I Don’t Want My Daughter to See My Ex-MIL Because I’m Afraid She Might Kidnap Her

Relationships
3 months ago

We found a letter on Reddit that seems like a cry of desperation. A man’s wife died during childbirth, and the mother-in-law has become unhinged from grief. She fixates on her granddaughter, wanting to raise her as her own daughter. However, the man is a good father himself and has a new family.

He wrote:

«My first wife and mother of my daughter (now 9), passed away during childbirth. Naturally I was devastated, as was my ex-MIL, „Gill“ (a fake name). My late wife was an only child, so Gill started to view my daughter as her replacement. I was never comfortable with this, but understand people grieve in their own ways, so I never said anything.

I put a stop to any boundary stomping, though. For example, when introducing my daughter to people Gill would always say ‘this is my baby’ or ‘meet my daughter’, and she set up a nursery in her own home for when my daughter went to live with her (yes, she actually said my daughter would live with her). She even tried to convince the nurses at the hospital to let my daughter go home with her after she was discharged. It took almost 2 hours to prove that she was actually my daughter and would be going home with me.

For the first two years of my daughter’s life, I focused entirely on her and didn’t do any sort of dating. When she was 3 I met my second wife, who loves my daughter like she is her own. When my daughter was 6 we sat her down and explained that her biological mom was in heaven and my wife was her stepmom. Gill doesn’t like my wife at all and hates the fact that my daughter has a mother figure in her life.»

«My wife and I are now married, she is pregnant with our son, and we’re in the process of moving to another state. I was offered a transfer from my job with a pay rise, and there are better school/daycare opportunities for my daughter and the baby. Gill has known since we first started looking at houses and has done almost everything possible to stop it from happening.

She called Child Protective Services on us, claiming we’re neglecting my daughter over our unborn son and aren’t fit to care for her. She knows she would probably get custody of my daughter if she were taken away. Thankfully, both the state we currently live in and the state we’re moving to don’t have grandparent’s rights. Gill is convinced we’re doing this to spite her though.»

«Finally, I got tired of her antics and told her that my daughter is my child, so I get to decide what’s best for her. Despite not liking Gill very much, I’ve never kept my daughter from her. She visits Gill often and has sleepovers there. However, after her last visit, I’m uncomfortable sending my daughter there unsupervised.

On the drive home, my daughter was unusually quiet. After prying a bit, she asked me if we were going to abandon her when the baby was born. Of course, I said no and asked why she thought that. She told me that Gill has been telling her that we won’t care about her and only Gill will love her.

My daughter also told me that for the past year or so Gill has been making her call her mom but was told to not tell me or my wife about it. She’s also been telling my daughter that she would be better off living with her and will find a way to ‘make it happen.’ I’m so confused about what her endgame is here because I’m obviously never going to let that happen. She was going to spend a few nights at Gill’s before we left, but now I don’t want her to.»

People in the comments felt this dad’s hurt and confusion, and shared advice with him about what’s been going on in his life:

  • Your former MIL sounds a little crazy. She reminds me of my grandmother who, when I was a child, kept trying to convince me that my mother really didn’t love me but only loved my sibling. It took years to come to grips about the fact that that wasn’t true. © LurkilysGF / Reddit
  • I would completely cut contact with Gill. I spent my lifetime in the middle of a war between my mother and my grandmother (dad’s mum) and I have to tell you from a kids pov it really was horrible. Someone was always unhappy and kids pick up on that. I know that you too suffered a trauma in losing your wife, but this woman tried to steal your baby from the hospital! That should have been the end of it. Everyone is suggesting therapy for your daughter which I agree with, but I also suggest therapy for you, because like it or not you enabled this behaviour by not cutting contact or setting any rules, regardless of what she did. I really hope this ends well and wish you, your wife and both children the best. © Mermaidgirl916 / Reddit
  • You need to have a conversation with your daughter and tell her that she is not to go anywhere with MIL if she ever tells her to or shows up when you’re not around. This is imperative. With how insane her behavior is if she gets a hold of your daughter before you move you don’t know what she’s capable of. Given how she has acted and how she views your daughter as ’hers’ it’s not outside the realm of reason that she’d kidnap her. I honestly can’t figure out why you’ve been enabling MIL since she has been disrespecting you as a parent, and acting absolutely insane right from the get-go, even at the hospital! You should have cut contact for the safety of your child and your family a long time ago, at least until MIL gets some very serious and much needed therapy. I can get how you’d feel sorry for her for losing her child, but what part of what she’s doing is acceptable? She quite literally manipulated your daughter and told her lies about your love and care for her, to try and alienate you and your wife as parents. This is toxic and abusive. This is doing nothing but harming your daughter! © mandy_skittles / Reddit
  • I can’t even imagine losing my wife who is the mother of my children. So first of all I want to say sorry about that. Secondly I feel bad for «Gill» she did lose her I’m presuming was her only daughter, and your daughter is all she has left of her. I’d be honest and straight forward. Tell her she is crossing the line and if she wants to continue to be in your daughters life to respect your new wife and boundaries. I’d also directly confront her over calling CPS and trying to poison your daughter against you. If she refuses to stop cut ties. It’s not your job to deal with her issues, and ultimately fighting with «Gill» may cause emotional harm to your daughter as she is caught in the middle. © Unknown author / Reddit

Unfortunately, mother-in-law issues are not uncommon. Here is the story of a woman whose husband suggested bringing his mother along on their honeymoon.

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