MY husband isn't supportive of the issues with difficult child...feel alone...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Izzys Ma, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. Izzys Ma

    Izzys Ma New Member

    As most of you know, I am pretty new to this forum and have no disgnosis for my daughter yet. evaluations Are on the way. I am getting quite frustrated with my husband as he doesnt seem to acknowledge that our daughter isn't you average child...she does not respond to time outs, loss of toys/priveleges, and as ashamed as I am to say this, not even a spanking on the butt. These things just don't work for her. She desires the "fight" (although I do not belive that she can control this desire).

    My husband does not see either of us during the week - only the weekend. Given this, I really (and maybe wrongly) expect him to listen to me (as I need to vent), and at the very least not scream at the child telling (as he hasn't had to deal with anything all week) her she is lucky that "he is not her mother!!" This doesn't phase her (at leat that you can see, but may hurt emotionally?) and really bothers me....feels like he thinks that I am not doing a good job at raising her...and that I really am alone in this...although we are married and have a family.

    I truly feel alone when he is here...even mroe so than when he is at work during the week. It is soooo frustrating and he simply doesnt realize both the emotional and physical toll it has on me to raise her "alone" during the week. Doesn't feel good.

    I am just wondering if this is typical of most husband's. I know men are wired differently than I expecting too much of him and should I just let his lack of support on this slide?
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Well, I'm not sure I'd call it "typical" husband... but, that's partly because I'm not sure there is any such thing as "typical".

    To me, the first problem is that he is away during the week. He is not there to see it all, on a day-to-day basis, and work through it with you as it happens. Its really tough for him to try to deal with what he finds when he comes home on the weekend... because HE probably expects the rest of the family to be thrilled that he's home, and the whole home should be revolving around him. Maybe? Just a thought.

    It is tough to get both parents on the same page with difficult children... even without the "absence" factor.

    But, as I haven't had to deal with that factor myself... don't have much to offer in the way of concrete advice on this one.
  3. keista

    keista New Member

    Well, since he is supposed to be your partner in life as well as parenting, I would expect him to listen to you and how your week went, just as he expects you to listen to his. He probably should listen to you more than you him because HIS child is in your care, and he should be equally concerned about her upbringing. Having said that, unfortunately that's not how it works out in real life, even in the best relationships.

    ????? What exactly doe he mean by that? Of course he is not her mother, he's her FATHER. Not surprised that Izzy isn't phased by this. What she's hearing is "I'm just the weekend visitor that brings home a paycheck. I have no power over you" Seriously. That's the exact statement I have made to other ppl's kids when I find out that they've done something I so don't approve of and in my opinion their mother has gone way to easy on them. I have ZERO power over other kids and how other moms discipline their kids. This is how I express my disapproval. As her FATHER he has a say in what goes on. Since he's not initiating the conversation with you, you must initiate it with him. "Hon, what do you think we should do? How should we respond? What should her consequences be?"

    I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume you already have tried to have such a conversation, and his suggestions are things you've already tried - unsuccessfully. Or he might suggest something that goes against your grain, and he insists that YOU should enforce things HIS way even when HE's home to do some enforcing of his own. I hope I didn't get that right. If you didn't' figure it out, that's what I had to deal with, so I truly hope that's not what's going on for you.

    So, if you haven't already done so, you need to open up the lines of communication as it relates to Izzy and dealing with her. You need to have a united front with her. It really tough to see, but if you want to see it, there IS a silver lining here. She's not an "angel" on the weekends for his benefit. She has an 'equal opportunity' issue so he DOES get to see what goes on even if it is only on the weekends.
  4. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    It might help to have someone else (like a therapist) explain to husband how he should handle Izzy. This way it doesn't come from you (you aren't telling him what to do) and the therapist can present it as Izzy needs ..... This way the therapist is the one telling him Izzy needs him to parent differently because she is different.

    My husband is a difficult child and this is one way I've managed him. I am alone in raising my kids too. Not because of his physical absence but because of his disorder. If things aren't in his routine he goes in his room (yes, we have separate bedrooms) and watches movies. I understand the loneliness is worse when he is physically present but emotionally absent or not on the same page as you. Like when my husband is downstairs watching a movie while I am upstairs overwhelmed. It hurts my feelings. Or when he does try to discipline but comes across as way to harsh. Then I have to deal with the emotional repercussions with the kids as well as trying to teach husband how to parent. And he is NOT open to suggestions from me.

    Have you thought of marriage therapy. I haven't had much luck with it because husband refuses to go, but it might work for you.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    First of all, welcome! Not sure I have seen your other posts, but I am glad you are here and to get to know you!

    Second, it seems it takes most dads a bit longer to get with the program than moms, not sure why. I know my husband still has no clue about some things with our difficult child and he is now an adult. But I didn't let him get away with the kinds of things your husband does. My husband tried some of that, esp the explosions when difficult child ignored him or the rules. That was something I was NOT prepared to live with. It wasn't easy, and my husband is far more malleable on many things than most men. But eventually, with time, outside help, patience and putting my foot down when it needed to happen, husband did come around mostly.

