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Question
Posted by: Miss Blue | 2010/02/16

Response to previous post

Thank you!

Firstly, CS, he had an abusive mum. She beat him up a lot and he eventually lived with his gran. But now his mum acts like she is the most wonderful parent.

I once told him that he shouldn' t compare me to his mum. We never agree on discipline issues as well.

He is very impatient and wants things done immediately. In the mornings, he will make her lunch for school before I get to the kitchen. there is time for me to do it, but he does it. Sometimes i think it is to make me feel bad. He wants to do everything for his daughter and wants the same of me. Yes, he spoon feeds her cereal every morning. He dresses her up in the mornings. These are things she can do for herself. When she is with me, i set time limits for her to get things done, brushing her teeth, bathing, dressing, eating, etc. He wants me to call her baby, love, darling, angel all the time. And even when I give her tasks at home, I must ask very nicely using terms of endearment.

Is this normal? Am I normal?

R he does help out at home. But to the point where it is annoying. He is up at 6am on a Sat to put the clothes in the machine. Why? I wanted the machine in our very big bathroom so I could do washing on a Friday night. The machine wouldn' t disturb anyone. He said no. And he hand washes all his clothes and our daughter' s too. He also washes her school uniform every afternoon (i won' t do a good job with those white shirts).
And whilst I am laid back about things like ironing, hubby will be up at 5am on a Sunday to start ironing. And when I get home in the evenings, he would have started ironing.

R to be honest, we don' t spend much time together. He always has something to do. He spends hours gardening, mowing the lawn, cleaning the yard, etc. He has implied I am lazy. I do clean the house. we have a realtively nice size home (4 beds, seperate lounge, diningroom, kitchen, 2 bathrooms).

I don' t know how to make it right anymore. He hurts my feelings with these so called little comments but never apologizes. He never reassures me.

Its so hard for him to even comfort me. My uncle passed away last yr. i remember crying after i found it. He asked what i was crying for because the man was already dead and what good crying did. All i wanted at that time was a hug from him, some comfort.

Is it so hard for men to be affectionate?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

OK, so, as I suspected, he had an abusive mother who taught him to be like this, in self-defense. Unless and until he chooses to work sincerely with a proper therapist on all these issues, he will have problems with expressing affection and with discipline, raising kids, and so on. He has never had the model of what a good mom, like you, looks like, and without being able to express why it bothers him, may feel uneasy because you are so unlike her ( and congratulations for being unlike her ).
Sounds from his behaviour as though he is, rather sadly and pathetically, trying to be a Supermom to the child, and by trying too hard to not be as neglectful as his mother was, is being infantilizing and over-controlling instead. An extreme in the opposite direction that is just as lacking in benefits. But what a tragic image, of him insisting in a grotesque way that the child be over-protected, over-coddled, and to receive a permanent overdose of what he got none of.
He sounds driven, and extremely demanding of himself - perhaps what his mother expected of him, too ? Compared to the abusive comments he may have received, he may genuinely not see the criticisms he expresses to you as hurful at all.
And draw accurate conclusions - it's not that "men", in the sense of all men, find it hard to be affectionate. Men often find i harder than women beause they have been brought up NOT to do it ; and in his case, you are talking about a seriously damaged little boy still struggling with the impossible task of trying to please his abusive mom.


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Our users say:
Posted by: R | 2010/02/16

He is not helping the child by feeding and dressing her. She should be able to do this by herself. It sounds to me like he is a total control freak and believes that he does everything the best and nobody is as good as him. He can overcome this and go for counceling or else he is going to loose you.....not that you want to but because you will just need that attention, the odd hug and the comfort of a man' s touch!!

Reply to R
Posted by: Maria | 2010/02/16

I don' t even mention dressing and eating because at 6 years old it is assumed that any normal child would have mastered those skills long ago. Nobody is going to do those things for her at school after all.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Maria | 2010/02/16

My daughter is 7. Your husband is doing your daughter no favours by treating her as a baby, in fact he is seriously hindering her normal development. Mine sets the table, hangs laundry, dries cutlery and feeds cats. She is not yet responsible for doing this on her own, but when we ask she must help. This teaches independence and makes the child feel that she is a valued member of the family.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Miss Blue | 2010/02/16

She is 6yrs old. I am not negelcting her by asking her to do things on her own. I want her to take pride in herself as well. I look at this little one and love her to bits and am amzed at how she is growing. I want her to be able to do things for herself too. I don' t want to sit in the evenings with a plate of food, feeding her.

Reply to Miss Blue
Posted by: Maria | 2010/02/16

I think your husband has serious problems, his habits and expectations are not normal. He sounds obsessive and controlling. You sound completely sane and normal by comparison. How old is your daughter?

Reply to Maria
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/02/16

OK, so, as I suspected, he had an abusive mother who taught him to be like this, in self-defense. Unless and until he chooses to work sincerely with a proper therapist on all these issues, he will have problems with expressing affection and with discipline, raising kids, and so on. He has never had the model of what a good mom, like you, looks like, and without being able to express why it bothers him, may feel uneasy because you are so unlike her ( and congratulations for being unlike her ).
Sounds from his behaviour as though he is, rather sadly and pathetically, trying to be a Supermom to the child, and by trying too hard to not be as neglectful as his mother was, is being infantilizing and over-controlling instead. An extreme in the opposite direction that is just as lacking in benefits. But what a tragic image, of him insisting in a grotesque way that the child be over-protected, over-coddled, and to receive a permanent overdose of what he got none of.
He sounds driven, and extremely demanding of himself - perhaps what his mother expected of him, too ? Compared to the abusive comments he may have received, he may genuinely not see the criticisms he expresses to you as hurful at all.
And draw accurate conclusions - it's not that "men", in the sense of all men, find it hard to be affectionate. Men often find i harder than women beause they have been brought up NOT to do it ; and in his case, you are talking about a seriously damaged little boy still struggling with the impossible task of trying to please his abusive mom.


Reply to cybershrink

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