husband and I have trouble parenting the same way. It has lead him to saying he wants a divorce. Help!?

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Question by Rebecca: husband and I have trouble parenting the same way. It has lead him to saying he wants a divorce. Help!?
My husband’s parenting style is harsh, punitive and loud when he disciplines our children. I have a 16 yr old daughter from my previous marriage, step child to him since she was 6 and our child who is 8. We have been happy since 2001. In 2004, we were expecting our now 8 yr old child, step sister to my older daughter. Things were great from 2001-2009. In 2009 my husband’s mom died from breast cancer, it was very hard on him. He was also raised in a very abusive household. His father was manic depressive and often was mean. He never said “I love you” to my husband when he was a child and was cruel at time to his mother. My husband has resented his father & never really had a good relationship with him. I’m sure this trauma has caused a lot of pain for him growing up. He married a woman with bi polar (before I met him) he said he had a very hard time dealing with her for 10 yrs and he finally left her. When I met him he seemed very docile, withdrawn and needy – to me it was sad to see him that way. He seemed very kind and sweet. We dated for 2 yrs and it was great! My older daughter then 5 really got along with him. Today we are having problems. My husband is basically angry at my teen a lot and very overly protective. For the past 3 yrs, he’s been different, irritable, angry anything could set him off. When my 15 yr old daughter posted some thing racial on a website he was angry and told me we should spank her and I was not happy about that. It was not the right way to handle it. He had rules for her, his rules and since I’ve been a stay home mom he has taken over the rules and even kicked her out of the house recently because she failed to text us on her third chance. I mean he kicked her out without my consent, he can’t do that to his minor step child! Basically I am upset and angry at him and I’m devastated that he thinks what he did is right. I have talked to my family and friends and they think he has gone mad to mistreat us this way. I don’t know what to do! He’s now taking his anger out on my 8 yr old but I am here to protect her from his yelling. I am so unhappy that my teen daughter is now living with her dad. She resents him and would not talk to me for 2 months but I never stopped writing to her and telling her how sorry I was and that it was my fault for not standing up for her and letting him do this. Finally after two months she met me for lunch and we made peace. I feel like a terrible mother. She thinks I should divorce him and make sure he does not get overly irrationally protective of my 8 yr old.My husband thinks I’m too soft on my children, the only reason I am soft and kind when I talk to them is because he’s too harsh. He’s very loud and he always yells at them which does not get them to listen to him and they end up angry and sassy. This is so wrong in all levels. We did go to a therapist that endorsed his drill Sargent style. I didn’t like her and he humiliated me in her office saying I’m a non participating mother, that I am not consistent and I am too soft.My kids are not bad kids. They have not even broken any laws. My teen recently took her ACT practice test twice and got a high score of 32 and 34! He is too strict, he would read her text messages, and watch her on the GPS – is this not ridiculous? How does a 15/16 feel if you micro manage them all day long? He is loving and caring but I feel it’s a bit too much on his part to constantly be controlling. Anyway, he does not want her back home. She will be gone to college in a year and I don’t think I’ll get to see her much, so will the 8 yr old. My 8 yr old misses her sister too. This household is a unhealthy mess.Now he says he wants a divorce because I don’t listen to him or be on his page. I mean really? So, because of his irrational fears for my teen, he lacks sleep at night, he’s angry when disciplining, he does not have a lot of friends, he yells, he’s been through a lot of childhood trauma, a few people I talked to feel that he might be depressed or have slight bi polar. I am trying everything in my power to try all the options to save this marriage, think I should give up and give my 8 yr old a healthy environment? She sees we sleep in different rooms, we spend time separately with her, she keeps talking about how wrong it was for her dad to throw her sister out and he keeps telling her, that her sister disobeyed him. So wrong and messed up. Help, give me some feed back. I’m so devastated that this family has been broken up like this. I am now trying to get us to go to parenting classes.

I feel very hopeless right now as I can’t leave, he says we should stay her in our home and try to be civil and try to sell the house but that would take at least 2 yrs! I don’t know if I want to wait that long. My only hope is getting him to see that his parenting style is toxic and not effective.

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3 Responses to husband and I have trouble parenting the same way. It has lead him to saying he wants a divorce. Help!?

  1. And this Drama is exactly why no one should marry someone with children from another relationship. I am surprised the girls biological father isn’t involved with a completely third opinion on how to raise a child.

    You and your husband need to sit down and talk rationally about what the boundaries are for discipline of your daughter. You will have to compromise and allow him to implement some of his rules too. If you feel your rules are the only one the daughter should follow, your marriage is over. Divorce now and be on your way.

    A meeting of the minds concerning philosophies on child discipline should have been occurred before you married.

    February 26, 2014 at 2:43 am

  2. he needs to understand that your daughter isnt his daughter.. and how shes raised will be decided upon you.. NOT HIM.. i thin k hes either forgotten that or hes just being a douche.. put your foot down.. a man who isnt even yoru daughters father just kicked her out of her home and your just writing about it .. bring her back in and if he says anything about it .. then tell him he can leave if it bothers him that much
    February 26, 2014 at 2:51 am

  3. He is never going to change. Whatever pain and hardship it takes, get out. The sooner the better. There must be refuges etc for women in your position. My own father was the drill sergeant type and negatively affected all four children with problems of some kind. I’m seventy and memories of him rouse me to rage and hate. It wasn’t that he was bad necessarily, just ignorant. With ignorance comes a host of other secondary characteristics. With anger thrown in it makes for an extremely toxic and volatile mix. Unfortunately these drill sergeants think they are never wrong, that its ‘tough love’ and all the cliches the ignorant depend on so much. Your parenting classes etc are not going to do any good until you move out and move on. It seems your marriage is not worth saving. No doubt you are terrified of cutting loose. So many problems associated with it and so much work and trauma and emotion and effort and so on and on. But its really the only way, unfortunately. In the short term anyway. Five years from now you will be asking yourself why you didn’t move on sooner. Best of luck. I hate drill sergeants. When I see them in malls or wherever it brings back ugly memories. But there is no point confronting them. They are and always will be plain ignorant.

    February 26, 2014 at 3:49 am

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