    I really thing that you and your husband need to see a therapist to work out some of this. You have some unusual problems due to him being away all week. He is likely wanting the weekends to be this wonderful family time where you do fun things and all is great. you truly are lucky that Izzy acts out when he is home. Otherwise he honestly would believe that you are the problem - and it would be very hard to convince him otherwise. I have seen it in my own family - for a while my son acted out when with me but not if husband was there. Partly because he was more comfortable with me because I was a stay at home mom and husband worked long hours, partly because husband wasn't around when some of the things that triggered problems happened. Once I started insisting husband work less hours because he was hardly home even on weekends, he saw a lot more of what I saw and apologized. But it took a long time for that to happen.

    husband needs to understand that weekends are not the time for him to be Disney Dad or for him to come in and 'fix' Izzy's problems for you. His time at home is a time to actually parent, and to give you a break. If you are not taking a couple of hours of time for yourself on the weekend, then it is time to insist on this. It will benefit all of you. He should carry on with whatever Izzy's normal schedule is for that day/time and you need that time away to stay sane. He and Izzy need that time to have a relationship with-o you, and to learn to cope with each other. husband may not like it, but he has free evenings when he is away from home - I am sure that he is not working 24hrs a day when he is not home. He gets some time off, and if you are going to survive this schedule and parenting a difficult child, you need some down time away from them both too.

    It will be easier to give him info when you have a diagnosis to work with. Until then, read The Explosive Child by Ross Green, What Your Explosive Child is Trying to Tell You (keep forgetting the author) and Parenting Your Child with Love and Logic, by Fay and Cline. Chances are that the Love and Logic book will appeal more to your husband, but the best results will come from melding the three books. I did not get ANY lasting help from my husband until we found Love and Logic. It seems to really click with men more than many parenting books. If your husband drives a lot, you can get it in audio book format to listen to in the car - check out to find more about it and the other books they offer. Some people do better with audiobooks, so that is an option to keep in mind.

    I hope that the evaluations lead to some real help.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    In general, women are more accepting that something may be wrong with their child. Men tend to think that it is something that can be fixed by tougher discipline. The turning point often happens when it gets so bad that it can no longer be denied and the father feels out of control too.

    Moms are usually with the children more, even if they work.
  7. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Sending a big supportive hug your way. Most of us have had at least slightly similar problems with our husband's and understand how alone and frustrated you must feel. Chances are you will need outside help to get on the same page (or even in the same book). Just want you to know we "get it" and are rooting for you. DDD
  8. barneysmom

    barneysmom Member


    You've got some good advice.

    Nothing against dads or male SO's (significant others), but I would have to say that in general, even say up to 90% of dads don't get it regarding special needs kids, and take a long time doing so. (I don't have any statistics for this figure, just my rough guess after 56 years of life, 31 of them married, and after talking to probably a couple hundred moms).

    I think as someone already pointed out, many men like to fix things quickly and logically -- well I guess I should make this from my own experience. My husband likes a quick and logical fix, and doesn't like to think about all the emotional/behavioral ins and outs. That's not how he's wired. He became a good student though, at my insistence.

    I think when your husband comes home he is tired and just wants to relax, as someone mentioned. Lots of people try yelling to shut the problem down fast. That's a natural response. Doesn't work though.

    Maybe you and husband could work out a routine for the weekend (ahead of time). Like, when he's on duty and when you're on duty with your daughter, and then some time for you guys together. In other words you could set some boundaries. In my experience if I didn't set boundaries I would go under (it took me a long time to realize this). You could plan meals together and the whole thing.

    Also when my husband traveled, which he still does occasionally for 1-2 weeks at a time, I would try to keep things nice and light for him on the phone. Now if it hits the fan while he's gone, I email him and "bring him up to speed" (in other words, vent and rant). Or if you're having a good day, you could write him about that. Anything you want. But maybe he could be kept in the loop. You guys will have to learn together how you want to set up your family, in a way that you feel comfortable.

    Do you have any info he could read about your daughter's behavior? Articles, I mean? So he could educate himself. My husband responded pretty well to that, and felt more empowered with the info.

    Just some thoughts.

    Good luck, keep posting

  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Welcome, IzzysMa.
    I hear you! I went for years without support from husband, in great part because of his ego issue (my kid can't possibly have something wrong with-him) and in part because he thought I was the temperamental artist, overreacting. Not fun. I know how you feel about being alone in this struggle.
    I agree with-the others, that family therapy and marriage counseling are in order. This will feel threatening to your husband, so you may want to wait for a diagnosis from the pediatrician and neurologist first, over the phone. Then make an appointment and have the neuro explain to BOTH of you what is going on with-your daughter. Ask him in front of your husband if this means that typical parenting techniques, such as spanking or time-outs go out the window. (Knowing full well that the answer will be yes. In this case, ask as many questions as you can that you already know the answer to, because the answer is for the benefit of your husband, Know what I mean??)
    It is essential that you present a united front. If you can call the dr first and actually script him with-those words, do it. I've done it and 99% of doctors totally "get it" when one spouse isn't on the same page.
    Also be aware that whatever diagnosis you get will not necessarily be the end-all and be-all for future dxes. Your child will change as she grows, between hormones, experiences and physical capabilities, (not to mention when you experiment with-the medications the dr gives you) and you never know what is in store. The idea of a diagnosis is to help you learn about the diagnosis and change your parenting (and help teachers) to guide your child through life and prepare her to become a contributing adult, and preferably a happy adult. A diagnosis is not a carved-in stone death sentence. I hope that makes sense.

