Posted by: Father-to-be | 2008-11-24

Should I let them take my unborn baby?

My wife and I were married more than a year ago, and our relationship has been good, with one major exception that almost ruined our marriage before. We have had numerous issues with the role her family plays in our lives.

She is now 8 months pregnant, and, I got involved in a serious altercation with my father-in-law following a false alarm, because I wanted her to come home afterwards, and be close to her doctors and our hospital, and he believed that he -a small town doctor- could take better care of her and rush her to hospital when the time came. He wanted to beat me up, and had to be restrained.

She sided with her father following the fight, and it looks like our marriage is in serious trouble (she was opposed to counseling after another serious problem we had with my father in law that almost ruined our marriage, and I don' t think her opinion of it has changed much).

Now that she is with her parents, who have demonstrated hostility to me, I am afraid to get too involved with the birth of our child, because I think it will be used as a tool against me for emotional blackmail. I also am afraid to allow the child to grow up under my father in laws influence, since he has a violent temper (he previously threatened to beat my mother-in-law up, in front of me, although he usually conceals it very well, the only sign being his children' s fear of him).

Should I try to patch things up for the sake of the baby, or should I let the marriage end and try to get custody of the baby after it is born? My wife -who ironically has a psychology degree- is not willing to attend therapy - jointly or separately, so that is probably not an option.

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Our expert says:
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Sorry to hear of such a nasty situation --- even though everyone is probably certain that what they're doping is for the best, for your wife and the baby, obviiously they can't all be right. Though maybe they're not all wrong, either. I wonder whether your wife perhaps suspects that her father might not be right, but feels duty-bound to support him, and hence avoids therapy as a situation in which she may have to face this reality. One wonders whether she fears him, too, as you describe with regard to his other children. But if he is a potential abuser ( and that is one aspect of what you are describing ) by no means should you be ready to relinquish control of YOUR child ( as much yorus as your wife's ) to that man. YOur wife may need to be gently and calmly reminded that her deferring to a man with a history of violence, and her refusal to attempt to remedy things by working with you in therapy, will not look good when you apply to a court for custody, as you will. The court is obliged to look after the best interests of the child, not the father-in-law.
UNless they have ovwerwhelming evidence of likely or actual abuse or damage by a parent, the grandparents should not interfere with the parenting of their own children.
YOu have a right and a duty to be there at the birth of your child, before and after it. Don't let the selfishness of others deprive you and the child of this important occasion.
GOod luck !

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Our users say:
Posted by: Sharkey | 2008-11-24

So sorry to hear of your situation. I have more or less the same problem except it' s with my husbands parents, they are control freaks and my baby girl was born 3 months ago. I have to try and figure out which way, do I raise her on my own or do I try? At the end of the day I told my hubby that I will not let them harm my child. They can scream and yell as much as they want at me but if they dare do that with my child I will stand up even if it meant loosing my husband. It went so far that his mother climbed into me and my up bringing a week before I was to give birth and she badically told me that this child was an unwelcome addition to their superior family.

Things are not 100% now, but I have put my foot down when it comes to my daughter and as soon as they try to overstep or interfere I do not keep my mouth shut.

You should let your wife come home, immediately and tell her you have a right to be there during her pregnancy and at the birth of your child. If she values your relatinship and loves you she will do the right thing and if she is not willing to meet you at least half way then start making alternative plans.

Unfortunately in court you have to proove that your child is at risk if she chooses to stay with her folks. Currently It states that a father can only get custody when the child is 5 years old.
Perhaps when ever you are near the father keep your cell phone or a small recorder handy so you an record him and use it as proof later on.. Just don' t give them any ammonition against you.

Now is an important time to keep your cool and to think of your child. All this stress can not be good for your wife or the baby.

It' s not easy but you have to fight for what is yours and unfortunately your wife might have been so poisoned against you that she is unable to tell right from wrong.

Truth be told you still have along way to go and you have to be strong, if not for your sake then for your child. He/she will need you.

Good Luck!!

Reply to Sharkey
Posted by: Darkie bra | 2008-11-24

why comprimise
u said your wife is terrified of her father so r u it seems
u married she is your wife let her move home and for a while cut ties with in laws untill they learn to respect you .
is she is there by her choice? let her choose but maybe her fear of the father is keeping her the. u would not beat her up but the father would so which would you choose if you werwe in her shoes.
untill u stand your ground agains him your wife will be undeciced
get a restaining order .Raise your child boet no better feeling than that.
fight till your last breath (not physically though) dont scoop to his level.

Reply to Darkie bra
Posted by: Mom | 2008-11-24

Thats a horrible situation.

At the end of the day, its YOUR baby too and in this day and age a father has as much right a mother and if you feel that child will be under a bad influence and your marriage ends, FIGHT for you child. A court will look at all sides.

Thats your baby, be there for him/her at the birth, you can never get that moment back. Its precious.

Reply to Mom

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