How to make your husband have a backbone?


I love my husband dearly he is wonderful in almost every way EXCEPT one - I know it must be hard being in a house with 6 women BUT I am so fed up of him just staying quiet if their is a problem with the girls he just ignores it and goes on the net or listens to music etc its like he cant be bothered!

He is a wonderful man but any hint of an argument and he dissapears the girls need their daddy to lay the law down sometimes but they seem to have him wrapped round their finger - money, gifts etc its always ‘but Daddy…’ and he just gives in!

I wish he would just stick to his guns and learn to say NO!!!


**If he is wonderful in every other way then what does he say when you have a gentle conversation about this with him? Does he truly understand the importance of his “daddy” role in the lives of his girls? I know there are several good books for dads of daughter’s I’ve seen recommended on the forum…hopefully someone will come and list them for us!

As a side note, unless he is suffering from a new mental disorder, he was most likely like this when you decided to marry him. You can ask him to change but you can’t expect/force it.**


He used to at least try though!!! Eventually he would give in when enough pressure was exerted but now hes just like oh your mom will deal with it or you know go on then!!!

I just think particularly as we have three teens now he needs to step up!


Have you tried speaking about this to him when it’s not in the “heat of the moment”? Trying praying a novena about this. You’d be amazed at how much it will work.


I think the best way to do that would be to build him up, especially in front of your daughters. Be thankful for the many great qualities that he has, and be demonstrative of how much you appreciate and value him. Work towards giving him the confidence that if you ask for his guidance he feels qualified to give it. I think that this would work well with an average or a passive husband. I was married to a very dominant (read aggressive and abusive husband) and let’s say that my efforts to build him up and encourage him weren’t the best way to go. So, just saying, count your blessings because you are truly blessed.


I think this is very typical of all women households.

The men are/or feel outnumbered and powerless, and to keep the peace they just shut their mouth, write a check and go play in the garage.



How about when your girls ask for something both of you learn to say “Mom & I (or Dad & I) will discuss it and then we will let you know”. If they are in trouble for something, lets say talking back for example, both of you say “You need to go to your room Mom & I (or Dad & I) will discuss it and let you know your punishment/consiquence”.
That way you are not always stuck being the bad guy and it shows your girls that you both are in this thing together. It also stops your girls in trying to get somthing over or manipulate dad.
All you need to do is get your DH to agree to say those phrases. :smiley: ( I know, GOOD LUCK!!) I guess I can see how some parents give in when their children whine, cry, and beg for something, although IMHO it is a horrible behavior to let your children get away with, again that is just MHO.


I don’t think that’s really fair. We can only guess what kind of parent our spouse will be before the children actually start coming. I always thought my husband would be a very involved, lenient, playful father. Turns out, not so much. :frowning: And we were together for YEARS before we had children. :shrug:


I agree with you, I even know many parents who are different from when they had their first to their second to their third etc. Also they are different with their girls vs. their boys.
There are so many factors that play into what kind of parent you are. Such as your employment hours, financial strain, if both parents are working or not, health, other family issues, etc.

Not being male, I think I could guess though that the OP’s husband probably just feels defeated or overwhelmed with 6 females in the house :eek: :eek: :eek:


My way of thinking is that most people I know who are the “conflict avoiders” have aways been that way. When we met our spouse we tend to accentuate the positives and play down or outright ignore the negatives (it’s just human nature). So when the personality trait we “didn’t see” makes itself known in a very obvious way it’s kind of a shock.

Of course we don’t know EXACTLY what kind of parent or spouse our chosen will be, but we can make a pretty good guess. If they are impatient when you meet them, big chance they will be impatient with the future kids. If they are goofy, good chance they will be able to be goofy with the kids etc etc etc.**


Well, if he used to be more that way, let me ask if you have examined how the situations are handled. Do you let him have his say then override him? Do you reward the girls if you feel he is too harsh? Maybe he feels there is no point in getting involved because you’ll just side with them.

My Prince Charming told me his ex told him she wanted him to be involved in disciplining her kids, and if he tried, she’d contradict him in front of them, and then chastize HIM. Also, after telling him she didn’t have any money, she bought her daughter a car. The kids began to play the two against each other. So sometimes we can send messages we don’t mean to.

Pray for him, talk to him, ask him if he feels left out of that process or whether he thinks you’re handling it fine so he doesn’t need to step in. Best wishes with this, I know it’s frustrating.


