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Emotional support

(25 Posts)
Judthepud2 Fri 10-Apr-15 17:29:38

Am I being unreasonable in finding it difficult to support my DD in the way she wants, ie encouraging her to think her husband will come back? A month ago she told him to leave as she was fed up with him and she wanted to have a relationship with someone else. She effectively made her husband homeless. This is at the end of a very dysfunctional 5 year marriage. Now she is crying continuously saying she wants him back and has made a mistake. She has sent away the new (and frankly more pleasant) man. Her husband has said there is no way there will be a reconciliation.

I have supported DD through thick and thin through a lot of bad stuff up until now but find it difficult to support her this time as she created this situation herself. I can only respond that I know her husband will not return as he is very angry and hurt, and that she must find some way of moving forward. She gets really angry with ME and usually storms off leaving me feeling guilty. There are 2 young children involved and it breaks my heart to see the distress of the older one trying to make mummy stop crying.

Any comments would be welcome as I am feeling confused by my mix of feelings at the moment. sad

Ana Fri 10-Apr-15 17:42:17

I don't think you should make your dislike of your DD's husband so obvious, and perhaps discuss with her what steps she could take to try and win him back.

It's their marriage and there are children involved - your DD is taking things out on you because you won't concede any hope of a reconciliation, which is of course what she wants. It sounds as though she treated her husband rather badly, and understandably he's not going to rush straight back into her arms, but if he sees she's serious about trying again he may come round in time.

Ana Fri 10-Apr-15 17:46:59

Sorry if that was rather blunt, I just feel that you should put your own feelings to one side and support your DD in trying to win her husband back, for the sake of the children as well as for her.

soontobe Fri 10-Apr-15 18:29:52

Is she likely to treat her husband well if he does come back?

Personally I wouldnt be encouraging him back into some more years of what you call "a very dysfunctional 5 year marriage". Or backing her up to have him back, if she is likely to treat him like dirt.

Iam64 Fri 10-Apr-15 18:32:51

Sorry to read about your difficulties Judthepud2. I suspect the best thing to do is reflect on the advice given by so many grans on here in response to similar posts to your own. Take a step back, try and stay calm and as neutral as possible and don't lose your temper smile. Take care of yourself and try and do some things every day that make you feel positive. I do understand your worry about your grandchildren, like so many of us, I've been there but don't wear the T shirt.

Iam64 Fri 10-Apr-15 18:33:54

Whoops, I didn't mean to suggest you may lose your temper, more that it would be understandable if you did given the stress you must be experiencing.

Mishap Fri 10-Apr-15 18:34:40

I think that, hard though it is to do, you can only be a sounding board for her at this stage. Expressing an opinion is clearly putting you in the wrong, which may not be good at this stage when she needs you as a prop - and for the GC.

loopylou Fri 10-Apr-15 18:37:43

My feelings are that she needs to sort this out herself, and you stay as impartial as you can. Tell her you're not taking sides, but thinking of the children.
She appears very selfish and immature (sorry to be blunt) and has little regard for others' feelings, and is trying to manipulate you and everyone involved.

Awful situation, I hope things get sorted out, but there's no quick solution.

Eloethan Fri 10-Apr-15 19:10:28

It can be very frustrating and upsetting when our grown-up children do things that we think are inadvisable. I expect a lot of us have been there.

You daughter sounds like she is very mixed up and vulnerable at the moment. Of course, she shouldn't get angry with you but I suppose when people are very upset they often take it out on those closest to them.

I tend to agree with Ana. Even if you think her "new man" was a better bet than her husband, she has come to the conclusion that she has made a mistake (
maybe she has found him not to be the ideal person that you think he is).

Everybody makes mistakes but unfortunately sometimes they can't be rectified. Perhaps, though, her husband might feel differently in time. He is the father of her children so if they can be reconciled it might be better for everyone (unless, of course, he has been violent or abusive).

