Talk About Marriage banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Looking for some perspective, some advice, some clarity.

For starters, this is not divorce or step-child related. My daughter is our daughter. I am 40 years old, my wife is 31 years old. We are both professionals; I am a naval officer (potentially part of the problem), my wife is an accountant. Our daughter is 3 years old, our younger daughter just turned 1. Because of my job, at one point, I was away from home from about 6 months to 1.5 year old (about a year). I was rarely able to get home during this time. I have just recently been gone for 7 weeks. My relationship with my wife has been strained by exhaustion and no lack of resentment (she had to put her career on hold to move with me to my next posting and keep the family together plus on this most recent deployment of mine, both kids, Mom and mother-in-law all got sick simultaneously and I was at sea and couldn't help).

My issue is this: my wife has bluntly declared on several occassions that she hates our older daughter. She's not just venting. She has said such things as "she makes me so mad, I just want to hit her" (several occassions) and my most distressing, received while at sea, "I wish she was gone from my life... that's how much I hate her right now."

My preliminary analysis:
While I admit, my daughter is difficult at times, I don't see her behaviour as drastically outside the norm for a 3 year old. I've had the pleasure to grow up around young children, I had a younger sister growing up (10 years younger) and grew up around two nephews, plus others. My wife has had no young children in her life, ever. I often get the impression she expects our daughter to act and react like a teenager but she's just a baby still.

I take a great deal of the responsibility for this situation on my shoulders. I know that my career places a great deal of strain on the family and particularly on my wife. I'm convinced that she resents me (she's told me as much) for the impact my career has on the family and on her career. While we discussed and agreed upon the decisions we've made for the family, it always comes back to haunt me. We agreed that I should go on my course alone for that year and that she would spend her maternity/parental leave with help from her mother. We agreed that it was best to keep the family together and that we would go to my current posting together which had a detrimental impact on my wife's career advancement. She for all intents and purposes took a step down in career progression to move with me, her bosses have been idiots and she gave a up a promotion at our last location to be able to move. Both decisions have come back to haunt me (us) (although the alternatives would likely also have gone poorly).

I am wondering if her hatred of our daughter is transference of her resentment towards me? Or is this just my wife's exhaustion, frustration and/or temper showing? She admits to having a temper worse than mine (and I''ve had two anger management courses earlier in my life so my wife's temper is decidedly scary).

We are moving back to a location where my wife will be able to focus on her career within 4 months and I very much expect she will begin to advance again. The plan is to remain in that location and allow her to focus on her career, mine will fare just fine from that location. I think that will help her to feel less resentful and more fulfilled plus provide greater stability in the short and longer term for the family, but not in the medium term. You see I have one more stint of approximately 18 months (expected about 18 months from now) where we will either have to move again (risks more resentment) or alternatively, I could go alone again but then the burden comes down on my wife to look after the kids (which risks another bout of "if you're never here, why do I have you? I do this all on my own anyway").

If I don't get to the root of this and solve it, I am legitimately concerned for my daughter's well-being given my wife's temper and the threats she has made.


Thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,467 Posts
Has your wife seen a doctor and been evaluated for PPD or anxiety?

It is not normal to hate your three year old daughter.

It sounds like a major case of depression coupled with what I would guess is exhaustion on her part if she's been effectively a single mom for the most part.

Are you sure she's not just using strong language to try to enforce to you how exhausted and depressed she is? Maybe she feels you can't possibly understand since you were gone for a long time.

She needs to find more balance in her life and figure out a way to do things for herself - her own downtime and hobbies - that will give her time away from the kids. Can you enroll the kids in a preschool or daycare program? Van she get involved in any volunteer activities that will give her the sense of adult interaction and working towards a bigger goal, like she would get from her career?
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
She was screened by our family doctor and area family health nurses for PPD but I won't rule that out.

While I will accept that she is probably angry with me, and likely has some right to be, I'm not sure why she would express that by saying such hurtful things to our daughter and to indicate to me her hatred and violent intent. If she's mad at me, in my mind, why not just be mad at me? I can handle that.

Kids go to daycare already.

