msfugitivehunter's picture

I need some serious help!

My wife's 7 y/o daughter from a previous marriage has recently decided that she will not sleep alone.  She is up all hours of the night either trying to get in our bed or insisting that my wife come get in the bed with her.  This has occasionally been a problem, but for the most part once she was asleep my wife was free to sleep with me.

However, in the past month it has become a real issue.  I have explained to my wife she can't simply get in the bed with her and sleep all night because that sends the wrong message and leads her to believe that all she has to do is throw a fit and get her way. 

Now the prblem has shifted.  My wife is saying that her children come first and she will leave me before she makes the child sleep alone.  "if she needs me I will be there!"  Rather than take a logical approach to correct the real problem, she insists that either the child sleeps with us, she sleeps with the child or she leaves me because her children are first.

I have a 12 year old from a previous marriage that worships me and has never spent a single night in my bed.  We/I set boudaries and limits and stuck to them no matter how hard. It did not take long to fix the problem because she learned no matter what she wasn't going to win!

What is the correct way to handle the situation?  My relationship is suffering and I am sleeping alone.

acitez's picture

Step 1. Drop the issue completely for at least 2 weeks
Step 2. After that, tell your wife that you are concerned about her daughter, that her inability to sleep is a health issue, and suggest that she see the pediatrician. Then abide by what the doctor says.

If you weren't already in conflict over this, I would not have suggested step 1, but if you go straight to step 2 now, your wife will not listen, and it is a health issue. The conflict between the two of you does make it worse, but a 7 year-old whose sleeping habits changed this abruptly does have something physical or emotional going on.