my foot down when it comes to his tantrums. I will not allow him to frustrate himself in my direction. It is harder with the children. I know this should seem like a cut and dry issue to some people. Protect the children. But how does a woman do this? He does love them. He does so much for them. But when it comes to his irritation he has zero sensitivity to how he is making them feel.
OUr oldest child left the phone off the hook last night and it went dead. Meaning when the phone does ring, it only rings up stairs and one has to RUN to get to it in time. This has happened a few times. And he had enough last night. He threw a tantrum on her and asked her if she had had the phone earlier. She lied. (Something she does not do with me.) She lied because she is afriad of his anger and made the hasty decision to "try to run from it". He caught her in it by checking the memory on the phone and finding her best friend's number last in the bank. He hates lying. She knows this. But I feel he is responisble for her lying as much as she is. I try to explain to him that the children and I have an entirely different relationship. They generally will not lie to me...because I have a completely different approach with them. They know I do not tolerate lying, AND they know that telling the truth will immediatly receive a greater chance at reprieve if they tell the truth up front. When they admit fault, I explain...not rage...my irriation over what ever issue is in front of us. He does not have control, nor feel a need to control his.
He feels I undermine him. I feel he gives me no choice. He feels disrespected. Iknow he has little respect for their feelings when such situations arise. I am a holistic parent....every member of the family counts. He is of the old school mentality, where the adults come first.
She ran away last night and hid behind our shed. He was so upset with her and I, that he wasn't going to look for her. I was forced to get involved by pushing on him the need to look for her. She didn't come out to his calling and night was falling. So I had to go out to. I found her when she let her presence be known by sniffling in my vicinity. She was crying. She felt horrible that she had lied. She said she didn't like who she was becoming...a person who lies. Well, now I was upset! This is too much feeling for what should have been a simple daily irritation! I had to tell our daughter that when it comes to his behavior, unforcunately...she is unable to care about it. It felt awful to say, but the truth is, I told her some people we have to just let go of when they are acting unreasonable. We can not let their crap become OUR crap. He found us, and he started to put in his two cents, which was still heated with anger...and I told him heatedly myself....that he has already made her aware of his feelings and she doesn't need to hear it again. He stormed off. And she and I discussed her wounded self esteem. Again I told her, yes, we do not condone lying in this house. But we also do not condone ranting and raging. You see my dilema? How can I respect their father and the children at the same time? He is angry with me today, because I undermine him. Sigh....how do I get him to see he needs to grow up and see who he is hurting?
You won't like my answer but I think that the single most harmful thing a woman can do in a relationship is not support the husband. Any disagreement with the way that the husband handles things should be taken up in private later. Any military leader knows that you must always present an undivided front to the enemy. Otherwise you appear weak and disorganized.

It sounds to me as though you husband is thoroughly overwhelmed with his responsibilities to the family. On top of this he feels that he needs to discipline the children because he does not like the way you do it. I would strongly suggest that you put forth some kind of effort to run the house in accordance with his wishes so that he has the confidence in you to allow you to take care of disciplinary matters so he does not have to. It is bad enough to have to work 16 hours a day to support a family without having to worry about the insignificant day to day stuff that a wife should be taking care of. The problem is that he cannot trust you to take care things the way that he wants them done, so he is having to do that TOO., in addition to EVERYTHING ELSE. And you wonder why he is ticked off?

20yrsinBranson
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Old 05-29-2009, 11:41 AM
 
2,465 posts, read 3,007,183 times
Reputation: 1241
I agree that you need to talk to him about how he over reacts with rage and anger. This is not good for your children in any way. But when you talk to him, put it back on you. For example don't go to him and say "when you do such and such.." which is pointing the finger at him. You instead say something like "I feel that yelling at the kids is not healthy for them. Maybe we need to find another way to deal with them instead of getting angry and yelling." This way you are pointing out the faults without pointing fingers. Pointing fingers only puts a person on the defensive and shuts them down to truely listening.

If you can get him into family counceling or parenting classes or both that would be great. Sometimes having an outsider intervene and mediate can help you each hear and understand what each of you are saying. I'd start with just the two of you at first, or if need be just yourself and then get him involved, then later you can bring in the kids when the councelor feels it is the right time so the kids can say their peace as well.

If you try everything and nothing seems to be working, then you may have to consider taking the kids and leaving before they experience even further damage.
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Old 05-29-2009, 11:55 AM
 
1,020 posts, read 1,559,984 times
Reputation: 634
Quote:
Originally Posted by 20yrsinBranson View Post
You won't like my answer but I think that the single most harmful thing a woman can do in a relationship is not support the husband. Any disagreement with the way that the husband handles things should be taken up in private later. Any military leader knows that you must always present an undivided front to the enemy. Otherwise you appear weak and disorganized.

It sounds to me as though you husband is thoroughly overwhelmed with his responsibilities to the family. On top of this he feels that he needs to discipline the children because he does not like the way you do it. I would strongly suggest that you put forth some kind of effort to run the house in accordance with his wishes so that he has the confidence in you to allow you to take care of disciplinary matters so he does not have to. It is bad enough to have to work 16 hours a day to support a family without having to worry about the insignificant day to day stuff that a wife should be taking care of. The problem is that he cannot trust you to take care things the way that he wants them done, so he is having to do that TOO., in addition to EVERYTHING ELSE. And you wonder why he is ticked off?

20yrsinBranson
I agree
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