Good advice though in getting her more active. I will encourage that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,975 Posts
Wow, what a sad thing to read. I am have two girls, 3 and 7. We made the choice that my wife would stay home to raise them. It was the right financial decision and my wife seemed to like the idea. Like you, I have become the one to blame for her "loosing her life". Its all my fault etc etc. What I don't have is a wife that is hating a child. I do not see how this can be anything close to normal behavior. I'm curious to know if she was excited about having the kids in the first place. Did she not know your career was going to have you away for long periods of time? Two things come to mind. One, some people do not seem to be able to make the sacrifices required to be good parents. Two, society is selling a lie that you can have a two career house and be good parents also.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,408 Posts
Thank you for your service.

It would appear that your wife is tired of the life she is living. Being a mom and being a military wife are each tough enough on their own. Can your or her parents take the girls for a week while she goes on a vacation with some girlfriends?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,394 Posts
She really needs to be evaluated by a professional.

Are these new feelings that developed coinciding with your youngest child?

My own wife suffered from depression starting with our second child. My oldest was 3 at the time my youngest was born and that was an extremely difficult year. My daughters are 11 and 8 now and my wife is an extraordinarily attentive and loving mother ... and they have grown into wonderful girls. I am sure that you being away a lot doesn't help. Obviously, it isn't normal to feel that way about a 3 year old and by the sounds of it, she isn't in her right state of mind and that isn't an unusual situation. Don't read too much into it before you seek counseling.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
45,096 Posts
Your wife need professional help. Her reaction to your 3 year old comes from something within her. The list of what could be wrong is pretty long so a professional evaluation is in order. Sometimes ya gotta go to more than one or two professionals to find one that 'gets it'.

What bothers me is that it sounds like your wife does not understand how critical it is that she handle her problem. This is the sort of inner struggle that often leads to some pretty bad child abuse. She needs to get help before she does something wrong.


Is there a chance that your 3 year old is AD/HD, bi-polar or have some condition that might make her hard to deal with? That's another thing to look at.

There is nothing OK with a parent hating a 3 year old.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
This is a hallmark sign of a BPDer (Borderline Personality Disorder). They "blacken" the oldest child as soon as they start to show any indepenence whatsoever....but there is a lot that goes with that too, so I hope I'm wrong. Look up some of Uptown's posts to learn more about it....

Your wife is doing SERIOUS DAMAGE to your young childs self esteem....please fight the good fight for your little ones...good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,967 Posts
Can you leave your children with a family memember or trusted friend while your wife gets help? please don't ignore that she stated that she hates her. She can be hurting her or get overwhelmed and hurt her.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,625 Posts
Is it possible for you to quit the Navy and find gainful employment in the private sector? I'm sure you have 'X' amount of time commitment before your obligation is up. I would strongly consider it and let your wife have a turn at letting her career take off. I'm not advocating that you become a SAHD, but if you have any skills - like engineering, business, medical, etc - strongly consider moving into the private sector.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,291 Posts
Just another spin on things. Is your daughter very similar to your wife? I ask because when my oldest was around that age we clashed terribly, he and I are very similar people and at times this would rub me the wrong way. I am ashamed of how I felt but when I realised what was going on I changed.

I rarely felt this with my second child, she shone in my eyes at this age as she was so different to me.

This was many years ago and has never been a problem since. Just something to think about. Of course throw in all the challenges you two have with your living and career situations and it is all amplified.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,184 Posts
I was lucky enough to have finished my military service before I married but I saw / see now the extraordinary effort that military families have to put in to keep their marriages strong and their families happy / safe. It is not just the months apart (that add up to years over time) but also the family redeployments and the effects of being in effect a single parent for long periods and then going back to being part of a relationship.

With these pressures, two young children, the potential lost of self esteem over her career it is not surprising that your wife is struggling.

For any parent to openly and repeatedly say that they “Hate” their child is a terrible thing and your wife DOES NEED HELP. I know that the Royal Navy had / has great family support services both informal (the CO’s wife and the ships companies wives helping each other) and Formal (medical / housing officers) are similar available to you? As others have said are there wider family members who could give your wife a break or could the 3 year old spend some time in day care just to let her have even a few hours respite?

