How do I protect my 5 year old?

I do want to cry right now out of frustration, but my main issue that I feel unable to resolve is my childish husbands rollercoaster of an attitude with my daughter.  A little background, he has two children from a previous marriage he is unable to have consistent contact with and hasn't seen in over a year.  Me and my daughter have moved to Australia with him and now are expecting another child due in a month. 

This evening my baby made an insensitive comment and while it was something she needed to apologize for and understand why it was wrong to say, his over the top reaction to a child saying something childish and letting his anger last for hours is really hurting my heart for her.  He said such things as she needs to go back to her dad and he needs to start paying for her, he has two children in America and he wont stand being around someone that disrespects him... ect.  A while later he asks my daughter if she loves him.  It takes her awhile to answer and when she does she says no, oh goodness this sets him off again and he amps it up to "she hates me, that's it I'll have nothing to do with her" then about 5 minutes after that she gives him a hug and says she was just messing with him, and he's sweetness and light, like none of his ugliness ever happened... like he had forgotten just how "done" with her he was, and he's making all these plans with her to do fun things on the weekend.  Then not 10 minutes later we're watching a movie, he gets up and says goodnight, goes into the bedroom and closes the door. comes back out a minute later to turn the movie off no one was really watching and Cheyenne makes the innocent comment that now he can go back to bed, (I knew where she was coming from and it was not an impertinent comment, it's how she expresses herself and she was in her mind being nice) well he took that and ran with it repeating all his rants from before, and adding in new ones about not having some 5 year old tell him when to go to bed, and how he's not supporting someone who hates him. blah blah.   I'm a little dumbfounded, 1 he had just said goodnight and made like he was going to bed.  2 Cheyenne and he JUST had a little moment or so I thought where she said I do love you and he was telling her how great she was. 

His anger and inability to show self control in the middle of the silliness of children make me fear for my daughter to be around him alone.  My stomach is actually a little knotted up right now.  Yes she will run to him after his tantrum and hug him, she's a child she forgives easily and even when she makes a mistake, there's really no malice in her.  But I'm older, I see the wishy washy way he deals with her and even when she's running to him to play and things seem okay.  I am all tight inside wanting to keep her close to me and safe. 

Any problem he has is always boiled down to it being my daughters fault for making him feel or think or do one thing or another.  She repeated something she heard me and his father say about Tim acting childish and she bursts in the room and blurted out what we had said.  Now I can't get too mad at a child repeating what they hear an adult say, I feel I have to take responsibility first.  Tim on the other hand berated, shouted and went really overboard with his angry outburst to the point of coming home today slamming things, knocking over stuff and just overall letting everyone know he is upset.  Over what she said last night.   I don't subscribe to the view that you hold grudges over children.

I just really want to cry, because later once he's calmed down he'll be so open to understanding and apologetic and admitting to his over reaction.  Then later, whenever he feels he's been slighted by my child he'll fly into another tantrum. 

And as a side note, he has really idolized or put on a pedestal his two children he can't see right now, and to a large extent I can understand, it's gotta be hard being away from your blood like that.  But what he does that I don't like at all is think that any mischievous or misunderstood, less than pristine behavior from my daughter is 1 a personal affront to him and maliciously meant to undermine him  or 2 some foreign behavior that his children would never display.  they'd never talk back they'd never have to have something repeated a few times before they do as they're told... and that constant comparing tears my heart up to have my daughter subjected to that stupidity.  I just don't know what to do. 


I've said this before... you in another post where you mentioned this dynamic...

Your husband's behaviour towards your daughter is abusive. You should not be allowing this.

"He said such things as she needs to go back to her dad and he needs to start paying for her, he has two children in America and he wont stand being around someone that disrespects him..."

Your daughter is 5!!!! She is a little girl who needs to feel secure. I can't believe you would live with a man who makes those comments to your daughter. Sorry if this seems harsh- but your first obligation is to your child, who needs your love and protection. Your husband sounds like an absolute ass. Sorry- but my blood is boiling for your child.

"Any problem he has is always boiled down to it being my daughters fault for making him feel or think or do one thing or another."

