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wife has taken baby away

(117 Posts)
softfocus Thu 28-Apr-11 07:59:55

Not too sure if this is the right section to post this but here goes anyway.

My wife and I have been together 6 years and had a lovely little 10 month old wee girl. Over the last few months my wife has "cooled" with me e.g. wanting to sleep alone and though I've found that difficult I've coped realising (or perhaps hoping?) that she needed her own space and all her energies were going to the baby. She has been breastfeeding and has only been separated from her when I take her for walks. She had taken 9 mnths off work but has extended it to 13 months and I know she is dreading going back but we are in the very fortunate position of one of us always being able to look after our daughter.

Since Christmas, she has been spending more and more time with the baby at her mother's house often spending as much as 8 nights away. I am happy with her spending around 3 nights away a fortnight but every time she goes to her mum's saying she's only away for 3 days,she keeps extending it.

I miss my wee girl SO much when she's away from home .

Last Thursday I went to work expecting to see them both on my return but whilst I was at work I received a text saying they had gone to see her mother as she needed "time to think about things". I was upset but not angry.
Since then I keep asking when they're coming back and never get a straight reply. I can't sleep/eat and am worried sick.
Since yesterday she hasn't been answering my texts or calls even when I have asked is she and my daughter ok.

Any advice would be most welcome .

Thank you.

ItDoesntBodenWell Thu 28-Apr-11 08:05:31

Did you ask what the problem was when she started sleeping alone / going to her mums?

trixie123 Thu 28-Apr-11 08:07:30

didn't want you to go unanswered. What a horrible situation. Can you go to the mother's and find them? Maybe her mother can watch the baby for bit while you and your wife talk. It seems unfair that she gets to work out by herself what is going to happen to the marriage - you are in it too as of course is your daughter. I would also suggest getting in touch with Relate and find out if they have any availability for counselling. Good Luck

BerryLellow Thu 28-Apr-11 08:07:32

Could you not go round there?

softfocus Thu 28-Apr-11 08:18:40

Thanks for all those replies so quickly.
As for sleeping alone,she would say i snored/took up too much room in the bed and she needed her sleep.
She said she'd go to her mums to get some rest.
We did arrange for me to go down on Monday to see them.We agreed the night before I'd meet my wife and daughter in a local park as I felt I didn't want her mum getting involved.However when i arrived I received a text saying they "were running late and would be 10 mins late". However,I waited for 40 mins on a cold day (Scotland!) then was told that if i was in a bad mood (by this time I was through worry) I couldn't see them. I was so upset I just got the train home again.
Since then I've asked several times if she could bring the wee one up on the train and just meet the three of us for an hour or so but she refuses saying it would be too difficult
My step father has offered to drive her up too but again she refuses.

I am worried sick about them both especially since last night receiving no texts as to their wellbeing.

Thanks again for all you replies.

Tillyscoutsmum Thu 28-Apr-11 08:23:43

Have you got the land line for her mum's house ? Could you speak to her - even just to check they are ok ?

What a horrible situation sad

softfocus Thu 28-Apr-11 08:29:20

I do have the landline for her mum but am wary of talking with her,I feel it's between us and don't want othesr getting involved. I also feel a certain amount of resentment towards her mum as from the birth on ,she has made me feel uncomfortable e.g. criticising me over things I do with my daughter and when i do visit she will literally stand right over me and my girl watching like a hawk and following us from room to room .
I have bitten my lip on countless occassions but i feel I am getting close to saying something I could regret and make things worse.

ElsieR Thu 28-Apr-11 09:07:06

I would get some legal advice on this one. She has no right to cut you out. You must persist. The MIL is involved whether you like it or not as your wife is staying with her. Good luck.

GapsAGoodUn Thu 28-Apr-11 09:18:11

Does she have post natal depression do you think? I had a nasty bout after having my dd and to my shame I told my DH that I didn't love him anymore and wanted him away from us.

We talked, I got some help and we are still together 7 years (and another DC later).

ElsieR Thu 28-Apr-11 09:19:16

Thought about PND too. Does she have a best friend you can talk to? She might be able to shed some light.

