Posted by: Helpless | 2009-04-20

Worried about my daughter's marriage

Hi Doc,

My daughter is living next door to me with her husband and two small kids, one a baby, the other almost 4. She and the husband do not have a very stable relationship. They tend to build up their frustrations and later it will flare up into something ugly. I have my concerns. When this happens, they scream at one another in front of the kids. Imagine the toddler clutching onto her mother' s skirt, looking scared. And imagine the 6month old, looking from the mother and then the father all the time to see what' s going on.

My concern: I hate to have the children go through these things which can happen at just any time. Also, my daughter, though she loves both her children, she has anger issues and scolds the 4 year old every single day and also a lot during each day. It hurts me so much to see that. And what' s to happen with that child as she grows up. How will she be towards her mother one day? By the way, my daughter hated her father when she grew up because of the way he shouted or got angry at her at times. But he was nothing compared to the way she is with her daughter.

I walk around on eggshells as I fear for their flare ups as to what it does to the kids. My life is on hold because I make sure I am there for the little ones. I worry all the time and even wake up with a feeling of apprehension. What do I do? I have spoken to both my daughter and her husband already. When my hubby and I go out, we rather take the toddler with us to prevent her from being shouted at. Please help, Doc. You' ve helped me out on numerous other occasions with real good advice in the past. Appreciated. Thanks.

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Our expert says:
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Can you persuade them that this is bad for the children, and not good for either of them, and further persuade them to seek help, with marriage counselling ( eg through FAMSA ) and maybe also individual counselling ? Maybe a hint that she may be, unaware, behaving in the way her father did, and which she as a child hated. might persuade her to deal with this with proper help ? Surely they would prefer to handle their anger better, and not to involve the children in their squabbles ?

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