Again- Your daughter is 5!!!! Your husband needs some serious help. If he is unwilling to change, you should consider that living with him will have a longterm negative impact on your daughter- practically guaranteed.


I agree. No matter what

I agree. No matter what diagnosis your husband has the emotional abuse has to stop. You have to tell him in no unclear terms that there is absolute zero tolerance for that kind of behaviour with your child. And you have to stick with it. I think when the situation arises you should immediately pull him aside and tell him to stop. If he wants to discuss it the time and the place is when your girl is not there. If he says or does something nasty, be sure to defend your girl always and always in front of her. If he will not stop, then he can't be near the child.

This kind of stuff can be really scary and hurtful to a 5-year-old. Lord knows it's difficult even for an adult.

All the best. Very often my husband does not understand when he has been cruel or acted in an inappropriate way. Do not expect him to understand and then stop the behaviour - that might never happen. Tell him that even if he has no idea why, he must still stop it.

I'm just rereading your

I'm just rereading your comment, and you know what I do defend and stick up for my daughter in front of her so she know's mommy is always in her corner.  Even when she is deserving some discipline, I will take care of it when he has left the area because he is so invested in getting his gripe and point across that he will talk over, belittle and sarcastically respond to every thing she says.  So here's the result.  Now he thinks we gang up on him and there's an us vs. him dynamic in the home... which interestingly it is kindof when he's raging against us and we have to make a protective mommy daughter "bubble" so to speak...  and he doesn't think I do anything about her naughty behavior because I wait till he leaves most times, and because she'll do the same thing or make the same mistake again.

My response is more than a little exasperated because he's darn near 30 and making the same errors and bad choices over and over, so what's his excuse? and why is he expecting more of a 5 year old?  Sadly though, because Cheyenne is so smart she sees what's happening around her and sometimes tries to play us one against the other,  She is very playful and does stuff just to get under his skin, I think it's because he's soooo touchy about so much she is fascinated with testing her boundaries...


Dear Tigerfly,

My dearest Tigerfly,I know what you are going through with your daughter and your husband,I have that same problem where my husband would throw these silly accusations and wrong comments at my 9 year old when all my daughter is looking for is LOVE.He too would say that my daughter's father should step up and take care of his child and he too has 2 kids living in America,that he did not see for three years now,I feel sorry for my husband too but that fault does not belong to me or you that they are not with there children.For whatever the reasons they should man up and take care of there kids be there for them and stop putting the guilty conscious on us women for their wrong actions and taking these actions and trowing tantrums on our kids.

I had my husband home at my house living for 6 months,and let me tell you it was the most hardest time of my life where I had to have my eyes ears and head open to what was going down in my house with my husband and my daughter.He would pass her straight,he would not talk to her as much and when he did he made horrible remarks like for example:she has an eating disorder and so on and that was never true,Instead helping me with her or advising me me pass bad and rude comments like "where is her dad","why is he not financially contributing" when he himself was not contributing for his own food and bills when he was staying at my house.I did EVERYTHING FOR 6 MONTHS.What an asshole!!!!!! it was hard,,,,,very very very hard,,,,I am just like you in the same issues maybe a diffrent way b/c I don't live with him again....HORRAY!!!!! THANK THE ALMIGHTY!!!! I could never ever ever live with a man that is abusing my child,never......I could see where this has affected her in many ways and you need to do what is best for your daughter right away....Now my daughter is happy and refresh that he is not living with us.

Now,,,presently he rents about 5 mins away from me and I would go and spend time there with him and I keep my kids away from him.I am protecting them from the stranger I marry...I say stranger b/c that is who he has become,He is not the same man I thought he was.How long would this last? not long I have no intentions of living a separate life from my spouse for too long and my marriage is hanging my a tin thread and I have no choice but to walk away some day....

I am very sorry WE are going through this but if it is OUR spouses can't respect our kids from a previous relationship or marriage then that is a big problem in general,life would continue to be very dysfunctional with that person and it breaks my heart to leave him one day but what choice do I have if he agrees one day to get better and take treatment and change, then NEVER does nothing about it!

It's a waste of freaking time!!!!!