    We're here for you! All of us have felt alone at some point.
  10. ready2run

    ready2run New Member sound almost like you live at my house.

    my husband is not at all supportive either. he is often in his bedroom playing his 'silly'(in my opinion) video games and leaving everything up to me. he expects me to do everything the way he tells me to do it even though that doesn't work for me or the kids. he is really strict and i get blamed for the kids being how they are. today he even had enough nerve to tell me that i let the 'autistic kids get away with too much ****' because difficult child(his son, not mine) was stimming by wiggling a spoon and apparently i am not to allow him to stimulant like that in front of the other kids? he has no understanding of their disabilities and in his mind all their problems are a reflection of my shortcomings as a parent. he won't even do any research and won't listen when i try to tell him it's good to let them stimulant or leave them be if they aren't being too disruptive. he refuses counseling and in the last year he refuses to take his medication or even go see the doctor. i think about half my stress comes from dealing with him and trying to keep everything smooth so i don't have to deal with his rediculousness about it. i have thought of leaving many times. unfortunately that would mean leaving difficult child behind with the person who has no tolerance or understanding of him.
  11. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip


    Let me give you a little perspective...

    husband knew O had some issues. During the time he worked 2nd shift, he almost never saw either child (or his wife)... He was asleep when they got up for school, gone to work when they got home, and came home after they went to sleep.

    He and I very nearly separated over this. He said that all I ever said about O was negative. (It probably was. I was overwhelmed, ineffective because I had no rights, and so very TIRED all the time.) And then... He got laid off, and because he was home more than I was, got the brunt of it.

    It was an eye opener. We're still not 100% on the same page - but very close.
  12. Kjs

    Kjs Guest

    Hi. I must comment here because this is how I felt/feel. My difficult child also did not react to any of the "punishments" you mentioned. Just seemed to make things worse. From the time he was 4 years old he had me in tears. Knows just what buttons to push. But with husband, he could do no wrong. I would tell husband of things that was said and done, and he wouldn't believe it. difficult child could look husband right in the eyes and lie to him and husband would believe him. husband cannot take phone calls working in the shop, so I received all the calls and emails from teachers. At one point husband told me I was making it up. So, I had to print the emails. (he does not use the computer at all). I was so burned out with all the calls from teachers, all the times I was called in, all the doctor appointments. And I work. But, my schedule is 12 hour shifts which allows me home 3 or 4 days a week.

    difficult child is now 16. And the behavior is like a rollercoaster. Just when things seem to be going good and you let your guard down....WHAM.
    School was awful. It took atleast one quarter, maybe a little longer for things to settle down. He pushed buttons and pushed and pushed to see how far he could go. The high school he is at is not the local district school. It is a "choice" college prep school. Total in the entire school, 9 - 12 is about 300. The first quarter or so he was there was the usual. But....this school, all the teachers know him. All of them work with him. He doesn't have new teachers every year, as all these teachers know him. And what I have learned is it is HOW he is approached, that determines the outcome. In middle school teachers and staff would come at him in an accusing way. and he would become defensive and defiant. Although, I cannot seem to find the correct way to approach him, all the teachers and staff at his school do great. I am his target, and I have accepted that. A teacher or staff member can walk into a meeting and say something sarcastic and he'll laugh and reply back. If I were to say that same thing it would be the beginning of a fight.
    In calmer moments he has told me that he doesn't want to fight. He doesn't want to feel bad. But when a fight begins he cannot control himself and he doesn't mean what he says. He apologizes. (but that doesn't take the hurt away) It is hard to keep in mind when hurtful things are said, that he doesn't mean this, he cannot control himself at this time.

    His IEP gives him the opportunity to leave the class when he begins to feel frustrated and angry. He goes to a specific,pre arranged office, or room with a trusted staff member and he calms down. Then rejoins the class. Prior to this he has been known to flip over desks, throw books. He has the ability now to tell the teacher he needs to use his cool off pass, and the teacher has the option to tell him it is time to use his cool off pass. This has given him control over situations, and also gives him the ability to identify the onset. He has learned to take advantage of this though. Leaving a class and not returning because he doesn't like the class, or doesn't want to participate, what ever his reason. So it had to be written in the IEP that this is for 10 - 20 minutes.
    I hope your evaluation's will help and you can begin down the path of a bit more normalcy. Good luck with the evaluations.