Preferential Husband~Advice

20 Feb

Dear I Am Not Defined,

How do I tell my husband that I’m on the verge of asking for a divorce because of the way he treats the kids? He’s not violent but his attitude is atrocious. He lectures the eldest while the youngest gets away with everything. Nothing my older son does is good enough, and it’s causing him to be depressed to the point he’s said he’s wished he were dead.

 -Preferential Husband

Dear Preferential Husband,

It must be so difficult to deal with your husband when he makes your kids feel like this. Have you tried talking to him about the negative impact it has on your children? I grew up with parents that treat my youngest sibling like he can do no wrong, and it really affected how I looked at the world as a child and even now as an adult.

Do you have any idea why he is so hard on your oldest child? Is he trying to get him to strive for more, and just approaching it the wrong way? Or does he really feel like your kid just doesn’t do anything right or well? Is he easier on your youngest for being the baby of the family? Or is he truly just preferential? I would try talking to him about his reasoning behind how he treats the children. If you feel like you can’t get through to him, or just need help, look into counseling. Maybe you need someone on the outside to help you both asses where you are at, and how you feel about things. No matter what, I would seek help for your oldest. Suicide is not a joke and should be taken seriously.

If he doesn’t have any good answers, or you have already tried talking to him or simply feel like you can’t, maybe you should get the divorce. Just be sure that this is really what you want, and that this is really what is best for you and your family. Before you suggest a divorce I would make sure that you have things in order. Divorces can get ugly and I would hate for you and your children to fall on hard times because you’re trying to get away from a bad situation. Do you have family or friends that you can lean on? Look to your support system for help, and maybe even talk to the people you trust the most before you decide to go through with this, and if you do, talk to them about what you should do next.

There is no happy way to go about a divorce. It is the end of something that was promised for life, but if it truly is a bad situation, you need to get out of it. If you feel that you can discuss a divorce safely with your husband, you should. Approach the situation calmly and rationally. Don’t be insulting, be honest, and don’t hash out things that don’t matter. It’s not a good time to accuse each other of wrong doing, it is simply a time to admit that you can’t do it anymore, and to find the best way to get out of it amicably.

I hope that you can find a good way to deal with your situation, whether it comes down to some deep conversation or divorce. I also hope that you will find someone for your oldest child to talk to. It can be so hard growing up, and feeling like you can do no right in your parents eyes. Get them some help before this situation gets worse. You should also take the time to let your oldest know what an amazing person you think that they are. Make sure to be encouraging and to remind them how much you love them, and commend them when they do well, so they don’t feel like their accomplishment’s go unnoticed. In the end you know what is right for you and your family, and I hope that good things will grow from this situation.

-I Am Not Defined

Authors Note:

Suicide is never the answer. It is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, and will not solve anything. If you or someone you know has had, or are having suicidal thoughts, I encourage you to find someone to talk to. Seek help. You are loved and unique, and the world needs you here. If you don’t think anyone cares, I do. I think the world is made of beautiful, unique, amazing people, and it would be a tragedy to lose anyone to such an unfortunate end.

International Suicide Prevention

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25 Responses to “Preferential Husband~Advice”

  1. expatprincess February 22, 2012 at 12:59 am #

    Where is the love? Is there any? It is a good starting point, to be followed by family counseling, as suggested by the many good readers above, and let the healing begin. With love all things are possible.

  2. sporepigfish February 22, 2012 at 5:18 am #

    I thought it was mostly a Chinese situation that parents blame on the eldest and unleash the youngest. But apparently it is universal. I agree with the author that divorce might not be the best solution yet, before trying in hard communication.

  3. ktbme February 22, 2012 at 10:27 am #

    I was in a similar situation growing up. My younger sister could do no wrong while I was nothing more than a failure. My father constantly on me about every little thing I did. My sister was a gem and even when she was bad got off scott free. She went on to become a valedictorian and I did well with just an A/B average. She went to a great school and I went to a state school. I worked my whole life and she never lifted a finger. Still I never felt like I was good enough and it did drive me to depression. It took a lot of time and effort on my part to realize that my sister even though she seemed like she had it all together, really was not all together. She did well in life but really just ended up getting married and that degree from her great college went to waste (marriage is not a waste, but the hopes my parents had for her were much higher than to pay for her great school and then for her just to become a housewife.)

    I learned work ethic and I learned how to strive for things. There was resentment for a long time, but the only reason my father was so hard on me was because he knew I could handle it. I became stronger for it. The eldest might not be able to handle it now, but in the end he will be better off. He will not have the silver patter syndrome and will end up being the more successful of the two because when his boss comes to criticize him or blame him for something he will take it in stride and will not mouth off. It is a life lesson we all learn. You might hate it now and think that what your husband is doing is abuse (I mean unless your husband is literally physically beating the living shit out of your kid,) I and the others around me who have swapped similar stories have found we ended up much better off because of our “harsher” upbringings as opposed to out siblings who had it “easy.” Do I agree with it, no. Would I change it possibly. Again I am not saying your husband is right, I am just saying this is a very similar situation to my up bringing.

    Leaving your husband will only make the eldest feel like the divorce was his fault, thus causing more pain, and possibly pushing him over the edge. I learned these things after we all got older and sat down and talked about it. It took some counseling, which I recommend. Not all families are happy families all the time. Once it was explained to me, things were a bit clearer, and the rain was gone. Sometimes easy is not the best road. I also think it was not the best of upbringings. Just sit down and talk as a family the three of you and leave the younger one out of it.

  4. maryam43 February 23, 2012 at 3:14 pm #


  5. startraci February 26, 2012 at 10:28 am #

    What a tough situation. I hope that she and her husband are able to find the source of the problem as it is clearly bad for both children. Even if she decides divorce is the answer, it seems that counseling should still continue as this problem would exist even with the parents separated and the mother won’t be there to intervene.

    My best to them,

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