I would suggest that you have him plan the family activities for a while. If he is doing the planning, he may become more engaged.
So maybe my husband doesn't want to spend time with our kids because they are girls and doesn't know what to "do" with them. They are into Princesses, Barbies, dress-up, role playing games (Queen, Princess, mom, etc.). He has mentioned if we do things as a family on Saturday that he should have Sunday to do with it whatever he wants. He's ok with the girls going downstairs to the basement to hang out with him (usually the only place to find him after dinner and on the weekends anyway) but then I am not ok with it depending on what commercials are on during his races or soccer games. Sometimes the kids don't even know their dad is home cuz they forget he is downstairs on the computer! He rarely shows his face and when he does it's to eat dinner and help clean up the kitchen. He detests going to his parent's house for an extended period of time cuz he gets "bored" there, even though he brings his laptop with him and watches TV there too. I am running out of patience when it comes to this issue and know that if I bring it up AGAIN it will just be a broken record, so some advice would be appreciated...I have tried in the past to have more active games they can play together, but I am the one who suggests them or asks the kids to go and ask their dad about. He rarely (if ever?) asks them. I feel like he doesn't want to be around us/the girls only/his parents for extended periods of time and it's stressing me out. I know he is "tired" when he gets home from work and needs some down time. But when it turns into 2 hours after he eats and then helps me put the kids to bed (only tonight since I "complained" to him about it) and then back down to the computer or TV...it's ridiculous. Plus if he helps out by bringing our older daughter to soccer practice then he considers that "enough" family time.
I would suggest that you have him plan the family activities for a while. If he is doing the planning, he may become more engaged.
My husband is similar to this and this is one thing I've tried: Plan 1 night each week where YOU leave the house. Tell him that it's just as important for you to have some down time and a chance to socialize or participate in a favorite hobby (take a craft class, go for a walk, have coffee with a friend, take in a movie alone, etc...). Tell him you will have dinner waiting for him and the girls (throw something in the crockpot or make it something easy with little clean up for him afterwards). This way, he is kind of forced to spend time with the girls, and bond with them. Even better, to make the relationship stronger, try to get them something they can do outside of the house while you are gone. Say, buy them movie tickets or coupons for ice cream cones - this way they will have to get away from the computer and TV and interact a little bit. Then, have the girls make him a card or something to say thanks and that they really enjoyed spending time with him. Once their relationship develops a little more, you won't have to do so much and they will soon find ways to entertain themselves. Good luck and hang in there!
Frankly, I think it sounds like your husband is depressed. Is he like this with other aspects of his life? Does he have friends? Without knowing you or more about you, this is the first thing that comes to my mind. Just a thought.
Sounds like he needs a parenting class so he can relate to his children, and probably marriage counseling to relate to you. He's checked out of the most important relationships in his life! I'm really sorry to say that.
With kindness I'm going to tell you that you may see this as an issue re: not playing but it sounds , from your description, that your husband is avoiding the whole family. Many people dive into the internet when they are looking to ignore their current situation. I would go to a good marriage counselor to find out what the real issue is in your marriage/family. Having an independent third party listen and give feedback is far less threatening and he is more likely to 'hear it' if it isn't coming from you. Best of luck.
Quit asking ... start going to his parents or your parents without him! If you and the girls have fun - then why should you all have to stay home?
Perhaps when the house is cold and empty - he might feel lonely and hungry when it's time for dinner and you've already left for the weekend with the girls. By the way - think about what you are teaching your girls by staying and begging for his attention. You don't want your girls to grow up and be women who feel they need to always beg a man to do something or to show some love & attention do you?
I would also quit inviting him upstairs to eat - when dinner is ready - you and the girls sit down and eat ... clean up and read stories together or whatever you all like to do after dinner. When he gets hungry enough - he'll come upstairs and you can point him in the direction of the refrigerator and microwave.
I may seem awfully cold and callus - but really - he's an adult ... you can not force him to act a certain way. It's his loss and you need to take care of yourself and those girls. Show them what a strong assertive woman is capable of doing and being.
Both of you ... get counseling! Sound like you're both acting like single parents. Watch it. It may turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. A word of advice: From experience, men don't like to be told what to do. And most men won't admit that he needs any fixing. So if you do the counseling route, tell him that YOU'RE the one who needs help, and that you need him to help YOU. I'm not trying to be sneaky, but that's male psych 101: If a man thinks that a woman is trying to change him, he'll "turn off" even more. All that computer & TV time is a real BIG RED FLAG.
I feel bad for you. I hope someone is able to provide you with good advice. I never knew what to do, and now my kids are almost out of the house (3 boys) and my husband never once played catch, or football, or anything with them.
WHat I want to tell you, is I don't think it's the girl thing, b/c we have 3 boys, and my husband never interacted.
It is his loss, since my boys are so close to me, and turn to me for most anything.I stay married to provide a stablel home. BUt, it's sad, they have no real memories with their dads: it's all been me.
Please get counseling. If he won't go with you, go alone. This behavior is partly what led me to divorce my ex. Now that we are divorced and we share time equally with our daughter, he cooks, cleans, does laundry, and parents and plays with her all the time. Before that, his behavior was exactly as you described. Also, consider that he is suffering from depression (my ex was/is).
You need to go to marriage counselling with your husband - give him NO CHOICE! At the least, he has a severe TV and/or computer addiction (just like alcohol or gambling). He is either plainly addicted, using TV and computer to escape from other issues he's not dealing with, or he has lost interest in his marriage and/or children. Any of these require counselling for BOTH of you.
