View Full Version : Snafu - is this you???

February 6th, 2009, 09:23 AM

Dear Amy: My husband's daughter and her friends followed us (in her father's car) to a college game this past weekend. He told his daughter they could stay an extra hour after the game, and then they needed to drive back home. On our drive home she phoned him to tell him that she was spending the night with a friend (she is 17). He told her "no" and said that she needed to come home. She didn't come home until the next morning.

My husband said there would be consequences for this blatant act of disobeying, but he never follows through. She knows from past experiences that there is always "talk" of punishments but nothing ever takes place.

I don't blame her for figuring this out––it is his fault that she knows she can pretty much get away with anything.

It's too late for this situation to change.

Amy ****inson Amy ****inson Bio | E-mail | Recent columns

My problem is how I am starting to feel about my husband.

When I witness his coddling reactions to her disrespect, I'm screaming at him in my head, "Wimp, wuss! No wonder your kids have no respect for you!"

I don't like having these feelings, but I don't know how to disengage myself from it when it goes on right in front of my face.

I end up saying things that are only going to hurt our relationship.

How do I not lose respect for my husband?

––Not So Silent Partner

Dear Partner: It is not too late to change the balance of power between your husband and stepdaughter. Every small change he makes in his behavior will result in a small difference in hers. For instance, the next time the daughter takes the family car and doesn't return home when she is supposed to, then your husband can simply take the keys and tell her that in the future, if she needs to go somewhere she'll have to ask for a ride, and if she's lucky, she'll get one.

Consequences should naturally flow from his daughter's choices.

If your husband is unable or unwilling to develop this very basic parenting skill, then his daughter will continue to run the household.

You are correct to keep the screaming about your husband's parenting in your head. You should also more carefully modulate the things you do say.

This situation will swallow your relationship if you two aren't able to make some changes. You could start by saying during a calm and private moment, "Honey, I'd like to help. Do you think there are things we could do differently?"

You two should sit down with a counselor, agree on a parenting plan for the kids, and start to parent them as a team. If you do, your relationship will strengthen, and your kids will feel more secure in your role (and theirs), and alter their behavior accordingly.

February 6th, 2009, 12:00 PM

Yea... that will probally be us sooner than ya think :rolleyes:

Truthfully, I intend to talk with DH about DSD & driving/personal car this weekend ("stressed" at another site I go to has given me the courage) before DSD even starts driving (she's 15+).

Although, I am kind of wondering if DN claimed that DSD was smoking with her (to her parents) & that's why DH didn't want to discuss making DN appoligise for smoking in her (DSD) room/putting her in the position of breaking the rules at home.

February 28th, 2009, 06:26 PM
Well, I (finally) talked with DH :cool:. Here's how it went.

DH & I were talking about DSD & driving school/drivers ed. I told him that I didn't think she should get a car of her "own" for at least a year as she's proven that if she's not monitiored she breaks the rules.

I went on to give examples of when DH has failed to monitor her & she broke the rules
1. at 10 yr of age she had unlimited, unmonitiored internet access in her room - this was grandma's idea & dad went along with it (we were dating at the time). Grandma made a discovery & I think DSD was discussing sex with a pediphile :eek:. She lost internet access in her room.

2. cell phone - dad didn't monitor it like he said he would, until he found out about a $200 + phone bill (others were $100 +):rolleyes:

3. DSD set up IMing on the computer & we got hacked (once again she wasn't monitored :rolleyes:)

I told DH that if DSD was driving his car or the van I knew he'd monitor her.

DH's response

(wait for it)

cue the chirpping crickets - nada - DH didn't say a thing

March 1st, 2009, 05:49 PM
He's a coward. He's afraid to parent his daughter.

Yes it is traumatic that her mother is no longer in her life - but that doesn't give her a free pass on anything and it makes it more important that he truly parent her.

March 2nd, 2009, 06:52 PM
Apparently, I was too blunt with DH. He felt there was a better way to approach it, rather than bringing up the past/past failures :o.

He was right, there had to be a better way - but at least we're talking about it now :o

(I had to hunt for this post by nonnymouse - before I talked with DH I remembered this post & I was hoping that I'd be blunt enough that he'd get it & give him enough time to process things- BEFORE they became an issue- instead we've got another issue)

Re: Does your SO make you the bad guy?


Originally Posted by snafu
"...He doesn't listen to me ... when to comes to being married partners. He will listen to his deceased wife's best friend, the councilor, his ILs, etc., but not to me. "

(nonny)Ouch, snafu. You make it clear how painful this is. I'm sorry to say I have been on the other side of this with my husband about many things. I will be the one to say no and not get on board with his ideafor months/a couple years. I never really thought of it as you put it here for the first couple years.

I started trying to address this tendency in myself last year when I realized how often I had said "No. No. No." And then would change my mind on the issue after thinking it over and giving it a lot of time to percolate in my brain.
I change slowly. I know it was irritating but hurtful? It just wouldn't have dawned on me.

March 4th, 2009, 09:44 AM
Apparently, I was too blunt with DH. He felt there was a better way to approach it, rather than bringing up the past/past failures :o.

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

March 4th, 2009, 04:19 PM
The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.

Yeap -


My history teacher had this quote posted in his classroom

"He who ignores history is condemed to repeat it"

I really don't wish to repeat history- otherwise it means you weren't smart enough to learn the lesson the first time

March 5th, 2009, 05:49 PM
Sad thing is - I just realized that DH has taught DSD to follow his favorite expression really well. His favorite expression?

"Its better to ask for forgiveness than for permission."

I don't want my DS learning this :o

March 8th, 2009, 10:11 AM
Yes - it is easier to ask forgiveness than permission - however after a period of time - this method breaks down trust.

I have another favorite quote -

Excuses are tools of the incompetent.

He's giving you a lot of excuses as to why he is not parenting his daughter.

March 8th, 2009, 10:57 AM
Excuses are tools of the incompetent.

Permission to steal this, 1DH?

March 8th, 2009, 11:01 AM
Permission to steal this, 1DH?

Please feel free ;)

How do you think I got it?

ETA: I was once told that when you steal a phrase - once you've used it 3 times - it's yours

March 17th, 2009, 07:24 AM
DH & I have not talked anymore about this - I don't know if DSD isn't interested in driving or not -

anyway- I found this by Beth

"snip.....This was the worst scenario I have seen from the loss of a parent. But it happened. No one wants to be the bad guy, but being a parent is not a popularity contest. Children especially need the surviving parent to be strong for them. They need their guidance."

I actually found inexpensive copies ($2.00 for a hardback) of Hope Edleman's book Motherless Daughters (this book would be good for someone with a non-involved or "absent" mom as well) -Time to reread & hope that DH will reread as well.