Ministerial Spouses Association
Fresh Strength Newsletter
My spouse and I don't agree on curfew. What do I do?
Question: I am a pastor’s wife. Our 16-year-old daughter has started to push her curfew later and later. Last Saturday night, she came home at midnight. My husband, who has a very close relationship with her, thinks we should trust her because she is in the company of Christian friends. I don’t agree with my husband, and my daughter knows we don’t agree, so she plays us against each other; she never listens to me. My husband and I have not had the best relationship because he has always kept too busy to develop a close relationship with me. We also have two sons, but my daughter is his favorite. She usually gets anything she wants from him. What do you recommend I do?
Response: It sounds like your marriage might be one where a third person has become “triangulated” into the relationship, meaning your husband’s attention and energy have been diverted toward your daughter, and she may even enjoy some “parental privileges” that allow her to make some decisions on her own. This dynamic will leave you aside and stripped of your rightful parental authority, which is required to make sound parental decisions along with your husband.
When a parent relinquishes his or her role to their children and, instead, becomes a pseudo-spouse and develops a symbiotic relationship with their children, sound parenting principles are completely disregarded. The parent relegated as the ”outsider” does not have power or authority to exercise parental authority, and the one “emotionally married” to the child will not set parental boundaries for the child in order to maintain the emotional connection. We recommend you seek professional counseling in order to restore the correct order of the marital and family elements where you return to your God-given position as a wife, and your daughter returns to the children’s sub-system. —Carolann and César De León