GypsyMoth Thu 28-Apr-11 09:25:20

can you expand on the comment about your anger?

why would she say that to you?

softfocus Thu 28-Apr-11 09:45:03

PND is possible,she has suffered from depression in the past (not since I've been with her though). She has contacted our health visitor to have chat with her so ,i guess,that's hopeful.

Not too sure what you mean about my anger? I do know that my worry about what's going on can turn into anger. This is always after "the goal posts have been moved" e.g. arranging meeting times then changing them,saying they'll be back on a certain day then extending it. I am fine when agreements are kept. I know anger can only make things worse and am trying my best to stay calm .
Thanks again for all your advice,very appreciated.
To exacerbate things I'm on Jury Duty this week,was there on Tues but not selected then have to go back today. Concerned that my mental health is not too great for this though.
Hope i don't get selected.

I know i may be being typically male in wanting "things sorted" when,perhaps,I need to give her more space to sort her own head out. BUT I miss my daughter SO SO much that I can't even bare to see her toys etc at the moment so have shut them away in a room I don't go into.
And,of course, i get the fear that she'll forget me ( unfounded i know but still there).

softfocus Thu 28-Apr-11 09:46:53

As for friends for her,no she doesn't really have any friends . She did have lots of chances to meet mums from the ante natal classes we went to but never wanted to meet them always citing it as being too hard to make their meetings.
I thought it would be good for her to meet up with other mums and for my daughter to see other wee ones too.

Katiebeau Thu 28-Apr-11 09:51:48

OP - your MIL is acting strangly by monitoring and watching what you do with your DD. Is there history in wife's family? Frankly this sounds like your DW is struggling mentally to have you around DD too. You must make it clear to her that despite you wanting her back you need to see DD and will take legal steps to ensure this ASAP. To many women just think they can take the kids. It's cruel for her to do this even if she has PND.

AKMD Thu 28-Apr-11 09:53:53

What a horrible situation. I was thinking PND too as I had/have it and I quite often got very close to taking DS and running away, not because of anything DH had done particularly but just because I couldn't deal with his needs as well as DS. While I'm a lot better, I still feel very uncomfortable when DH gets home from work and wants a hug/kiss/talk because I feel like I've been dealing with what DS needs all day and want a bit of time to relax instead of dealing with what DH needs too. It isn;t right but that's PND for you sad

I do think that you need to talk to your DW and your MIL as it is possible that your MIL's criticism of your parenting has influenced your wife while she is in a vulnerable position and that is why she is avoiding you and picking up very quickly on your annoyance. I also think that you should seek legal advice sooner rather than later and keep a diary of everything that is happening as, whatever the cause of your wife's behaviour, it may escalate to the point that she does leave you +ill need to make arrangements for custody of your daughter. I'm sorry to put such a bleak possibility there but you really do need professional advice so that you don't inadvertently do something that would be damaging to your position.

I really hope this is sorted out asap.

softfocus Thu 28-Apr-11 10:04:15

Thanks,AKMD, for your well considered words. I recognise a lot in what you've said about possible PND in my wife.
Its weird my wife and her mum never really got on before. Even when i do phone now to my wife,my MIL is constantly interrupting from the background.

I have began keeping a log on all that's happening which i find very sad but necessary I guess.

Legal advice is something that scares me too but will need to look into it.
I just fear escalating matters.

Thank you again.

Just been to shops and it upset me every time i saw a child with their mum/dad.

