I have been married for almost two years, and my daughter is almost a year old. When my daughter was born, we decided to come and live with my mother-in-law…. I was in agreement because my wife is her only living child and her husband left her. We have serious arguments. She doesn’t do what I ask. She goes out with her mother wherever she wants to go, without asking for my opinion…. I feel like her mother is manipulating her. Because of these serious arguments, my wife often tries to throw me out of the house, but I don’t leave because I love my daughter very much and I don’t want to live away from her.

I feel like I don’t love my wife anymore. I need help, please! We both have professional careers.

Dear Friend,

You describe feelings of frustration and anger, as well as love for your daughter. If you had to make a decision about which of those feelings is the strongest, we think you would say that your love for your daughter is the strongest feeling of all. If that is true, then it makes the most sense to base any decisions on what would be best for her.

You don’t say so, but we assume that your mother-in-law must be the one who cares for your daughter while you both work. Obviously, it is best for your daughter to be cared for by a loving grandmother rather than by a stranger. But when a grandmother is involved in the day-to-day management of the family, it is not unusual for her to start interfering in the decisions and actions of the family. Not many grandmothers are wise enough to keep their opinions to themselves.

In your case, it appears that your wife and her mother are also best friends and enjoy doing things together. That in itself is a good thing. But your wife has been unwise in failing to ask for your opinion.

You say that you don’t feel love for your wife anymore. But that really doesn’t matter. Feelings come and go. You committed to be married for a lifetime, so now it’s time to concentrate on repairing the marriage and loving by your actions, even when you feel nothing.

Find a marriage counselor and, if your wife refuses to accompany you, be willing to go alone for as long as it takes. Remind yourself every day that your daughter will have a much better life if you can find a way to get along with her mother. So be willing to give up some of your expectations. If at all possible, find a house or an apartment near your mother-in-law, and move your family there.

Finally, ask your Heavenly Father to help you show love even when you don’t feel it. Remember that God was willing to sacrifice His only Son because He loves us that much. You may very well need to follow His example and make some difficult sacrifices. Your daughter is worth it, isn’t she?

We wish you the best,