I can understand your impatience, particularly when you see the children getting upset about their mum, but I think your daughter needs your support now and if you try and force her to "let go" it may lead to her feeling more alone and unhappy. Even if her husband won't return, she will need time to accept that.

Smileless2012 Fri 10-Apr-15 20:19:42

Perhaps you could suggest to your D that she takes sometime to ask herself why she felt the need to ask her husband to leave and why she now feels so distraught that he's no longer there.

If there are specific reasons for eg. his general behaviour, is he likely to change and if not, is it a realistic hope that they'll be happy in the future when they haven't been happy in the past.

As difficult as it must be, you need to try and remain as neutral as possible, at least on the outside so your D can use you as a sounding board as this could go a long way to helping her sort out her true feelings for her husband.

Of course despite her own feelings and desire to have him back, he may decide that he wants to end the marriage and as Eloethan says, she's going to need time to accept that.

This is a difficult and painful situation for your D, s.i.l. and especially the children. All you can do is what you're doing a the moment, be there and give as much support as you can. I wish you well.

Judthepud2 Fri 10-Apr-15 20:32:47

Thanks for the comments so far. Perhaps I need to clarify about DD's husband and their relationship. He is not a bad person and a good dad but a truly awful husband. He left her when she was 6 months pregnant with their little boy and changed his phone number. Went back to mummy and reverted to teenage lifestyle of drinking, taking drugs, sleeping around and gambling (he has a bit of a gambling problem). He was 28! He came back and forward, leaving again at the least opportunity. She was so distressed and at one point suicidal.
It took her about 2 years to get back on track .... And then he came back seeming to have matured. However, they were having dreadful arguments where he was verbally abusive after about a year. He would never give her any money. She paid for everything... Mortgage, food, utilities, children. She had started her own business and was working extremely hard. He helped with the child care but started to complain and finally came out with the statement that she was a bad mother because she wasn't there all the time for the children.
She turned to the other man who was a friend and unfortunately they got a bit close.
During all this time (5 years and breast cancer treatment for me) I have wiped her tears, sat up with her all night talking her through things, looked after her children. I have also tried being supportive to her husband and despite everything feel a bit sorry for him. But he is gambling again and made it very clear that he will NOT come back.

So as with everything, things are not simple. This was a toxic relationship and they were tearing each other apart. My daughter never really forgave her husband for what he had put her through and finally decided to end things and go with the other man after a lot of talking things through with both my DH and myself. We didn't take sides but I did make it clear that this must be her decision and she would have to deal with the consequences. Her backtracking has come out of the blue!

Frankly, I am worn out with it all! I know what you mean Ana, but it wasn't dislike I was voicing nor was I getting angry (she is the angry one) but an attempt to help her face the reality of the situation.

Jomarie Fri 10-Apr-15 20:43:21

Oh dear this is a horrible position for you to be in. I really think Loopylou and Mishap have hit the nail on the head. Just try not to voice an opinion -even though it is very difficult when asked direct questions! DDs are very good at putting their mothers in impossible situations I know. Stress the need to keep things on an even keel for the sake of the children - that's your best bet and perhaps suggest she talks to someone uninvolved emotionally - not sure who, apart from Relate. Just a thought..... Good luck.

Jomarie Fri 10-Apr-15 20:55:44

Having just read your last post (I was typing mine when you sent it through and didn't see it until after I had sent mine!) - maybe I should now add that perhaps it's time for her to stand on her own again (with family support of course) and concentrate on making a better life for herself and the children. She's done it before - so she knows she can - which is half the battle. It does seem from what you have said that they aren't good for each other. So rotten for you all. Of course you are worn out - anybody would be - so just as important that you put in the effort to look after yourself without feeling guilty.

Ana Fri 10-Apr-15 21:03:19

JudthePud2, now that you've explained things more, I see that my advice wasn't entirely appropriate. I wonder why your DD is so determined that she wants her husband back?

What a difficult position you are in.

