Do you ever feel frustrated because your husband always takes his daughter’s side when you disagree?
It can be hard to deal with when your husband defends his kid in front of you, no matter how much you try to make your point or discuss expectations. This lack of respect for your perspective can make you feel like an outsider in your home.
But don’t worry, I’m here to help! In this article, I’ll share why your husband might be so defensive of his daughter. Understanding where he’s coming from can help improve the situation and your marriage. Then, I’ll give you tips on what to do the next time this happens so you can stay calm and handle it better.
Having an open conversation with empathy and politeness on both sides is key. We all want to feel appreciated and operate as a family with mutual respect and understanding. Even when perspectives differ, unbiased discussion on finding solutions can prevent bitterness.
I know it can be overwhelming when your husband always takes his daughter’s side. But with some effort to see each other’s point of view, you can get through this and strengthen your marriage. Let’s get started!
Reasons Why Your Husband Always Defends His Daughter
1. You don’t treat her well
Your husband may feel defensive of his daughter if he thinks you don’t treat her well. Do you ask for her input on family decisions that affect her?
Make sure you are showing her the same kindness and respect you would want shown to your own child. If your husband sees you treating her as your own, he will be less inclined to defend her.
2. He is too emotional/empathetic
Some dads have a very strong protective instinct when it comes to their daughters. Your husband may get emotional hearing criticism of his little girl, even if it’s fair and warranted.
It’s understandable that he feels deep empathy for her and can’t bear to see her upset. However, he needs to keep his perspective and not let those feelings overshadow his actions. Have an open conversation with him about supporting each other as partners first. His job is to raise a responsible adult, not an over-defended child.
3. You are too strict
If you have a very strict parenting style, your husband may think you are being too hard on his daughter. Take an objective look at your approach – are there areas where you could ease up a bit and choose your battles wisely? Rules are important, but allowing some flexibility shows trust.
Discuss your discipline strategies with your husband so you are on the same page. When he understands the intention behind your methods, he can back you up rather than jump to his daughter’s defense.
4. Differing values
You and your husband may have different ideas about setting rules and boundaries for your daughter. For instance, you may place more value on studiousness and limit leisure activities, while he prioritizes socializing and freedom.
Discuss your values openly and find compromises. Criticizing his daughter may be a criticism of him and his beliefs, so be mindful when expressing your opinions.
5. He doesn’t want her to become like you
If your relationship with your husband is rocky, he may worry that his daughter will pick up negative traits from you. He doesn’t want her mimicking any behaviors of yours that he dislikes.
Your marriage is the foundation of your family. It is important to address any issues and work toward resolving them. Seeking the help of a professional counselor can provide a safe and supportive environment to air out any resentments and get to the root of the problem.
6. She is manipulative
Sometimes, daughters discover they can “play” mom and dad against each other. If your stepdaughter knows Dad will rush to defend her, she may take advantage to get her way.
Nip this in the bud by presenting a united front. When your husband sees her manipulation for himself, he will be less inclined to give in. Praise him when he shows fairness and refuses to be pitted against you.
7. She is his blood/you are not
A father’s protectiveness towards his daughter is natural, especially if you are a stepmother. Keep in mind that his daughter is his own flesh and blood while you are still building trust as a family.
Have patience and don’t take this personally. Focus on building a nurturing relationship with your stepdaughter. As she sees you care for her like your own, your husband will feel more at ease with you taking on a parental role.
8. He is not fond of your kids
Your husband may unfairly favor his daughter over your kids from a previous relationship, causing resentment and damaging the stepsiblings’ relationships.
For example, you may notice him letting his daughter stay up late but enforcing an early bedtime for your children. Or he may overlook your daughter breaking house rules but punish your son harshly for the same offense.
Remind him gently that he now must love and defend all the children in your blended family equally and fairly. He chose to become their stepfather when he married you.
9. He thinks she needs him more
If your stepdaughter is younger, your husband may feel very protective because he thinks she is more vulnerable and needs his defense. This is understandable, but he shouldn’t let it completely override your needs.
Have an open talk with him about still making your marriage a priority.
10. He is mean
In the worst-case scenario, your husband could be cruel and enjoy pitting you and his daughter against each other. This toxic behavior is a red flag for emotional abuse.
Don’t tolerate meanness or bullying from your partner. Let him know you expect kindness and fairness.
11. Other reasons
There are a few other reasons your husband may always defend his daughter:
- He is extremely stressed at work or overwhelmed in other areas, so he defaults to siding with his daughter as an easy way out of conflict.
- He is depressed and withdrawing from you and the relationship. Defending his daughter allows him to avoid engaging.
