What can you do when your partner ostensibly prefers one of your children?
The person who sent me the email did not want me to disclose her identity nor her location, so let me call her Denise.
Denise has shared with me that she has more and more arguments with her husband over the fact that he favors his son and neglects his daughter. The two kids are one year apart.
First, thank you so much for the trust you place in me in sharing this. I would like you to know how much I appreciate that you are not giving up on your husband, it takes great love and courage, and it shows a strong sense of commitment from you.
I hope that what follows will be able to help you efficiently.
Of course the relationship is affected primarily because one partner is aware and the other is not.
All children’s self-images are distorted, with self-esteem issues down the road.
What is important to understand is that a parent favoring one child over the other is nothing but the projection of a personal movie aimed to repair an old issue that has nothing to do with your current children.
In other words, the parent at stake is trying subconsciously to repair his/her own story via his own children.
No one but that parent can change or fix that.
The partner though, is the only one who can help achieve that goal.
I can understand how devastating it can be to witness this unfairness day after day. And it is legitimate to want to speak up, and compensate with the neglected child.
However, this is not going to solve anything. In fact it will make things worse:
- It splits the family in two with one parent with his own child.
- Unconditional love is nowhere in sight in any relationship within the family.
- Your partner needs help but has no awareness about it, and he will blame you.
- Soon your home will be a war zone, and EVERYBODY will need help.
What can be done before you reach that terrible stage is what follows. It is not an easy road, yet it is the only road that will not lead to suffering in the long run.
As always start with yourself: the easiest task because it depends on you, and only you.
Check what type of emotions this situation triggers and use EFT to bring each of these emotions down to 0. You will then reach the necessary neutral position that allows you to do something efficient. You may wonder how you can ever be neutral about something so serious. The neutral position I am talking about here is the state where your emotions are under control so you keep your mental clarity to focus on your goal, your goal being that this situation stops.
Help the neglected child: the second easiest task because the neglected child is in demand of love and affection
Your child must understand that the parent’s attitude has nothing to do with him or her being lovable. Saying it will never be enough. Teach EFT to your child, and do EFT with him/her every day as much as you can. So you limit the build up of anger, sadness, resentment, jealousy this poor kid must feel. When the emotion is really intense, do several rounds until your child calms down. Doing EFT for you at the same time helps multiply the benefits.
Help raise your partner’s awareness: the hardest task because it requires a huge self-control on your side
The only way to do that is to point at the facts, the simple facts, in writing, and not more than once a week.
I am very big on writing for any sensitive subject in a relationship because we are less prone to let our emotions take over.
In this case in particular, any reproachful note will be dismissed with no value. And you will be back to square one. However, you can write a note like this: “Have you noticed that you took Paul 3 times to the movie in the past month? I am sure Lena would love it if you took her as well.”
The following week, if nothing major happened, suggest an outing, in writing, as always, making it a favor for you. “ Can you take Lena for lunch this Saturday, I have errands to do with Paul. It would help me.”
These examples might not apply to your situation. What I want you to understand is that you need to be the best diplomat ever. Think over and over about what you write to make sure it is straight to the point without a load of negative emotions with it.
At first your partner may not be responsive. Don’t worry. Keep doing this, and don’t ever look for a conversation over the subject. Soon you will see that he is more willing to paying attention to the child he neglects.
He will also see the benefits of EFT on you and might be willing to learn it for himself too. Slowly but surely he will become aware that he has a problem. As you will have been helping him for some time without judging him, he will be more comfortable to seek for advice from you.
Professional help will definitely be the best option, as the awareness will uncover painful memories. I would look for an EFT practitioner who will help him deal with this overdue issue in a swift and pain free manner, unlike most psychotherapies. You can find one at emofree.com. Know that EFT sessions can be done via skype, allowing you to get a session from the comfort of your home.
I highly recommend Michelle Hardwick who I have known for years: not only she is highly skilled, but she has also great integrity. She is based in the UK.
This might not be the easiest road, but this is what true love is about. This man is the one you chose at some point, he is the father of your children. If you value your own choices: he deserves your help.
I wish you the best of luck and please keep me posted.