Mom Worries Her 'Wonderful' Husband Is a Terrible Dad

Can a guy make a great husband but a lousy father? After all, there's not much of a way to tell if a man will make a great dad, unless he already has kids when you meet. Otherwise, you go by how he acts with you. What kind of a boyfriend he is. What kind of a husband. Maybe you get a feeling based on how he acts with his nephews, or random kids in the park. Maybe he's a great furdad, or he always waters his plants. So from there you make the leap -- he'll make a great dad too! So you go ahead and have kids. And then you suddenly realize, wait a second, he actually kind of sucks at this. That's the dilemma this mom of three has.

The mom wrote on Reddit about her husband who is "a good husband and a great provider for his family." She says he is "awesome" and adds:

He talks to me about these wonderful and interesting things that keep us talking to each other for hours. I love this man and I am happy I married him.

Unfortunately, his awesomeness doesn't translate into his parenting skills. He does nothing with the kids, leaving the mom to do "EVERYTHING" (her caps) for them. He's sarcastic with them, but they don't understand sarcasm and just think he's being mean. Examples: "Honey, can you make lunch for the kids?" Him: "F**k them." Child: "Dad can I ... (cant even finish sentence)?" "No. Nothing you have to do is important."

She adds:

Don’t get me wrong, I know my husband loves his children and will gladly take a bullet for them but sometimes I don’t know if his love is unconditional. He has VERY high expectations of them. I often remind him that they aren’t born with knowing how to express their emotions without crying. Or knowing that things are dangerous. Its our jobs as parents to teach them. He yells at them (like getting up in their face yelling) when all he has to do is explain so they can understand. They do not know how to react around him. I am afraid to say that they might fear him. Actually, I know they do. Which is why they don’t like being around him.

Yikes! Lots of people responded, telling the mom that when her kids grow up, they will probably have as little to do with their father as possible. The amount of comments from readers saying this behavior was just like their father or mother, and the repercussions that's had, is heartbreaking.

This mom needs to get therapy for her and her husband. The good news is that since he seems to be genuinely in love with her, he'll probably agree to it. It sounds like he loves the kids (at least she seems to think so), but he just doesn't know how to show it. He probably grew up in a family where sarcasm and unrealistic expectations were the norm. This sounds like learned behavior, and that is something that can only be changed with a lot of work.

Maybe it would help if the children actually told the father how hurt they feel with his comments and attitude. He probably has no idea of the impact his words are having.

The wife should look at her husband's relationship with his parents, especially his father, as that should give her some clues as to where he learned this behavior. Ask her husband how he felt growing up with a dad like that. 

The kids aren't going to just hold this behavior against their dad. They're going to hold it against their mom too -- for allowing it.

Do you have any advice for this mom?


Image via Little Miss Ladybug/Flickr

love, marriage


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nonmember avatar blue

A man who says sand does those things is NOT a good man. He is an abuser!! He sounds interesting and charming, but not good. This is a trait, that I've noticed with abusive men. They have all these "redeeming" qualites, but really they are a smoke screen. I thunk she is being selfish, and neglectful to keep her children around him. She loves him. Well, whoopity freaking do! How about not allowing your children to be around emotional abuse. Putting your children before your fuzzy feelings for a charming asshole, is what you sign up for as a parent. What she is doing by allowing this, is teaching her children how men treat women, and how woman are supposed to be treated. Get out first (I'm not saying instant divorce, I am saying don't let them be around this!) and if therapy proves to change him, then he can have the privilege of being around them. He shouldn't be around them like this.

marsh... marshsmom

If my husband ever talked to our son that way or treated him that way he would be picking himself up off the curb.  I don't care how good of a husband you are, you suck if you treat your kids like that. 

death... deathbylove2006

His ass would of been gone a long time ago.

Craft... CraftyJenna

Divorce. That's abuse. 

JS0512 JS0512

I have a degree in sarcasm (as my father does) and those examples are NOT sarcasm! As others have pointed out they are abusive.

Vegeta Vegeta

Wow sounds like my dad. He does love us though. Full provider but standoffish and aggressive/sarcastic when communicating with us. He's military/police from a military family, some people just don't quite understand that kids aren't mini adults.

Teal Chastain Blacksten

I would be curious to know if he ever wanted kids in the first place, or if they even discussed it before they got married. Was it one of those deals where he didn't want kids, but she convinced him he'd feel different once they had them?

nonmember avatar kaerae

He's not a good man, he's a narcissist. While you find his endless talking fascinating, and he gets off on that, children don't give that kind of feedback. So to him, since they don't find him brilliant and amazing, he has no use for them and belittles them for not worshipping him or doing something he can take credit for or brag about. He wasn't that great a husband either, you just met his needs and the kids don't. If you allow your kids to be treated this way in their own home, you're just as bad a mother as he is a father.

nonmember avatar Laurie

For one thing, there are great books that can open even this husband's eyes to what happens in the mind of a child. "Your Three-Year-Old: Friend or Enemy" by Louise Bates Ames. It's part of a series for every child's age. Amazing book! It would help this woman's husband and anyone who gets frustrated with illogic, which children seem to display often.

jalaz77 jalaz77

First stop having kids with this man and second get a counselor this is NOT normal. We can be sarcastic with our kids and I have cursed at them, feel horribly guilty about that but sarcasm is not what this guy is doing. I loved my husband even more after we had kids, I love how he is with them. We are far from perfect but this is crappy. I would give him 6 months to fix his shit or he is gone.

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