IHMO this is the most important thing in your life right now and I am sure that you would not be the first officer to go to his CO and ask for time / resources / information to help your family cope. If you would not feel comfortable going to the CO then how about the Chaplin?

Please do something about this ASAP as it cannot be health for any off your family as things stand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39,568 Posts
Some women just aren't cut out to be nurturers. My mom wasn't. She never played a single game with me. Maybe you could have some talks about how she feels about being a mother. If that is the problem, a solution may be to find the money for a nanny.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,520 Posts
My issue is this: my wife has bluntly declared on several occassions that she hates our older daughter. She's not just venting. She has said such things as "she makes me so mad, I just want to hit her" (several occassions) and my most distressing, received while at sea, "I wish she was gone from my life... that's how much I hate her right now."
Even when you are under a lot of stress, this is not healthy behavior.

One of the questions is whether she verbalizes this to the daughter or whether she blows off steam when she talks to you. It's significantly worse to be saying these sorts of things to her directly. But in either case she needs some kind of help.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
30,607 Posts
I take a great deal of the responsibility for this situation on my shoulders.
Yeah, because taking responsibility for your wife's potentially psychotic reaction to you and her own flesh and blood would really be helpful, yes? Well, no, it wouldn't.

Your wife needs major psychiatric intervention when it is early enough to save your child from danger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
975 Posts
Most comments were on point

1. The husband needs to take some responsibility and find a way of relieving his wife's stress. That is important for not only the marriage but his daughter's well-being. Can you move to somewhere you have a family support system- grandparents to help.

2. The wife could use counseling.

3. Coming here makes sense but this is a serious situation which may require some significant lifestyle changes and discussion.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,571 Posts
Yes, thank you for your service!

This is a huge red flag that warns your daughter is in danger. Not even a little bit is it normal for a mother to wish her 3 year old out of existence, not even on the worst of days.

"I wish she was gone from my life, that's how much I hate her right now."

This is a woman who has no connection to the child, a woman who sees the child as an inconvenience, annoyance and in really bad situations, sees the child as a danger to herself because "she does this stuff on purpose!" This is a woman who doesn't see this little person as a child where it is developmentally appropriate to make noises and messes and have temper tantrums. This is the mind set of mentally ill child abusers, the classic cases that have nothing to do with substance abuse.

Your wife's stress level has nothing to do with this. When you get home, you will likely see your wife blowing each little thing way out of proportion, she'll demand you take sides. She'll sabotage any attempt you make to deal with your daughter because it will either interfere with her time with you or she will see it as you taking the child's side against your wife. This is how the other parent gets brainwashed into looking the other way, minimizing what they know in their hearts is abusive. You will think you're doing the right thing by supporting your wife. Until it's you taking your daughter to the hospital with a separated shoulder, broken clavicle, and a concussion. I've seen this with my own eyes. Or if your wife isn't given to violence, she'll lock the child in a closet or bedroom for a day or two. Do you think your wife is going to admit doing something like that to you? Cause that's normal stuff for mentally ill abusers.

You have to remove this child from your wife's care. Whether you and the kids live somewhere else, or your wife moves out, or you have to send this child to a grandparent for the duration of your next deployment. This is a child in danger. Please take this very seriously.

A 3 year old is the easiest age to deal with. If your wife can't deal with a 3 year old just wait till your daughter terns 13!

Please please keep your daughter safe!

I used to work with kids in foster care and I dealt with the abusive parents. Every single parent I personally dealt with fully blamed the child and never took the slightest responsibility for their own behavior.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
388 Posts
I don't know the reason but this is very strange and your daughter is in danger . I would never let her be alone with the kid for a moment. She is out of her mind but you are not so safety first then work on your wife
Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
171 Posts
Since your wife is voicing her thoughts of hatred, she is either close to acting them out or is already physically abusing your daughter. I think both girls need to be removed from her care until you can be there--whether you send her on a "vacation" or you make arrangements for family to come stay with her (supervision). This needs immediate action.
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top