Tag Archives: husband

A sense of relief

As you probably know, we don’t usually post at the weekends, but we’ve had a special request from someone who wishes to write anonymously, but wants to link up to The Weekly Adoption Shout Out #WASO.

Things with my kids – challenges I mean, go up and down. But for the most part, they’ve been OK recently.
Things with my husband, well, now that’s a different story.

We’ve been happily married for a number of years, and we rarely argue, but that means that 100_2010when we do, it’s quite explosive because it’s the result of pent up feelings and emotions. All those little niggles get stored up, neatly deposited in a special box, waiting for the right moment to grow and change into ugly, spiteful, wretched negatives, ready to spew forth with vitriol.

That happened recently. And in front of our children I’m ashamed to say. Over something minor, but it turned into a huge horrid display, hours passing by with me and the children wondering if he was going to leave – which is what he’d promised.

No amount of pitiful begging from the children could make him agree to stay.
No amount of pitiful begging from me could make him agree to stay.
Almost a whole day was spent with us wondering (and not in a therapeutic Dan Hughes kinda way) whilst he made up his mind.

He stayed in the end. I’m not really sure why. I tried to talk to him, but he’s very much a closed book is my husband. He is difficult to read, even by me. He has difficulty verbalising his feelings – in fact, he’d say he doesn’t have any strong feelings about anything. That’s hard for me to live with, and hard for me to say, because now I’ve acknowledged it haven’t I?

Whenever we do argue, it always begins over one of the children, or our parenting, or his parenting, or how his work affects the children…always connected to the children. He says he’s a crap dad, that he can never parent them properly. He thinks he’s incapable of being therapeutic, and yes, I can see it’s hard for him because he lacks empathy. But, however he parents, the children love him and so do I. (And whether he says or shows it, I do know that he loves us all too).

When he said he was staying, it should have felt like a sense of relief.
He said he was staying, but it felt like there should have been a little bit more to the sentence. “This time” – that’s what’s missing, and that’s what has played on my mind ever since. What about “next time”?.

Will I have to choose between them?

Today’s problem comes from adoptive mum Rachel, who is worried about the way her husband is parenting their son…if you have any advice, or have been through something similar, please do share your experiences too.

ProblemI’m really struggling with my husband at the moment. He knows about attachment, he knows about therapeutic parenting, he knows our son’s background, and he knows that our son is very good at identifying and pushing buttons, but…he just can’t put it into practise.

We’ve been a family, him, me and our son for 5 years. We’re not new adopters, and I’ve been on many courses and fed back to my husband (unfortunately he just can’t get the time off to attend himself), he’s come to therapy when he can, and he’s even read and watched Dan Hughes (isn’t YouTube great?!).

He just can’t implement it. I really struggle to see him getting so cross at our son – shouting sometimes, sending him to his room, physically removing our son from situations, rather than moving himself into another room. It undoes all the hard work that I put in. It scares our son.

I’m worried that we’ll soon be at the point where I have to choose between them. Losing his father will be traumatic for our son, but surely this behaviour is just as damaging?

To my wife…

Today’s post is written by an adoptive father, who wishes to remain anonymous.

My wife does it all really.
I go to work each day. I come home, eat dinner, bath the kids and put them to bed, and carry on like this day after day. At weekends I get a glimpse of how my children interact with each other and their mother. I get to see some of the behaviour that wears my wife down each day, the booksstruggles that mean she’s asleep by 9 on the sofa, and the abuse that is hurled at her and makes her weep into her Chablis in the evenings.

My wife, she’s the one who reads the books, researches online, joins in message boards and forums, uses twitter for support, she’s also the one who goes on the courses run by our local authority. She knows, and she learns and she feeds back to me, and I struggle to comprehend it all, not because I don’t want to, but because it’s so bloody hard to accept that these little people have endured so much already in their short lives, and it’s doubly hard to accept that adults – people in charge – subjected MY children to such crap beginnings.

I have the utmost respect for single adoptive parents – doing it themselves, without someone to tag in the evenings when it’s been too much.
But mostly, I have respect for my wife. I have my own demons that I’ve had to overcome, but she, well, she had all those physical investigations during fertility treatment. She fought to get us into the adoption process – it wasn’t an easy ride. She put her all into learning, reflection and supporting me through the self-examination involved. And she parents our children to the best of her abilities.

She is my rock, and my love, and despite the hell our kids put her through, she is the best mother for those kids. She’ll be reading this, and I hope it helps her realise (and all the other parents out there) that although many days are shit, she is appreciated, loved and needed.

Making time for us

I’m an adoptive dad and have been happily married to my wife for 12 years. Our first child was placed 6 years ago, and then our second (a half sibling) came along 2.5 years ago.

The first few years weren’t too bad. My in-laws helped out with occasional baby sitting, and even the odd over-night stay, but only after we felt that our son was secure enough to handle it. But then when our second child came along, my wife felt unable to leave our new son with anyone…understandably for the first little while, but still (he’s at nursery part-time), she finds it hard to leave him with anyone except those nursery staff and even then I know she only does it because she feels he needs that social time with other children.

This has had an impact on our own relationship, and we barely have any time to ourselves…obviously the evenings once the children are in bed, but beyond that, we don’t go out together as a couple anymore.

My wife changes the subject when I try to talk to her, and I’m really worried that there’s not much ‘us’ left anymore. Without making time for our relationship, I’m not sure it’ll carry on. How can I make her see that we need time too?

night out

Have you got any advice for this anonymous dad? Do comment below if you have. And if you’d like to share a problem, either anonymously or not, please do email us at theadoptionsocial@gmail.com

A Wife’s Frustrations

My husband and I chose to adopt together.

We were assessed together, approved together, celebrated together.

We’ve had ups and downs since our child was placed. All sorts of changes have happened in our lives, and our life together. All sorts happened before our child was placed, but we were stronger together than alone and we stood strong. Now I feel like we’re less together than we were. And I was so unprepared for these feelings of loneliness, more than that actually, because there’s also frustration and annoyance.

In the darkest times, I want to walk away, or for him to walk away. Sometimes it feels like life would be simpler without him around.

My husband is a good man. He loves me and I love him. He adores our children, but finds our young son hard to parent. He struggles with being therapeutic. He is not, and never has been an angry man. My husband was always laid back and it frustrated our assessing social worker at times. But son knows what buttons to press, and gradually over the years, husband has become older, more tired, less accepting and more easily frustrated.

We have learnt the hard way that our parenting needs to be different to that of our parents. (Click to tweet)

Trauma picks holes in traditional parenting. Discipline gets kicked to the wayside by trauma. Trauma takes over everything. It leaks out of the pores of our children, and like a silent mist, it hangs all around us, and settles on our skin, and seeps in, deep within.

It feeds on our own insecurities and anxieties, and sucks away our confidence not only as parents, but people.

Now we are trying to repair and heal. We cannot fix our son’s trauma, but we can learn how better to cope with it’s presence in our lives.Cropped candle smoking

I get easily frustrated with my husband’s difficulty in accepting this trauma. I find it hard to accept my husband’s inability to change his parenting style. He tries, I know he does. But he needs to try harder before our son is lost to a path too narrow for us to rescue him from together. I try to support him, but frustration takes over.

In those moments I want to blow out the candle that is our relationship and do it on my own.

We’ll get through this I know we will. But I wonder if there will be enough of us left at the end to keep us going together after our son has flown the nest…

Many thanks to our first anonymous contributor for this post.