Our daughter, who’s four, is smart, bright, communicative, advanced in her daycare. But my wife pours all her energy into our child; she doesn’t socialize nor have an interest.
She’s over-protective, taking the girl to the doctor at the first cough, always worrying about her nourishment, etc. She stays in our daughter’s bed until she falls asleep.
Also, she doesn’t discipline her, so the child takes advantage of this.
Lately, when my wife gets impatient, she just screams at her.
I haven’t intervened as I think my wife needs to establish rules and get some backbone. So I’m always the disciplinarian.
How do I convince my wife that she needs time alone or with female friends? Some have invited her out, but she always refuses saying she’s too tired.
Her mother also smothered her children, and now her brother has serious issues.
- What To Do?
Your concern is understandable, but you’ll achieve more if you act as co-parent rather than as judge of your wife’s approach.
By “not intervening,” you’ve left the parent load on her shoulders, so she’s naturally turned to the model she saw from her mother. Participate more actively; discuss different child-rearing ideas, read child experts’ books together.
Attend your daughter’s next doctor appointment along with your wife: inquire if the child has more colds than normal, whether her growth and health are at the right level, etc.
If you both hear assurances of her well being, you can remind your wife about this when she worries.
And insist on a regular time when you baby-sit at night, so that your wife can make plans for getting out, taking a course, or just spend time on her own… without being tied to the child’s bedtime regime.
YOU can be the one to try to help the girl fall asleep on her own after story-time or a chat.
If you can’t make headway, suggest you both get counselling for developing some child-rearing strategies on which you two can agree.
I’ve met the friends of my boyfriend (18 months together), and although the male best friends and I haven’t always agreed on many things, we’re friendly, can joke around and hang out regularly (with my boyfriend present).
However, one of his best friends had been hounding my boyfriend to date this guy’s ex; he’d state this in front of others and me.
After several months it got excessive and embarrassing. I spoke to my boyfriend about how I felt about enduring these comments. He eventually told his friend that he’s happy with me, and to respect his decisions. It hasn’t been an issue since.
Last night I was at a house shared between four of his friends, male and female, and the only person who greeted me was the ex-girlfriend. The whole night, I was ignored by everyone but my boyfriend and this girl.
Later, my guy said that everyone wanted him to date her.
I feel really crummy – almost like I’m a cheap knock-off - even though my boyfriend has stuck by me.
Now I feel so out of place at get-togethers.
- Hopeful for Change
You’re no “knock-off” to your boyfriend, but you’re a pushover for his rude, disrespectful, hurtful pals. Unfortunately, so is your guy.
He should’ve walked out with you and called everyone the next day to say they either accept you or lose his friendship.
Speak up again, and insist that he needs to stop this game they’re playing with his life and your feelings.
My girlfriend of several months was uncomfortable when a former girlfriend from out of town stayed with me for a few days, though my girlfriend trusted that nothing would happen.
When I had lunch with a female colleague, my girlfriend stated it’s inappropriate for a guy in a relationship to spend time alone with any other women.
I respect her feelings and promised I no longer would.
Was I crazy to even think it’s socially acceptable?
You’ve shown her how much you value this relationship by respecting your girlfriend’s feelings. However, there’s no universal “rule” on opposite-sex friends.
Instead, there’s logic: an ex-girlfriend should NOT stay with you if you live alone. A public lunch with a colleague IS socially acceptable, but it’s unwise if there’s flirting involved, or it happens frequently.
Make sure your girlfriend is just insecure in these still-early days of dating, not a jealous control freak.
Tip of the day:
Parenting is a joint project, requiring collaboration, not judgment.