My wife says she hates my daughter
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My wife says she hates my daughter

I am married going on 8yrs, I have a 10yr old daughter by a previous relationship and i have a 4yr old son by this marriage. My wife loved my daughter and did many things together for the first 2-3yrs but was constantly on rocky soil when my daughter would make a point of introducing her as not her mom but her step mom. This would make my wife angry and she would always tell me that she wanted a child of her own. When she became pregnant with my son i became worried that she would no longer want anything to do with my daughter, it turned out that i was right. Since my sons birth the relationship between my wife and my daughter deteriorated to the present point where she now says she hates my daughter and that she wishes she would just go and live with her mother. Her mother and I share joint custody, we don't typically get along but we make it work for my duaghters sake. My wife gets angry when my ex would call to talk with my daughter, or if i seem to talk with her on the phone friendly. I understand that she might be jealous of my daughter and her mothers relationship, but i'm not sure why she dwells on the subject to such extent. My daughter makes a point not to bring up her mothers name in our household for these reasons but it seems that she can't escape her rath. My wife will inevitably coax my daughter into a argument about her mother wich my daughter stands fast to defend her mother, rightly so since she is her mother. I try to reason with my wife and tell her that it does no good to get into these discussions with a 10yr old. It seems my wife just wants to argue, if it's not my daughter that is at the center it's someone else. I can't seem to make my wife happy anymore and i don't want an unhappy household for my children. It rips me apart thinking that we could inevitably seperate and thinking of the effects on not just my daughter who still loves my wife but on my son who i love tremendously. I couldn't bare not to see my son every day. I try to make everyone happy but it seems it's never going to work. She gets so angry and every time it ruins our day, she made a point of ruining my daughters last birthday by fighting. Just yesterday my daughter was going back to her moms for her part of the week and she didn't want to wear an outfit from her moms that she was embarassed about. My wife became enraged that she wanted to wear something from her clothes at our home, the result is that she said that she would no longer buy her anything and she warned me not to spend any money on her for this Christmas, to which i replied for her to please not to tell me what to buy my daughter. I'm at wits end.
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Old 09-13-2010, 10:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife says she hates my daughter

It sounds to me like your W tried to force herself on your daughter to make up the fact that she didn't have a biological child of her own. It is unreasonable for her to expect your daughter to refer to her as anything other than step-mom, especially when her bio mother is very much a part of her life and cannot be replaced. After your son was born, your daughter no longer served a purpose for your W.

I have a blended family with my H and I know that it can be extremely difficult. Your daughter should not have to put up with how your W treats her, it's damaging. I'm at a loss over how to fix the situation but I think counseling may be the only option. You can't ignore your child's well being, it's your job to protect her.
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Old 09-14-2010, 01:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife says she hates my daughter

I will say that my daughter has been recently defending herself which i think is fair. However it has created a new problem and I try to caution my daughter to let the matter rest once the argument is over, which she seems to be having dificulty with. I expect that she has her own anger issues on the whole matter. I have previously brought up the idea of counselling to my wife to which she apposed, recent talks have been more encouraging though. I have also been thinking of my wife and my ex becoming friends of sort, i admit that it sounds crazy but it's not something that hasn't been mentioned by both. I think with the loss of tention between the two (wife and ex) would then possibly lessen the tention between my wife and my daughter. I'm not sure that would not spell relationship disaster or not but i think that nothing should be off the table to resolve these problems, which constantly plague our family. Thank you for your response.
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Old 09-14-2010, 02:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife says she hates my daughter

Yeah, it sounds like your wife wanted to take your daughter's mother's place and got upset when that didn't happen. It also sounds as though she's jealous of your ex, which is both understandable and rather silly at the same time. On the one hand, she was probably jealous because you and your ex shared a child together, and your wife didn't yet have that bond with you. That might have led to her feeling slightly insecure. At the same time, it's rather silly to be jealous of someone that you decided you didn't want to be married to any longer. Now, of course, I don't know the details of your divorce, and if it was something where you didn't want the divorce, then it would make it slightly more understandable that your wife might be jealous.

As to how to fix this whole thing, though...that's hard. At this point, it's gone on so long that your daughter is now frustrated and building resentment toward your wife and so even if your wife changed, your daughter might not. Your daughter is only 10, which means she's still fairly immature, and as children will do, she's likely to hold on to her resentment and hurt feelings.

There are so many suggestions on this forum for marriage counseling. I think perhaps that's what your wife and daughter need. Not marriage counseling, exactly, but some joint counseling for the two of them, where they can get their feelings heard and discuss things but with a neutral third party there to keep things from getting out of hand. You can't be the referee, because they will each think you are on the other's side.

