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Husband Undermined Me With Teenage Daughter

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Hello y'all. I would like some advice as to how to very kindly and gently explain this (like an example or an allegory) to my husband.


Several months ago, our daughter committed to doing something and seemed really passionate about it. Rather than saying she did not want to do it any more, she avoided, hid, and lied about it when asked how those plans are going. Well I asked my husband to help her with the plans since I am away on an assignment. Apparently he told her that she needed to do it to get me off HIS back. Um. Wow.


I recovered with our daughter, talked to her about it's okay she changed her mind, about being forthcoming and getting what she wants without deceit, and standing up for yourself. So that's resolved, or appears to be.


As for the undermining, this has rarely come up in the past because I am usually around, and he is foreign with very permissive parents. I don't think he understands the concept. Can anyone help me out with an easy way to explain it to him?


All the best...

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welcome to enotalone.


I am not a parent, but I can try to offer my viewpoint. I would gently talk to your husband and tell him that you think it's important that you two are "a team" and present a "united front" for your children. You don't want your daughter to get the impression that "if mom says no, ask dad and he will say yes" or vice versa.


For example, what if she asked dad if she could go and do x, y, or z, and he said no. And then 30 minutes later, she comes and asks you, and you say yes and give her a ride. Now you and your husband will be mad at each other because your daughter was sneaky. So maybe in advance you two should have some sort of "policy" worked out.


good luck


PS - I reread your post, it seemed like your husband was encouraging her to do this project also, but for a different reason! have you tried working on being more receptive to what your husband and daughter are thinking? Do you have the lines of communication open, or are you harsh and judgemental when they do something you do not like?

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I can give you one piece of general advice.


It is as well to try to ensure that both of you agree about issues rather than trying to get one parent to enforce what the other has decided unilaterally.


That is not always practicable but it is something that should be the norm rather than the exception.

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somebloke - I guess it would be akin to saying, "I don't care if you do it or not but your mother wants you to." It's an abdication of parenting responsibility (mom is boss not "us" or "me") and divisive (I'm the good guy here, big bad wolf over there).


Anyhow annie24, a few times I have been known to be intransigent, so you have a good point there. The ducking and dodging were probably a response to that. I think that part is worked out for the time being... I made it safe to chat and we both came out happy with the results. Now just have to talk with hubby so we can try to avoid this type of thing in the future.


Thank you both for your responses!





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yeah, I have that sort of relationship with my mother (still!). She is very strict and not very open to other viewpoints. She is very conservative. I keep a lot of my life hidden from her, but not her sisters (my aunts) for example. I don't tell my mom a lot of things because I don't think she will react well, so I don't bother telling her. Whereas if I feel a family member will listen to what I am thinking and have to say and won't react harshly, I will talk to them.


I guess the best bet would be to make your daughter feel like you are a "safe person to talk to". And you can be this safe person, and still encourage her to follow through on her committments.

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As a followup, so y'all know that the advice received here had a DIRECT POSITIVE impact on my relationship:


Last night I had a really great conversation with my husband about undermining and also made sure to reinforce that I want and NEED his input and don't want to be making unilateral decisions and shoving them down his throat It was really positive and I'm pretty sure we both left the conversation feeling lovey-dovey.


Oh and guess what? Daughter did make her arrangements after all, guess she was just procrastinating. But I still got points for the convo in the end



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