Need urgent help wife and I are close to separation due to parenting differences.
05/04/2014 at 22:03 PM

Hi All,

I am writing in the state utter desperation. My wife and I have been married for eleven years now and we have two little boys aged 4 and 7. Every year, the differences in our parenting approach is causing a bigger rift in our marriage which is already scared due to other disagreements on almost everything under the sun which for the sake of brevity I don't like to discuss here.

The biggest problem that I see is that she tries to be the nice parent not providing enough structure and discipline. One of the key issue is video games. The first thing the youngest one asks for when he wakes up is video games which she allows. This takes 30 to 45 minutes and longer over the weekends. When I get home from work around 6pm, they are both usually playing video games as well. So in average they do play 1:30 to 2 hours of video games a day which for this age I find out be extremely excessive. Most of the other parents I talk to believe the same but my wife underplays the detrimental effects and says that it helps her do the housework which I find a poor excuse.

So usually the responsibility become mine to take away the video game which now inadvertently makes me the bad guy. I should also mention that my wife routinely involves our kids in our conflicts where she uses them to get back at me. So already my relationship with the boys is not greatest and me having to do the "dirty work" when it comes to the video game issue is obviously not helping. But as an responsible parent, I cannot just witness them being glued in front of the TV and I refuse to do so.

She also used to let the play games on her phone right in bed before going to sleep which she finally gave up after many many heated disputes and a lot of scientific articles which confirmed that it is harmful to do so. The fact that she cannot see something so obvious leaves me questioning her judgement and competence as a parent.

When I then take it upon myself to give them a warning an then ultimately shutting of the device when they do not listen, my wife comes in yells at me accusing me of making them cry all the time and not having any compassion. I told her many times that we need to discuss these differences behind close door and her undermining my authority is only harming the boys who need to see a strong role model in their dad and not a villain who is just trying to make them miserable. When she does that however I do lose my cool a lot of time which results in an argument in front of the kids with raised voices which obviously makes things worst for me. This is something I am aware of and something I am trying really hard to correct but at times it's so darn difficult. I am only a human being and have other struggles at work and my own family and sometimes I can't just be like a robot in control of my emotions at all times.

I am so at the end with everything and feel like so helpless. I love my kids to death and want the best for them. As a man I know what it takes to be successful and I firmly believe that giving these wonderful boys structure and discipline now will make their life better. My wife's constant interference is causing me great despair and my inability to deal with the situation has made me come to believe that this marriage is doomed and that I would be better off divorced with shared custody where I can do some effective parenting, even if only part time while trying to get close to my boys. Deep down I don't want a divorce , I wish I could patch things up with my wife and make her see, but after many counselling sessions and may different approaches I don't see it happening anymore. Things are getting worst every year and at this stage I just want to save my boys as I see her as an ignorant and irresponsible woman who would just harm them for her own comfort and personal vendettas.

If anyone has any suggestions as to how I can deal with this situation , please let me know. The heartbreak and concern for my kids is really breaking my back.

Thank you for listening,
John