Originally Posted by Vibrissa
Why is it that your wife is discussing and hashing out the details with your daughter? Decisions should be made by PARENTS. Yes, you can seek your children's input, but that is just what it is: input. Decisions are made by you and Mrs. Hold, not by Mrs. Hold and DD, and then come to you for the pocket book.

This is just poor boundaries all around.

Why are you going along with this?

Why not say "I'm sorry DD, your mother and I need to determine what it is we will be doing. Thank you for your input and suggestions, we'll let you know what it is we decide to do for your birthday."

And that is that.


EXCELLENT POST!!!! You did a better job of saying what I was trying to say in my initial response, which is that HOLD's approach is almost the polar opposite of what he should be doing to enforce healthy boundaries, and to actually promote a positive long term healthy outlook on life for his children.

She can handle disappointment. In fact, the lesson she would learn is more valuable than a 'fun' and extravagant birthday party. Parents are in charge, negotiation between partners is essential, you treat your spouse with love and respect.

Valuable lessons she will need in her own future relationships.

This is what I meant when I wrote about actually reinforcing values from the inside out rather than the outside in. Short term pain, via confrontation/disappointment with his daughter, will in fact reinforce positive boundaries and life lessons that will translate into more happy and more emotionally healthy children over the long term. The current approach is putting the perverbial cart before the horse - the children have become the parents in this scenario. While it may be easier to adopt this model because it seems to make the kids happy, it's only a short term happiness at best, until the next "high" is required for the children to feel good not about who they are, but about what they get. Again, a key difference between living our core values from the inside out, versus trying to find our core values by the pursuit of "things" external to us.

Look at your marriage.

Look at your daughter.

Do you want your daughter to experience the same misery you and your wife live in day in and day out? Because if so, you are giving her all the tools she needs to do just that.

She will model her future relationships on the examples you and your wife set.

Right now she is learning that men=pocketbook. You don't have to worry about their feelings or thoughts. You do what you want, and then let your husband know what the situation is. No negotiating, dictating.

Is that a lesson you want her to learn?

Your poor choices are going to affect her, for the rest of her life.

You DON'T have to go along with this.

"Sorry, DD, we've looked at it and we just can't afford it. We can do something else and have just as much fun, maybe we can do the girl's trip some other time."

The concepts you hit on here challenge what is at the heart of HOLD's current justification for maintaining his misery and for staying in his M. HOLD has maintained that he doesn't want to run any risk of not being with his kids (divorce), yet he continues to passive-aggressively punish Mrs HOLD for denying him what he wants (hence the DJ's being his mistress that he refuses to give up). I would be curious to get HOLD's input in regard to whether or not the reality is that he may in fact be doing more emotional harm to his own cherished children by staying married than if he were to cut his losses and get divorced. There are studies that show results either way (some studies have shown it's better for the children if the parents stay in a failed marriage, other studies show the opposite).

HOLD would probably agree with me that his justifications are self centered (it's about what HOLD wants - even at the possible expense of the long term emotional health of his own children), and extremely prideful (turtle pride - woe is me type approach to life). How do I know? Because I have struggled with the same inner battles of worthlessness, depression, and persistent pessimism that HOLD has. We both have depressive personalities. We both recognize the reasons why - at least intellectually, we are both otherwise intelligent and well educated individuals, and we are both fairly well accomplished in the eyes of most people career-wise (despite how we view ourselves).

So, with all that in mind, why don't guys like HOLD and I make better choices? Why do we keep making poor choices? If you can answer that question, then you are smarter than I am. smile

"Mrs. Hold I am very hurt that you chose to plan this with your daughter instead of your husband. I am not a pocket book. We are going to have to re-POJA this issue, since you threw the last POJA out the window and I am not in agreement with the current plan. It hurts me when you value a simple party over our marriage. It makes me feel unsafe and unloved."

I'd surmise that there are a few reasons why. Probably the biggest reason is a lifetime of doing the above, and either not getting any response, or getting lip service that gives the appearance of understanding and agreement, only to see the same repetitive behaviors from our spouses again and again after the fact. In other words, no real change, no desire to change. Probably why we don't desire to change either. As HOLD has oftentimes said, if neither spouse is willing to really change, and neither spouse is willing to leave, then the status quo is the best that can be hoped for. Far from ideal yes.

Another valuable lesson for DD to learn: living within your means. Sometimes you can't have all the fun things, sometimes you can't do all the exciting things. Joy can be found without extravagance and expense.

You CAN put your foot down.

I would suggest that your daughter NEEDS you to put your foot down. She needs boundaries. She needs to respect you - you are the model for her future husband, she needs to see that you have value.

Agreed, however if Mrs HOLD is either unable or unwilling to reinforce those agreed upon values, and in fact may passive-aggressively work against HOLD attempting to teach these types of life lessons to his children, it's a tough battle to say the least, and for a depressive like HOLD, it's a HUGE undertaking to fight that fight.

I know in my own lifelong marital struggles with my W's overspending on our children, on many occasions I've reached the point where I've simply given up fighting. As a depressive and a conflict avoider who struggles with anxiety, it is easier in the short term to simply withdraw. Over the long term I know it's not the right choice, and in fact the poor choices simply reinforce anxiety, depression, etc.

All of that said, I don't want to paint too ugly a picutre, so let me say, like in HOLD's case, Mrs Hitch and I have made some progress. Practically and logically I do see some progress - and therefore there is hope.

Probably the biggest struggle for me (and I'd guess potentially for HOLD), is that the financial issues are so raw because of the lifetime of dealing with them, that even in the face of logic, pragmatism, knowing some progress has been made, when setbacks occur (like with HOLD's current situation), it is extremely difficult to accept them and manage them constructively.

God Bless,


All I want to do is learn to think like God thinks. , I want to know Gods thoughts; all the rest are just details. , When the solution is simple, God is answering. - Albert Einstein

INTJ married to an ENFJ