I am the father of a beautiful two-year-old girl. I lived with my wife in her mother’s house. I was willing to live there because my mother-in-law is alone. Her husband left her, and her other child died…. My wife is now an only child, and her mother was very excited about my daughter’s birth. However, my mother-in-law became obsessed with controlling my daughter, and ended up throwing me out of her house…. I feel very badly. I’ve been pushed away from my daughter’s love. I don’t know if I should fight for custody in the courts, because on the one hand I know that they love my daughter a lot, so I would feel badly taking her from them; but on the other hand, if I leave her with them, I know that my daughter will suffer.
We are glad that you have asked for our advice. Many men have a very similar problem and need some advice, just as you do. You still have time to do the right thing in your situation, while some of them have waited so long that their problem is now much more complicated. However, it is never too late to do the right thing for your children.
You say that you feel badly because you know that your daughter is loved by your wife and your mother-in-law, and you don’t want to do anything to separate them. It sounds like the one who threw you out of the house is the one who is to blame for what is happening now. And the one who chose to stay with her mother instead of with her husband is also to be blamed. If you have told us the entire story, and haven’t left out any details of wrongdoing on your part, then you are not to be blamed for what you must do now.
Do not waste another day. Your daughter needs you now, and she will need you even more in the future. So do everything possible to fight for joint custody of her. Do not feel guilty for doing it, as you really have no choice. If you were to walk away and give in, just to keep the peace, you would be abandoning your daughter and causing her to suffer from that abandonment. Children of all ages have written to us about how the abandonment of their fathers have caused them lifelong pain. Don’t do that to your precious little girl!
Mothers-in-law who interfere in their children’s lives are misguided and unwise. As a mother-in-law myself, I know that it is easy to think that you know best. But no matter how difficult it is, mothers-in-law should stay out of the business of their children, and they should never offer unsolicited advice about how to rear the grandchildren. Coming between a grandchild and his or her parent is absolutely inexcusable.
You need divine wisdom for the path you have before you. We encourage you to pray and ask God to walk beside you and guide you. Ask Him to forgive your sins and to help you live your life in a way that will be an example to your daughter.
We wish you the best,