- He harbors resentment towards you or the marriage and uses his daughter as a way to express it passive-aggressively.
- He feels the marriage is doomed and is preparing to leave, so he is emotionally separating from you.
What To Do When Your Husband Defends His Daughter
1. Explain it’s no big deal
When your husband jumps to his daughter’s defense, avoid escalating the situation. Casually explain why you don’t think it’s a big deal. For instance, “I know Sarah was upset about her phone being taken away, but it was only for the night and for good reason. This doesn’t have to turn into a thing.”
Staying calm and minimizing the conflict will make him less likely to feel defensive.
2. Ask for help with adjustment
Lovingly, ask your husband to help you adjust to your new blended family role. Say something like, “This is new for all of us. I want to get it right, but there is a learning curve. Can you support me?”
If he understands you are trying your best, he will have more patience when you make missteps with his daughter.
3. Involve the ex-wife
If your stepdaughter’s biological mom is cooperative, consider looping her in for support. Ask if she would be willing to have the occasional chat with her daughter about respecting you and not pitting her parents against each other. This outside influence can help a lot.
4. Make his daughter your confidante
Try bonding with your stepdaughter by making her your confidante. Do fun activities together and open up to her about your life over coffee dates. If she sees you as a friend, she will be less likely to turn dad against you.
5. Help her dress like her mother
If she is longing for her absent mom, help her feel closer by doing mother-daughter activities like shopping for clothes in mom’s style. She will appreciate you keeping her mom’s memory alive.
6. Take classes together
Sign up for a class just the two of you, like cooking or painting, as a way of spending time together. Doing something new together levels the playing field and builds camaraderie.
7. Encourage her to open up
Create opportunities for your stepdaughter to open up to you, such as during drives or while doing chores together. If she confides in you, she will be less likely to badmouth you to Dad.
8. Present a united front
Agree with your husband to always present a united parenting front. If your stepdaughter complains about you to him, he should reply, “Let’s both sit down with Anna and work this out together.”
9. Be considerate
Try to see your husband’s perspective. Consider why he feels so protective of his daughter. If you understand where he is coming from, you can have a thoughtful discussion.
10. Stay calm
When tensions run high, do your best to stay calm. Flying off the handle will only escalate things. Breathe deeply and respond rationally.
11. Ask how he feels about you
Check-in with your husband about how he currently feels about you and your relationship. His over-defense of his daughter could signal deeper issues.
12. Personalized gestures
Make small personalized gestures to help your stepdaughter feel loved – her favorite pancakes on Sunday, a playlist of her favorite songs, etc. She will warm up to you.
13. Spend quality time together
Plan regular quality time as a couple without the kids. Reconnect with your husband so he doesn’t lose sight of your partnership.
14. Exercise together
Sign up for a family fitness activity like outdoor bike rides or a mother-daughter yoga class. Exercising together will help you bond.
Seek family counseling if tensions persist, to mediate disagreements and improve communication. An unbiased third party can provide valuable perspective.
16. Share positive stories
Share positive blended family stories and advice articles with your husband and stepdaughter, so they understand this adjustment is a process.
17. Make new memories
Plan fun new family experiences like a trip somewhere new or volunteering together. Making memories as a new family unit will help cement your bonds.
18. Learn to be fair
Try to discipline all the children fairly to avoid perceptions of favoritism. Your fair treatment will rub off on your husband.
19. Talk about love
Chat with your stepdaughter about crushes, relationships, and love. She will appreciate those vulnerable mother-daughter talks and see you in a new light.
What To Do If Your Husband Doesn’t Like Your Kids From A Previous Relationship?
This can be a tough situation in a blended family. It is crucial to find an acceptable way to make the situation better for everyone. Here are some tips:
- Have an open and honest conversation with your husband. Calmly explain how his behavior makes you and your kids feel. Appeal to his desire for a happy home.
- Encourage counseling to work through any issues. A therapist can help you two communicate and co-parent effectively.
- Demonstrate unconditional love towards his daughter. This will model good behavior and make him more receptive to your requests.
- Involve the kids in family activities. Spending quality time together can help form bonds.
- Set ground rules requiring respectful treatment of all kids. Make it clear favoritism won’t be tolerated.
- Praise your husband when he makes an effort with your kids. Positive reinforcement works better than criticism.
- Seek support from others in your blended family’s life. Their influence could improve the situation.
In sum, try not to ignore situations where your husband overly defends his daughter. Despite disagreements, if you try to build trust and treat all children fairly, your blended family with your husband and his daughter can become close-knit over time.
Stay positive, and your patience will pay off.