I know you are not alone. I wonder if he is using the girl not knowing what to do with them an excuse. Tell him to bring them to a twins game, or to the park, or to run errands with him. They would love to do anything that he does as long as he is present and having fun with them. If he is really into computers, have him play Nickelodeon games with them online, or watch funny youtube videos. If he can always count on you to be there and watch the kids so he can do his downtime when he comes home then he will continue to hide downstairs and not participate with his kids. Maybe you should leave him with the kids and go do your own thing one day per week so he can figure out what he likes to do with the kids. Maybe you could try family walks to get out with everyone so you can get exercise and talk to one another without technology getting in the way.
I also feel that my husband did not want anything to do with my daughter because she was a girl. I would watch families in the park and out at the zoo and 3 out of 4 families with both parents out would be couples with a boy, more often moms would be out alone with their girls. I do think there is strong validity to this arguement that dads have more to do with boys. Thankfully now that she is older he brings her everywhere he goes, it just ended up that he did not like babies.
What is he doing on the computer that is so interesting? Playing games, online dating, dirty picts?
Is he depressed or does he just not want a family life?
Maybe you two could get out and have a date night.
I guess I don't have answers for you, just questions.
I don't think it REALLY matter that you have girls and not a boy. My husband did everything he could with our daughter before our son came along.
And even now, he'll take turns taking each of them along with him for "special Daddy time." BOTH (boy and girl) kids LOVE going on errands with Daddy. Usually they end up with some kind of a treat. And then I try to come up with a nice treat for the child who stays home with me. Because they usually BOTH want to go with him. LOL.
When I was doing daycare, it amazed me how much some of the kids would CRAVE male attention. Whenever my husband came to visit (I did daycare at a different location than our house) the kids would just glow when he would talk to them or play catch or board game with them. GIRLS INCLUDED!
I think your husband needs some counseling (probably with you) to figure out what is going on with him. Good luck. I hope he becomes a more involved Dad for your daughters' sakes. Because if they don't get the male attention they need from him, they will find it elsewhere when they get a little older.
I know I am late but I just had to respond! This sounds just like my dad. He went through a very stress full time and played the video games where you shoot the bad guys and they blow up or what ever (no my cup of tea!) My mom would get so mad at him! LOL I don't remember him ever spending time with me until I was about 7. He said he was not sure what to do with me because I was a girl and he only had brothers so he did not know what to do with a girl. We talked and he found out i was much less "girly" then he thought. He started to do things like build forts in the back yard and find bugs to look at. We had a blast. We to got a game system (a nintendo back then!;) We had a blast playing together. It helped us bond. It's funny because I call my mom every night so we can vent about our jobs and my dad gets mad because I hang up with out talking to him, so my mom started puting the phone on speaker so he can hear and talk to me to ;) It is very cute. Good luck I hope everything goes ok with your husbnads job. That can be very tough.
Video games with the children sound appropriate. Does your husband exercise at all? Perhaps a family walk after dinner? Something like that? I've been struggling some with my husband too. One thing I realize is that I can't change him, I can only change myself.
Do you think he could be depressed? He sounds addicted somewhat to the computer. My husband used to retreat to the computer when he was feeling depressed. We resolved some financial issues together with a counselor, downsized and he got a job he likes and I've been working on my own happiness and together, these issues made the computer thing all but disappear. He still spends about a half an hour to an hour on the computer in the morning and before bed, but he knows my expectations and keeps it to a minimum. For exercise, we go on family walks and to the pool. He also takes the kids to the playground. He's terribly out of shape and so I am hoping as we do this more and more now that summer is in full swing we will all get in better shape. I've always found family walks after dinner really nice. We stroll the neighborhood and visit. Also, maybe he does need to do more household chores? You must get exhausted sometimes? A therapist recommended to me to take a day off and leave a list of all the chores that need to get done as well. If he gets time to decompress, what about you? Yeah, sometimes men need coaching, they don't know what to do. But they also can come up with some good ideas that we'd never think of. Be interesting to know what he'd do if he had a day to take care of the kids. Best wishes, hope it works out.
Sounds like he has an internet addiction. Sometimes spending time with children isn't fun, but with an addiction, it is hard to get away from the technology to spend time with anyone. Only he can correct this, but it would be a good thing for you to encourage him to spend time with the girls doing things he likes,(fishing, car shows, sports, playing at the park) will help the girls be more well rounded and might enjoy other things besides Barbies and princesses.
Seriously you might want to consider depression...I know they get tired after working and work can be very stressful, but it could be more to it. I have had similar expereinces and things are getting much better now that meds are started and he is being monitored by our doc. I have seen a huge change and am thankful for it...otherwise life could get pretty lonely. Take care!!
my husband doesn't like doing things with me or our son too often. so i say so be it...my son and i do things that we want to do without dad. sometimes i feel like a single parent but i'm not the one missing out on my son's life. just go do things with out him!! and sometimes it's alot nicer than listening to "dad" complain about having to do something!!!
Sorry, I don't have any advice, but just waned to let you know you are not alone. Except my husband won't spend time with me and my son. He is always too busy with yard work or cleaning and never wants to do anything as a family and the only time he spends with our 3 year old son is when I decide I have to do something without our son, even then he always asks if our son can go to grandmas instead.
Good luck and I hope we can come up with some answers. :)