And honestly, while I doubt that your wife and your ex-wife will ever be friends (it happens, but it's very, very rare), getting them together might not be such a bad idea. If you can get them together, and get them talking, perhaps your wife will see there's nothing to be jealous of, and if she gets to know your ex, maybe she'll also back off a bit on demeaning her to your daughter.
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Old 09-18-2010, 10:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife says she hates my daughter

I agree, it does sound like your wife wanted to step into the role of full-time mom with your daughter, and she was disappointed when your daughter didn't embrace her as "mom". Perhaps there are jealousy issues with your ex, and your wife was trying to prove how much better she is for you than your ex was through your daughter. Then when your son was born, that void got filled, the "noble, failed experiment" was abandoned, and then your wife felt that she should stop "wasting time" on your daughter, and resentment crept in.
I think it's a shame that a 10 year old girl has to walk on eggshells with an adult, but even more of a shame that your wife seems to be "picking fights" with a kid! I think that joint counseling is a good idea, or at least, a step in the right direction.

And on a closing- and somewhat humorous- note, there is a terrifying, ugly fact of life that you absolutely MUST be ready for: what do 10 year old girls turn into in a few years?

TEENAGE girls!

Ask your wife, does she want one with issues?
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Old 09-21-2010, 07:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Your story remindered me a similar story in Bible.
Whatever happened is not the child's fault. It's also not good for the child to grow up in such family. So maybe it's better for your daughter to stay with her mom for a while than suffering from the current situation. I guess that is also what your daughter wants. You can go visit her often.
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Old 09-21-2010, 10:38 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife says she hates my daughter

I would calmly sit wife down and have a heart to heart. "Honey, I love you very much and I desperately want our relationship to work. But....two people in this family are half of me. They aren't merely my kids, they are literally half of me. If you hate them, you hate me. If you mistreat them, you mistreat me. If you ignore them, you ignore me. I won't abandon anyone in this house unless you force me to do so, but understand that I won't abandon either of my kids under any circumstances. They are non-negotiable. No point arguing about it. Don't want to hear any more cruel or snide comments. I don't even care why you don't like her. You married a dad, therefore, you married my daughter, too. We'll go to counseling or help you in any way we can, but you will get over your major malfunction rapido asap.
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Old 09-21-2010, 11:07 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I would calmly sit wife down and have a heart to heart. "Honey, I love you very much and I desperately want our relationship to work. But....two people in this family are half of me. They aren't merely my kids, they are literally half of me. If you hate them, you hate me. If you mistreat them, you mistreat me. If you ignore them, you ignore me. I won't abandon anyone in this house unless you force me to do so, but understand that I won't abandon either of my kids under any circumstances. They are non-negotiable. No point arguing about it. Don't want to hear any more cruel or snide comments. I don't even care why you don't like her. You married a dad, therefore, you married my daughter, too. We'll go to counseling or help you in any way we can, but you will get over your major malfunction rapido asap.
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Old 09-22-2010, 03:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife says she hates my daughter

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I would calmly sit wife down and have a heart to heart. "Honey, I love you very much and I desperately want our relationship to work. But....two people in this family are half of me. They aren't merely my kids, they are literally half of me. If you hate them, you hate me. If you mistreat them, you mistreat me. If you ignore them, you ignore me. I won't abandon anyone in this house unless you force me to do so, but understand that I won't abandon either of my kids under any circumstances. They are non-negotiable. No point arguing about it. Don't want to hear any more cruel or snide comments. I don't even care why you don't like her. You married a dad, therefore, you married my daughter, too. We'll go to counseling or help you in any way we can, but you will get over your major malfunction rapido asap.
This is an excellent suggestion!

Just not sure if he has the guts to say...
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Old 09-24-2010, 01:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife says she hates my daughter

unbelievable is right on. I was in the same kind of situation myself, but not as extreme. I didn't get along with my stepdaughter either, but she was also a discipline problem at home and school. We went through many fights about it. When she became a teenager, the relationship actually got better, because I initiated the "girl talk" time, and bought her some books on christian dating and living as a teenager. It has helped. My husband sat me down and had a serious talk with me about how I treated her, even though I really wasn't aware of it. He made me aware. I did treat her differently from my own daughter, no doubt. I tried to connect with her on her terms and do more things she was interested in, instead of trying to mold her into my daughters image.
Your daughter should not be treated this way. You are going to have to stand up for her. You can also take over some of the responsibility for her, such as transporting her to her own activities, buying her things that she needs, checking her chores, etc, it will reduce some of the conflict that she has with her stepmom. Just an idea.
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Old 09-24-2010, 02:40 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Default Re: My wife says she hates my daughter

If she is 100% honest with herself, some of the things she probably values most about her husband are his dependability, steadfastness, and honor. If he were the kind of guy who would not defend his own child, he would be pretty useless for his wife, too.
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