Skifit Thu 28-Apr-11 10:08:03

So sorry to hear all this SoftFocus. You must be feeling awful. It sounds to me she is the dominant partner, and now that is much to your detriment. You do need to have some serious discussions with her. You have a right to see you little DD, especially if you have done nothing wrong. Your wife is not commumnicating and it is so vital right now that she does. You do not deserve to be left in the dark about whatss happening.
You should have stayed put in the park and insisted on seeing your wife. She is taking the piss and taking advantage of your kind nature. Why should she be the one to give the orders, "If you are in a bad mood then . . ." You shouldnt just go along with that and what she says goes all the time. Stand your ground, be assertive, be firm and dont take no for an answer all the time. At the same time be polite, patient and not aggressive with communication. Your wife is not the only one who can "call the shots " all the time. You have a say softfocus, dont walk away with your tail between your legs. You are the father of that child !
It sounds like you really care about your child and wife. You dont know what the MIL is saying to her which is didfficult. Does your wife get a lot more help at mums ? Do you help with you DD when they are at home. If you can get back on an even keel you need to be showing how brilliant you are at caring for your DD (Better than MIL) and shower you wife with support and care. She may byt the sound of it not want your love at the moment (PND??) but you can show how much you care by giving her as much help domestically as possible.
Ignore the MIL, and dont mentally allow her to make you feel inadequate with your DD. She has had more experience taking care of babies so she is bound to know how to help her DD with the baby. But she must realise that you are still on a learning curve with child care.
Be assertive with MIL and just say, "Its ok dont worry, leave me to it, I can manage this..." and in saying that look MIL in the eye so she knows you mean it.
Finally when you do get to speak with you wife make it clear to her that she means the world to you and you are prepared to do ANYTHING to make it right and have them back at home.
Say you are so sorry that your wife is feeling down and needed time away from you. Tell her you will do all it takes because you love them (wife and child) both so much.
Suggest marriage councelling, separetely or together, whichever she wants.
Wishing you luck Softfocus.
Try to get some sleep and eat something. You need all your energy to help you focus on what must be a horrible and difficult situation. See your GP for support and tell him how wretched you feel, not eating or sleeping. Dont worry they have seen it all before, every day infact. You will not be the only parent going through this kind of thing, your GP is used to this so dont feel embarrassed or useless because you seek help. You are brave and sensible.
We support you here !! xx

softfocus Thu 28-Apr-11 10:19:00

Thanks,Skifit.
Actually,in day to day life i THINK i'm the more dominant one,my wife usually being so laid back that it's up to me to get anything done.
As for helping at home, I do all the food shopping,make all the meals,play constantly with the wee one,take her to the park for long times together,talk to her all the time and shower her with love.

I have bitten my lip SO many times with the MIL but it does seem that once she makes a criticism of me,my wife will take it to heart.

Another far less important possible sign of my wife struggling is that she bought a cat a few years ago which she dearly loved but since the baby's arrival she has kept saying how she hate him and wants to get rid of him. It's not the poor cat that has changed.

Thanks to you all , you are helping me.

Tillyscoutsmum Thu 28-Apr-11 11:40:06

I appreciate the issues with your MIL, but if your wife continues to ignore your calls/txts, I think you do need to call the land line. Don't get drawn into any arguments or recriminations. Just keep very calm and say you're very worried about your wife and dd and just need to keep in contact to ensure they are ok.

SaggyHairyArse Thu 28-Apr-11 12:19:28

Personally I would be looking a sending a letter via a solicitor. Whilst at this stage you want to make every effort to remain married and in a relationship with your wife, you have no other option but to make interim access arrangements concerning your daughter, suggesting what you could make work whilst she is in Scotland. Obviously ensure the letter is not too inflammatory (I had to ask my solicitor to redraft my divorce papers three times as she was viscious!).

Also, rearding contacting your wife via your MILs landline, you have very litle option given that she is not answering your calls.

Good luck!

GapsAGoodUn Thu 28-Apr-11 12:21:25

I would say that your being the more dominant one may be part of the problem sf.

When you are in the depths of PND (and early mothering) you have almost nothing that is within your control. You don't get to choose when to go to the loo because the chances are the baby will need you at that moment. You don't get to eat what you want to in case it 'changes' the milk. You don't get to lie in, watch telly, drink til you fall over, sew a quilt, garden for an hour - do almost anything that gives you an identity as anything other than a mother.

In short you feel responsible for everyone and everything, and that no-one looks after you. And yes, this can mean the cat - who needs feeding, cleaning up after etc etc. He probably wants affection and touching too.

