Dear Dear Prudence, Volume V

I gave up posting for Lent.  As penance, a fresh Dear Dear Prudence, to be shared by you and the almighty.

Every week Slate, an online magazine that’s a lot like if Harper’s was written by the editors of Entertainment Weekly, runs an advice column called Dear Prudence.  Written by D.C.-based Emily Yoffe, the column is similar in format to Dear Abby (ask your librarian) and covers a range of topics such as manners, etiquette, familial relations, and of course how to deal with ill-conceived sexual decisions.  At least one of that last one makes it into the column every week.  Drink when you hit it.  We here at Dear Dear Prudence like to take another crack at the questions she has been posed, so that the people who ask them may have the benefit of a second opinion.  

This week (hah!) we hear from a woman whose husband’s only flaw is that he is a terrible father and probably impossible to live with, a guy who doesn’t want us to know he’s thinking about cheating on his wife, and a huge jerk.  Sounds about right.

Dear Prudence,
I hit the jackpot with my husband. He treats me like a queen, cleans the house, has a successful career that allows me to be a stay-at-home mom, encourages me to have evenings out with girlfriends, etc. We’ve been happily married for 10 years and have two wonderful children ages 5 and 7. My concern is that while I know he loves our children, he doesn’t enjoy them. He was raised by an obsessive-compulsive-type mother who still vacuums twice a day. He barks at the kids if there’s a sock lying around or a toy on the floor. He yells if he has to ask them twice to do anything. When he gets home, he wants to tell me about his day while I’m cooking dinner. The kids sometimes interrupt, which drives my husband crazy. They hate to be left alone with him because he’s “grumpy.” He thinks, wrongly, that they are naughtier than other children, and I feel defensive that he’s criticizing the way I’m raising them. My mother says he parents the way he was parented and he turned out great. I’m going away with some girlfriends, and he’s said that “things are going to change” and he’s going to “fix the kids.” I’m secretly afraid of him trying. Should I just accept that he’ll always be hard on them? The kids are the only thing we argue about.
—Dad Dilemma Continue reading