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When (and how) do you draw the line with you spouse?

We can not agree on the way to run our home. I am frank and want things done. I am lax and can go with the flow so this isn't about me being inflexible. I am just fed up with my husband thinking that he can be lazy around the house and with our child but then make decisions for his family without really involving us. Or even worse I will discuss something with him that I would like to see, he will agree, and then later change his mind and speak for us both that we have changed our minds. I value my work and my opinions. I take pride in both so it really upsets me to have to be disregarded that way. He tells me that he needs to stop being as lazy and help with his kid. But then he leaves her to do everything alone. I value teaching independence but a 6 year old can not fix herself breakfast while he stays in bed. There are lines you have to watch with giving too much independence. He says he knows she can do it but it isn't...


Asked by Anonymous at 5:53 PM on Dec. 26, 2009 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • You know where your line is. You’ve drawn, re-drawn, explained, and pointed it out; he keeps crossing it. At this point you sound frustrated, annoyed, irritated and scared because deep down you know he’s not going to listen and change until he is ready to, which is correct. It's either you accept that he has no respect for the 'lines you draw' that he keeps crossing or you need to find another situation for you and your daughter even if that means re-evaluate your marriage.

    Family counseling is a great idea, so is ridding your house of what’s enabling his laziness video games, computer, t.v., toss em’. Sadly there’s no way to force him to change. He may not until he see's you packing and even then it's all in his hands. You’re trying to fix him; in order for a person to change they must choose to and then it is them who will be the one making the change, it cannot be forced or done for them.

    Answer by Knightquester at 9:39 PM on Dec. 26, 2009

  • OP. Really about her. It is him not wanting to get up. She will ask him for help and he will always say later or no. I get irritated because he will argue that she is trying to manipulate us to do things for her. I just think that I know my child better than him because I am there and involved. I don't smother her and I don't do everything for her. But she has anxiety so we must be careful with pushing her to fast. So if we cannot seem to get past this what should I do? I don't want to just do things his way. I have compromised with him and I don't undermind his parenting. I am just more and more stressed out. Having a kid with anxiety is tough work already.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:56 PM on Dec. 26, 2009

  • OP: Don't you think there is a difference between doing things for your child and being a watchful eye? Because they still are young and we are here to guide and protect.

    Answer by Anonymous at 5:58 PM on Dec. 26, 2009

  • My husband is the same but he often is not involved in day to day things because of his computer. What does your husband do at home when he's not doing things for you and dd? If he's on computer all the time or between that and tv, cell then I really suggest counselling. If his free time that he could spent with you is even spent with buddies or his family but not you then tell him, if it's going on for a long time already, that you want to see a counsellor. They cost different prices.

    Answer by lfl at 6:06 PM on Dec. 26, 2009

  • I expect my children to maintain a clean environment- that goes for the baby (2) as well. but when it comes to things like nutrition, bathing, etc.... well, I am mother, and it is my job to make sure they are cared for.
    a child being hungry and wanting to be fed it not a manipulative behavior. a parent not feeding their child, is.

    i dealt with much of the same from my ex (won't go into details), he was a horrible person. We spent years in misery because of him, and are now just beginning to recover... it isn't a me issue, or a you issue, its an "us" issue- if you can not get that through to him, i don't know what to say. there are times when no amount of communication is beneficial. only you know how much you can take, but you don't know how much your dd can take- ever thought that her "anxiety" could be an environmental reaction to the two of you?

    Answer by ObbyDobbie at 6:09 PM on Dec. 26, 2009

  • Op: I feel as though I have eplained myself enough to him. We have talked so much about how we each should be adding to our families well being. I believe her anxiety is because of our environment. I don't want her to be in the middle and have to feel like one of us is a better parent and she has to choose. I want her to know we both love her and want what is best for her. I just think that with my husband showing her that he won't get up for anything then how will she be able to respect him. Either way she will feel rejection even if I don't undermind him. Fighting with him more just exposes her to this conflict more. So if I ignore it how will she get the best parenting she can? I feel like I am stuck in a place with no right answer. Either way she suffers.

    Answer by Anonymous at 6:15 PM on Dec. 26, 2009

  • Is he staying in bed while you're not even home? It's dangerous and stupid to leave a 6 year old unsupervised. He seriously can't even drag himself out of bed to feed his kid.... I'd be rethinking the decision to spend my life with this person if I were you, honestly.

    Answer by QueenMama7808 at 6:49 PM on Dec. 26, 2009

  • Has your husband always been like this (then you should not be surprised), or is this new behavior (he may be depressed, and should be evaluated)?

    Answer by rkoloms at 8:25 PM on Dec. 26, 2009

  • You may want to consider family counseling. Having an objective third party listen to each of you present your case, as it were, then help you to come to a workable compromise might be your best option because it will take the "bad guy" spotlight off of you and maybe help your DH to see how your conflicting thoughts & actions are hurting your DD. Also, since any changes you both do decide to make would be witnessed by the counselor, making sure DH follows through with the new behaviors is not on your shoulders anymore either, because he is now responsible to an outside third party. Making big changes takes time, so expect & allow for set-backs and screw-ups until the new skills & behaviors become habits. Your follow-up sessions with the counselor should help to keep both you and DH on track and give you more ways to tweak the issues until you are both satisfied with the expectations for your behavior in relation to your DD.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:29 PM on Dec. 26, 2009