Pre-teen Daughter vs. My Husband

I have a 12 yr old daughter from previous marriage. I have been remarried for 2 years, having been with my current husband for 7 years total. My ex is in our lives daily, so my husband does not need to be my daughter's dad. My ex and I decide our daughter's major decisions and punishments.

My current husband and my exes current wife are there to offer minor discipline, love, etc, but they don't have as much say over our daughter. Now, my daughter is very good, so far, but lately we are caught off guard with some eye rolling, foot stomping, loud sighing, etc. She isn't very mouthy or sassy...yet.

I have always approached her patiently and try to be very understanding and nurturing. Her dad is very impatient and just starts shouting and never listens. Her step mom is similar.

I don't normally let her step dad have much say. I take his thoughts, opinions and feelings into consideration, but he is not her disciplinarian.

Lately, I have been getting frustrated with her behavior and needing my own "time out" to calm down and figure out the best approach. Last night, while I was napping, my husband went in to my daughter's room and told her she should probably get off the phone soon and think about our argument from earlier.

She said okay. Kind of in one ear and out the other. He went back in a bit later because she was still on phone (during her allowed phone time) and told her she needed to get off the phone and she rolled her eyes at him and said FINE!

This totally pissed him off. He then told her to give him the phone and remote and shut her TV off and took them.

She was already emotionally drained and upset from our argument. Now she was even more frustrated. She was crying and stomping around and it woke me up.

Once I found out what had happened, I was immediately furious. My husband had no right to do anything he did or said. The argument was between my daughter and I. He had no right to take away her phone privileges or TV.

I tried explaining to him how this appears to a 12 year old girl.
She is thinking, if my mom is OK with me on the phone, why aren't you? Plus it caught her off guard. I would've rolled my eyes too. I tried explaining to him that I was totally put in the middle of something and it wasn't fair of him. I have to stand behind his decision, because I don't want my daughter thinking she doesn't have to listen to him, but at the same time, I totally didn't agree with him.

He has little patience and feels all children MUST give respect to adults. I do not expect anything of my child if I can't do it myself. Obviously, we adults couldn't control our frustration, so how should a 12 year old be expected too?

I chose to leave the earlier argument and told her we would discuss it later. He chose to get involved in it, while I was unaware, escalating it.

I am LIVID with him, for putting me in this position. I want my daughter to listen to him, without getting an attitude, but I didn't agree with what he said to her. He had no right to say anything to her or take anything away from her.

He rolls his eyes or sighs when he doesn't like something, so how can he expect my daughter to be more mature then "we" adults are?

So, now he doesn't feel like I support him, but my daughter will always come first and unfortunately, she is my responsibility...not his.

I don't want to be selfish, but I don't know where to draw his limits. I want both of them to be comfortable, happy and loved...but I can't be stuck in the middle. My daughter is very loving and agreeable, so we don't have much discord.

My husband gets on these kicks, where we are the adults, children must do what they are told thing. He needs to understand they learn from watching us, not from what we tell them.

I don't expect my daughter to respect him, if he doesn't respect her. He must understand her feelings, or attempt to understand where her behavior and actions come from. My husband and ex think I'm too lenient.

You know what...I choose my battles. I don't sweat the small stuff. I don't want to control every aspect of her life, I want to nurture her, love her and communicate with her. I don't want to be shut out. I don't want to cause a rift between any of us.

I feel really angry and want to alienate my husband. I won't deny that I tend to get very defensive where my daughter is concerned, but I try to keep it in check and remain fair. HELP!

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Nov 04, 2015
The idea NEW
by: Anonymous

The idea is to focus on facts and try and define a baseline problem to share.
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Aug 29, 2010
the facts
by: Anonymous

That 12 year old woman is a shit. You are supporting her because you are also a woman aka mother. That guy cannot sleep because of the nasty phone sounds from your daughter and tv. Hence he is more patient, comparatively to some men. If he leaves your house, it will be good for him only and his future. You're going to get a whole crap of bullshit from daughter. Good Luck to you BOTH.