Compliment your husband, tell him how much you love him. Tell him you admire him and how strong his convictions are. Tell him this in front of your children.

Just as my husband tells my son “don’t talk to your mother that way” you may need to help instill in your daughters the need to respect their father, by telling them and also by showing them.

Not sure how much this will help, it’s all I could think of for the moment. Praying for your family, God bless.


I really agree with you. My stepfather was not the most involved dad when my sister was little, but my mom would talk him up to her. She would get her excited when his car would pull into the driveway after work. Then they would happily greet him. He did become very involved, and now they are very close. My sister is 26 now, and she knows that her dad is someone that she can count on and go to when she needs help.


I think that your daughters pick on the lack of respect that you have for your husband. A spouse that respects the significant other would not use such a term that indicates a general character flaw.


I always hate threads like this.:frowning:

You should buy the book “Love and Respect.” I have a feeling much good would come from your reading that, MommyJJ, as this thread indicates your husband lacks a substantive amount of respect in your household, and you may be guilty of the sin of detraction (or gossip) by posting comments indicating your husband is spineless. Again, I urge you to read the book - you may also find that learning the lessons it teaches helps empower your husband in situations like that.

Edit: Beaten by Cristiano :slight_smile:


I tend to agree that you need to pick a man with a backbone to marry. Then you don’t have the problem of him later not having a backbone. It’s easy to tell if people have backbones or not, and whether they do or not translates to every situation. It’s a matter of character, which defines behavior, not having some crystal ball about how a person will parent.

This has nothing to do with the gender of the children involved. People spoil their kids or they don’t, regardless of gender. “Daddy’s princess” is just what people call it when a man spoils his girls and won’t stand up to them. Notice how once a woman is grown, “princess” has a negative connotation? That’s cuz no one wants to be around people who never learned any boundaries.

My husband has three daughters. He also has two sons. They are young enough that he is not really any different with the girls as opposed to the boys. I am sure that will change, but the fact is, you have to establish boundaries and respect when they are little. If you don’t do that, you can’t do it when they are rebellious teens!

This father has established the worst of all patterns…saying no then giving in under nagging and pressure. That teaches the kids that if you just bug, bug, bug him enough, you will get what you want. That is a recipe for annoying, disrespectful children who will not accept their parents’ authority. The parent has taught the child that there IS no authority, if they just bug, bug, bug the parent enough.

People have backbones, or they don’t. I don’t believe this is any kind of shock to the OP. It’s just that now, it’s annoying so she wants it fixed. This should have been fixed years ago. Since it wasn’t, I doubt it can be repaired now. You can’t start disciplining teenagers who didn’t learn discipline as children.

You could ask a family counselor or someone experienced with tough love for advice, but the father in this family will have to learn new patterns of behavior, as will the mother. She allowed this terrible pattern of disrespect to exist for years, supporting it by not demanding it change. The whole family is together in not being very functional in this aspect, and will have to change the paradigm together.


My daughters dont disrespect their father - they just seem to get a lot of what they want. None of my girls would dare disrespect me or their dad or each other for that matter. My only problem is that he doesnt want to be involved in discipling them, he prefers to stay out of it - he will always back me up if I have say docked their pocket money or stopped them attending an event he just wont do it himself.

Many of you are right when you suggest he has always been like this I have always been able to get what I wanted right from the courting stage - if I wanted to go to restaurant or whatever I would get the final say but with the parenting I would prefer that they saw him as a force to be reckoned with NOT a dad who just cant be bothered to get involved.

As for the suggestion that this is ‘gossip’ I prefer to think of it as asking for advice - gossip is something that you wouldn’t want the person being talked about to overhear my husband is welcome to read any of my posts. He knows I see this as an issue he just doesnt know how to change the habit of a lifetime!



:frowning: You can’t make him have a backbone. If he wants to make you the disciplinarian, that’s how it is. I feel for you. I would have a hard time in that situation. But plenty of people grew up with one tough parent and one softie and loved them both, and eventually learned to respect the rules even when they didn’t have to. I’d just let God handle it.


To JJ_
As Malia said, there is some irony in the fact that you have always gotten what you wanted from your husband, and now what him to be his own person and grow a backbone.

It seems like he’s the same man you married all those many years ago. To change now and stand up to the girls will also change your relationship with him forever.

Are you prepared for that?

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