Posted by: Angela | 2007/05/09

Help save marriage

Hi CS!
Please help me! My husband and I have been arguing for a few months now, almost everyday, as we cannot agree on where to keep our baby during daytime. I want our 7month old baby to stay with a daycare mom, but my husband wants him to stay with my in-laws. He says he doesn’t want to let baby stay with a stranger and want to keep baby in family care for as long as possible.
I, however, cannot allow this as his parents are for ever critising, minipulating and intimidating us and telling us what we are doing wrong and what we should do and how to live our life and raise our children! This baby is our second child, and we went through all of this with our daughter who is now 4 years old. And when we confront them, they deny it and start arguing. They chase us away and say we are not welcome there anymore, they don’t want to see us or our children again and we are taken out of their wills.... Been through this excersize so many times it is not even strange anymore. And then they contact us again when they miss the grandchildren.
But not only that: we live 10km away from them to one side and work 10km to the other side of where we stay, meaning in peak hour traffic mornings and noon, we are stuck in traffic for an hour and a half, each trip – 3 hours per day in traffic, just to drop and pick up the baby!
I am at a stage where I am considering either divorce or suicide, but I love my husband and children just too much to do something like that. But still my husband says the baby has to stay with his parents, regardless the effect it is having on our marriage or family life or our emotional states! Please help me, Doctor, am I really, as everyone is saying, being selfish? I am considering now not to speak to anyone of them, ever, until my baby is “old enough” for daycare...

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Our expert says:
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I wonder WHY he considers it so important to limit the child's access to getting to know a wider range of people, and to keep her human contacts so highly limited to within the family ? What harm does he think might come to her if your plan was followed ? If, as you say, his parents are forever criticisng you, it may be that he is simply carrying out their wishes, based on their unfair and unhelpful assumption that they always know best. If their child-rearing practices led to their producing in your husband a grown man who obeys his parents wishes even when these are unreasonable, then their way is not one to be recommended. <br>And your point about the traffic problem illustrates how absurd it would be to pander to these hyper-critical and over-controlling folks. Could you persuade your husband to join you in marriage counselling ? I cannot believe that ANYONE with the slightest scrap of good sense could be calling you selfish in this --- it is your husband and his parents who are being selfish, and insisting on satisfying their own whims, irrespective of the impact on the child or on you. <br>And when grandparents resort to cheap and nasty blackmail of the " jump when I say jump or we take you out of our will" school, they should be told graphically exactly where they can put their wills, and the parents ought to declare their own independence. <br>I hope other readers can suggest some practical ways to deal with this, apart from getting good legal advice.

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Our users say:
Posted by: TC | 2007/05/10

I had the same situation when my little one was born. We compromised. 3 Days at mother-in-law and 2 days at daycare. After a while I could see visable differences in his behaviour from daycare to M-I-L. Result. More visits to daycare and less to M-I-L untill he was in daycare all the time. Good luck

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