Aug 27, 2010
My response that helped in my house
by: Anonymous

I went through this several times in my family. I am remarried and my ex in still in our lives. I am the more patient parent and my ex does not listen that well.

My husband is much more of an understanding person and is very good with kids. However, I have always been very defensive for my children and they have always come first "before any man."

My husband too, can give me his input or advise but he does not play a big role in disciplining my daughters from my previous marriage.

With all of that being said, my preteen basically decided the level of respect she would give my husband from the beginning - which was not much. Don?t get me wrong, she is a good girl and hardly ever gives us any problems but we have had he "preteen hormonal attitude" lately.

I finally realized that she would show him more respect if she knew that I expected it from her. I told her that I apologized for allowing her to think that she didn?t have to respect him because mama always was on her side. I told her that I love her and nothing would change that but her attitude and thought process towards her step-dad, my husband, must change.

Once she realized that I was no longer going to jump to her defense and that my husband and I would respect each others opinions and remember are the adults and they are the kids, things changed. Now she has really started showing respect for him and also seems to see us "all" as family more than she did before.

We have to teach our children to respect adults no matter if it is there real parent or not. It doesn?t mean that they love their real parent less, it just means they have respect for adults. Once that is accomplished inside the house, you can be assured it will also happen outside the house too (like to teachers at school).

Feb 13, 2010
You are treating your husband like crap!!
by: Anonymous

Sounds like your husband was probably just ready for bed and wanted her to get quiet and off the phone for the night. If I'm tired I tell my daughter to call it a night and get off the phone so I can get some sleep. I don't blame him a bit. It's his house as much as yours and if what she is doing is affecting him, he has a right to do something about it. You said you need a break sometimes and it sounds like you were taking one. If you didn't like what was happening, you should have got up and done something about it. Sounds like you were asleep and your husband was not, so he was probably having trouble sleeping because of your daughter on her phone and her TV.

THINK about it. HONESTLY if it was you she was keeping up you wouldn't think twice about telling her to go to sleep. It's ridiculous to think that he is going to live with you and your daughter and never have any authority over her. She will never respect him, and you do want her to don't you? Or maybe you don't.

If you always step on your husband's toes and never take his side, you are gonna have a rude awakening when she gets 14,15,16,17 years old because it is going to get really ugly for your entire family.

Good luck with your problem, but I think if you open your eyes you will see you are a HUGE part of it.

Nov 20, 2009
Wow Its LIke Deja Vu
by: Bridget

You sound like a very good mother. Do you know whether or not your daughter likes your husband. I am thirteen years old and my parents are divorced. My dad had a girlfriend who he was engaged to. She used to wait until my dad went shopping, took a nap, or his attention was somewhere else. Then it would all start.

Now the first few months after I met her, she was the NICEST woman in the world. I thought I was so lucky for my dad to have found someone so wonderful. Then, she moved in, and slowly but surely, she got worse and worse. I didn't want to tell my dad because I was afraid he wouldn't believe me. But, when she started screaming at my brother and I and started to elbow us and step on our feet and PHYSICALLY HURT US, I started to tell my dad.

My dad was upset because he "loved her" *GAG* and I was just exaggerating. I was so upset and so was my dad. My dad got more and more upset over the months. That's when she saw her opportunity (when me and my dad were fighting already) to make her move... she started to punish me and my brother for CRAZY things that we didn't do.

Then, about three weeks ago it (meaning my dad's girlfriend) thought my dad had left and started screaming at us about how we were "snot nosed brats + retards + 'Im gonna tell your dad you swore at me." Well, it turns he DIDN'T leave yet.

You. Should. Have. Seen. The. Fireworks. My dad was all like "Jennifer, I'd like to talk to you... NOW!"

Here I am three weeks later and she's somewhere out there rotting in a hole. No more evil ALMOST stepmother for me. Now, this may not be happening to you, but talk to your DAUGHTER about it. NOT YOUR HUSBAND. Well at least talk to her before him. Listen to what she has to say. I know it may be hard, or easy, but you HAVE to listen to her. I just know how it feels.

Good Luck!

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