My Ex-MIL Has Been Manipulating My Daughter Ever Since My Wife Died

Family & kids
month ago

A man turned to social media for advice after finding out distressing things about his ex-MIL’s relationship with his own daughter. The man, who lost his wife years ago, shared his worries about how his ex-MIL seems to be trying to manipulate his daughter and change her perception of her own 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:

  • She wants your child as her do-over daughter. She is actively brainwashing your little girl. Stop under reacting. This has been going on for years and you, my friend, are in the fog.
    Stop giving her chances to ruin your family. Therapy ASAP for your child and block Gill on everything. It is your number 1 job as her parent to protect her from the toxicity of people. © tattoovamp / Reddit
  • Please do not let her spend the night there again. Shame on her grandma! I understand the loss of a child (I lost my 36-year-old son a little more than 3 years ago), so I get it. But she is not respecting you or your new wife at all.
    She should be happy that you’ve found someone to love and someone that is good to your daughter. It’s exactly what I have now. My daughter-in-law is now married to a man that I couldn’t wish for a better father for my grandkids if their dad can’t be with them.
    If anything, have a supervised visit before you leave to another state but make sure you are there the whole time (not your wife alone because MIL will try and walk all over her). I hope everything works out wonderfully for you and your family. © KMinNC / Reddit
  • Oh gosh. The secret this girl had to carry! When you are that young, you feel everything SO intensely, and you hardly have the vocabulary to describe it all! I feel so sorry for your daughter.
    In my personal opinion, any and all visits to MIL cease. Daughter gets therapy, so this manipulation gets documented. And any and all fears get handled for her to feel safe again.
    I also think you, dad, must spend a lot more time with her, to get the feeling of abandonment out of her and out of the way completely because MIL put it there. I think she needs the support. Having to keep secrets, ordered by her grandmother, causes such deep fear, and I feel very strongly that that is the first thing to address.
    She may have a relationship with MIL, but it’s definitely not a healthy one, and kids feel that. Daughter may not care to see MIL ever again. And even if she does, I prefer her learning that she’s a «tricky person» than that she continues to believe MIL’s behavior is okay. © Unknown author / Reddit
  • Inform your daughter that what grandma did was wrong on many levels and therefore grandma is on an extended time out. Tell her, if you haven’t already, how proud you are of her telling you what was going on at grandma’s house and how this is not her fault. The fault lies squarely on the adult’s shoulders. Let her know she can tell you anything and does not have to keep secrets such as that away from you. © Notmykl / Reddit
  • Your ex-MIL cannot be trusted at all. Document what has been said by your daughter, and let that be the last unsupervised visit with Gill. It might not be a bad idea to get her to see a therapist or see one as a family as this is a big thing for her as Gill has essentially been manipulating and doing all she can to poison her mind. © Dangerfyeld / Reddit

Family feuds are no stranger to anyone. Each person’s relationship with their mother-in-law is different, but many people report issues with theirs. And even the smallest things can trigger a huge argument. It’s the case with a woman whose MIL burst in tears after seeing her son wash dishes. The woman then overheard her MIL say things about her. We featured her story in this article.

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