You are powerless over your daughter and her husband…..

by Rod Smith

“I need help with understanding my son-in-law. He is very controlling of my daughter. They have been married three years. I wasn’t allowed to visit them when he was home and then it was very limited to how long I could stay. They only lived 3 miles away. They have a baby. I’m allowed to see them when he is working. They have moved thirty miles away. He works shifts so I can go see them every third day. He thought I wouldn’t travel that far to see them that often but I do. His family will not go more than 25 miles from their house. Now he has decided that I see the baby more than his mom sees her. My daughter said that is her fault because she is welcome to visit. He refuses to go see any family or be around either side. He likes to see his friends. She is older than he is. He is very immature and insecure. He likes to play video games all day. He has to know everything she does, he calls 10 or so times and text her all day when he works. It is hard to visit why my daughter with all the calls and texting. She doesn’t want him to know how much I visit. What is the best way to handle him? Can I do anything that would help? He says if he sees family once a month that is more than enough for him. She had a friend that drove sixteen hours to see her and he had every excuse in the world for her not to see her. See hadn’t seen her in a year and they were best friends. She can’t seem to see he is controlling her live. What do we do?”


Call me

You are powerless over your son-in-law and your daughter. I’d suggest you gently and repeatedly ask your daughter if her life (marriage, motherhood, relationships with you and her extended family) is how she hoped her life would be – and LISTEN to her answers. Do not judge her answers, comment on what you see, or make any suggestions. Just listen.

Your assessment is that your son-in-law is “very immature and insecure”. While this may be so, your daughter found him sufficiently appealing to go ahead and marry him. People are attracted to those who are equally mature or immature. If you “corner” your daughter about him, it is likely she will side with him and then you will lose access to your daughter and your grandchild.

Change will come only when your daughter sees how much she allows his controlling behaviors to succeed. Until then, you will dance on eggshells in much the same way as she already does – if this is what you choose to do.

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