I hope that you and your daughter find that peace and happiness you deserve,take care of her and yourself.


I think I will echo the

I think I will echo the others when I say the emotional and verbal abuse to your daughter has to stop.  I tolerated a lot of behaviors and rants from my husband due to his ADD, but absolutely won't tolerate those behaviors towards to my children.  We have two children together who are both ADD as well.  Our son who is now 17 has been raised by my husband since he was 3 (my son's biological father died when he was 17 months old) and our daughter is 13.  

If I choose to tolerate certain behaviors and tantrums that was one thing, but I would never allow him to do that to our children.  ADD or not, abuse of any sort to the children isn't acceptable.

I would recommend a serious talk with your husband about what you consider unacceptable behavior with the children and take a stand.  Maybe you could recommend some counseling for him, couples counseling, anger management, etc... to get the help your husband needs. 

He may have issues that are causing this behavior and that is understandable.  However, if he doesn't learn to control this behavior how is this going to affect your daughter and your future child?

I hope this situation can be resolved and keep your family intact.  I can handle a lot of things but someone abusing one of my children, father or not, isn't one of them.


Thank You Everyone!

Seriously, I know I haven't responded yet but thank you everybody.  Your comments were so helpful and gave me the confidence to get a counselor to talk it out with, find out what social services are available to me if things don't get better, and even a partial restraining order if I need it. 

Since Sunday it's been one argument after another and when we finally did have a serious conversation Wednesday night he was blaming and justifying his behavior all on Cheyenne.  If she were not this I wouldn't have to be that kind of excuse.  I let him know in no uncertain terms that his behavior was absolutely unacceptable, and I tried logic, I tried to appeal to his sense of right and wrong.  I mean she's 5! still learning and a lot of the things she says is just her way of figuring things out... may not always come out in the most tactful way and she does need lots of nurturing and instruction, but "what's your excuse?" was my question for him.  He's near 30 and acting as childish or more so than she does.  (calling her buckteeth as she passes, because she sucks her thumb)

I think I mentioned this episode where he was so over the top pissed that she called him a child.  I took responsibility thinking she had repeated what she heard me say before.  Well in our hash it out convo Wed, he told me exactly what she said.  "Im not talking to you, you're a child.  I'm talking to Grampa Jeff"  Now when he told me that I actually laughed.  If only you guys were flies on the wall and could hear that he says this to her at least 30 times a week or more, not a day goes by I don't think where he has not said this.  So to not recognize your own words being played back to you by a child and to get sooooo mad is absolutely ridiculous to me.  Kid's are going to repeat phrases they hear all the time and how is she to know it's not a normal acceptable phrase? She hears it daily. 

Anyway, I'm not a crier but I got pretty emotional as I told him that I can handle most anything, I grew up with an emotionally abusive dad.  I know how to cope, but no way in hell am I going to expose my daughter to this madness.  I will make decisive steps if he does not make serious changes. 

He's in the apologetic cycle of his rages so we will see how long it lasts.  I must admit though knowing when enough is enough is hard.  I don't want to break up the family, but at what point do I get off the marry go round cycle?  does that make sense?  After every rage comes the seemingly sincere apologies and he was so emphatic that this was the deepest conversation we've ever had and it meant so much to have me express myself this way and he really "sees" now where he's gone wrong and wants to make it better and be a better husband and father... blah blah S.S.D.D (same shit different day).   I can't believe how bitter and unforgiving I am so soon,  we just got married this past January!  Already I am so done, I don't want him touching me I could care less about the "I love you's"  actually I think I have a mental eye roll every time he says it to Cheyenne.  I think, yeah you love her... till you don't. 

But when it's all said n done just know ladies,  I am paying close attention to his issues and her reaction or the effect it's having on her.  The minute I feel we're getting to the danger zone of her personality and emotional stability changing, I will make swift moves. 

xx Thanks for the advice...


yes take the requried steps needed,,,

yes it is very important that you look at the situation in front of you,,keep that up and take the steps to keep your daughter safe,we can replace any man in the world but we can't replace our children and they are looking up to us for protection.One of the reasons why I don't live with my controlling,childish husband.....