You need to ask her what she want s (but be ready for a wail of 'I don't know'.) My DH wanted to 'fix' the problem, but he couldn't - no one could. I just wanted to rant and be accepted, to feel worthy.

I may be projecting far too much here, sorry if it feels that way, but it was such a bleak time.

softfocus Thu 28-Apr-11 13:47:28

Thanks again,everyone.
I have texted/tried clling gain just now:no reply.
Phoned MIL landline : no reply .Left a message saying I was worried and were they ok?
Emailed her Dad @ work saying I was worried sick: no reply.

I feel so powerless and worried about them both .

Yes,Gaps, I do get the " I Don't know " answer a lot.

PlopPlopPing Thu 28-Apr-11 18:57:36

I wondered about PND as well.

One other thing that popped to mind when you talk about your wife and her mother . . . I have a friend whose mum married, had a child and then left her DH when the child was 2. My friend when she grew up married had a child and also left her DH when the child was 2. My friend saw a counsellor some time later and he pointed out the similarities. Apparently families often follow these patterns. This popped to mind because you were saying that MIL follows you around closely like she is quite posessive and your wife seems to have rejected you (and the cat) now that she has a child and seems to be trying to keep the child from you. Do you see what I mean? Their behaviours towards their children seems similar. Did you wife grow up with a father around?

BlueberryPancake Thu 28-Apr-11 19:14:29

I wouldn't get sollicitors involved at this stage. But try and note down the calls you make, without harrassing, and ask directly to see your daughter. How far away is she?

You need to be able to see your daughter. Maybe you could think about turning the situation a bit - try to leave your wife to take some time to sort things out in her mind - give her space - but ask politely and calmly to see your daughter. Arrange a date/time to see her and stick to it.

Then, if access is denied, you can seek legal advice.

Maybe your wife does genuinly need time. But it is crucial for you and your daughter that you keep on trying to see her.

softfocus Fri 29-Apr-11 08:38:29

Thank you gain for your replies. Plop,you may have a point .Yes,my wife's father was around but she was one of 4 kids and so the mother was a permanent stay at home where she ruled the household with her Dad having to work very long hours. He's a VERY quiet man and seems to be bossed around by the wife though he just keeps quiet.

Blueberry,i think i agree with you:i really don't want to escalate matters,yet.
I am logging all calls/texts/conversations.

UPDATE: Finally received a text saying "we are both fine" at 4pm yesterday.
I phoned the landline ,her mum answered and I asked to speak to my wife. This time we talked for a good bit,she said she didn't have PND (somehow she had managed to see a GP in a town she doesn't live in and is not registered with). Again she was non committal when I asked about seeing my wee girl.
Later I called her to webcam with my daughter (again with MIL in background) which was heart wrenching,I felt she didn't recognise me ( i hope ,my imagination).
During the skype chat I asked again when I could see her. Again,no firm reply then call was ended.
I called the landline,MIL answered,"can i speak to my wife ?" "NO,YOU CAN'T" then all hell broke loose .Her mum shouting at me saying I was being unfair,that I was calling too much etc etc. I'm afraid I reacted angrily
for the first minute but then quickly realised this wasn't good so shut up and let her mum shout for a few minutes more.

When the anger subsided, I said that I realised this was tough,anxious,stressful time for all and apologised .She calmed down and we talked for a little while. She said I was welcome "to see your daughter any time" as long as it was in her house. This hurt me but i felt I had to agree to to it. I said ok but ,for the time being it would have to be me,my wife and my daughter with no one else present.She agreed though quite how that's going to to work in practice,I'm not too sure.

I told the MIL about my anxieties about her criticism of my parenting and she did apologise saying I was a great Dad but that she had experience of 4 babies. She did agree that it must be awful for me but she had to support her daughter.

I have agreed to get the train down after work again today and come to the house to see my wee one.I will then do the same again over the weekend.
I am also unsure as to how the practicalities are going to work e.g. when my baby wants to have her nap,where do I go?

I am full of nervousness,anxiety and last night woke up several times in floods of tears (the first time I've really cried about all this).

Thanks again,everyone.Sometimes just the writing down of all of this helps.A bit.

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