James Lehman writes that a living arrangement you develop with an adult child should allow for adult privileges. “. . . if the kid is working and being responsible, then your agreement with him should be very flexible. On his day off, he can sleep all day for all you care. But he can’t stay out all night without calling you because you’re going to worry, and it’s his responsibility to let you know he’s safe. If he doesn’t want to do that, then he should move into a more independent living situation. You don’t get complete freedom and the support of living at home at the same time.” This general recommendation from James does not give specific suggestions of things such as bedtimes, etc. How the living arrangement looks in your own home is up to you and her father. You’re right that it causes a problem when parents disagree on house rules because the child will choose which parent she prefers to listen to—in this case, she prefers her father’s rules. It’s going to be important to work directly with your husband on the house rules you can agree on.
There appears to be a separate issue here where you describe yourself as being the ‘target’ of your daughter for the past few years. You say that sometimes things are said that you can’t take back. Here we’re talking about managing angry feelings in more socially appropriate ways. We all get upset, but how we handle that upset makes the difference. It’s tough to interact with someone who uses attitude, for example, to get to you—very tough. But remind yourself that the purpose IS to ‘get to you’, to discourage you from speaking, or to control the situation. Do your best to continue to state your expectations and then walk away from attitude so that you can remain in emotional control and things don’t escalate. Use James Lehman’s phrase, “It’s not okay to speak to me that way” and then turn around and walk away—get away from the confrontation and take a break.
For more techniques from the Total Transformation Program, see James Lehman's article "Anger with an Angle": Is Your Child Using Anger to Control You?
Parental Support Line Advisor