Judthepud2 Fri 10-Apr-15 21:08:33

Smileless2012 thanks for your response which I missed when posting my last. Your query as to whether they would be happy in the future when they weren't happy in the past was a pertinent one. I think that is worth raising with DD. She seems to be forgetting the very bad times.

soontobe Fri 10-Apr-15 21:19:43

You tell her that her husband is not likely to come back, and she gets angry with you.

I can never understand why people shoot the messenger.
There is no way that I would get involved. I wouldnt let anyone do that to me.

Envious Fri 10-Apr-15 21:53:38

I actually feel sorry for her.She is just unhappy all around. The other man must of not been working out after all and now she just doesn't want to be alone. It was scary being with a irresponsible partner so she looked for someone else. Now even scarier being alone. I think id let her sleep in the bed she made and not offer anymore advice. Hard im sure.

Judthepud2 Fri 10-Apr-15 22:48:07

Just a quick update which may be a response to your last question Ana. DD has just let me know she has decided to see a CBT counsellor as she recognises a problem in her inability to move on from her difficult relationship. This is quite a leap forward for her I think.

Envious the new man according to DD ticked all the right boxes for a partner. She asked him to give her space to deal with her emotional melt down. She can't seem to deal with a man being kind to her. Admits this herself.

Anyway, most of you are right. I need to step back and say nothing. So difficult! DH and I continue in our role of stability providers for DGSs. I just needed to vent a little as I was hurting. Thanks for replies.

Grandma2213 Fri 10-Apr-15 23:32:31

I feel so much for you as I too have had to step back and say nothing for years. It is so hard and I have found this site great for letting off steam when it becomes unbearable. You sound like a great Mum and Gran. Keep strong for your DGSs. They truly need your love and I hope your DD keeps moving forward for all your sakes.

Judthepud2 Fri 10-Apr-15 23:46:22

Bless you*Grandma2213*! Thank you for showing you understand! Going to bed feeling a bit happier for your kind words. I've been feeling so down all day. flowers

Eloethan Sat 11-Apr-15 01:14:13

I too am sorry that, as I did not know the full story re your son-in-law's past (and apparently present) behaviour, the opinions I expressed were probably inappropriate and unhelpful.

I think it is very good news that your daughter has decided to see a counsellor to try and resolve her emotional difficulties.

I do hope that with the help of the counsellor, your daughter will gradually feel more in control of her life and feel more able to cope. I'm sure you must be emotionally exhausted with all the upset and I hope things soon look up for you all.

soontobe Sat 11-Apr-15 08:17:59

You sound very weary of it all, understandably.
And vent away by the way.

The idea of a counsellor seems a great idea.
It sounds to me, if she cant deal with a man being kind to her, that her self esteem is at rock bottom. Very sad.

Greenfinch Sat 11-Apr-15 08:46:15

I feel that the important ones in all this are the children. They deserve better. You said he was a good dad so they must be missing him dreadfully. I don't think you said whether they were seeing him at all but that could be the beginning of a reconciliation. When this happened to my daughter I was torn between hoping he would not return and complying with her wishes that he would. In the end we went along with her and when we found out where he was we set up a meeting with the children and an impartial family member which was the beginning of a reconciliation. We never know the ins and outs of another person's marriage and it maybe that your daughter has realised she has pushed him too far this time. Most of my daughter's counsellors were encouraging her to move on by the way but she did not want to take their advice.

soontobe Sat 11-Apr-15 09:03:17

I think that they both need to change.
She needs counselling. He needs to quit gambling.

Judthepud2 Sat 11-Apr-15 10:16:18

The children are still seeing a lot of their dad. He picks them up from school 2 or 3 days a week and takes them to football practice and games. He does, I think, love them a lot and that should help them to come to terms with the split. They seem to be benefitting from the fact he is no longer swearing and shouting at their mum all the time! He does this when he is on one of his gambling binges, by the way.

There have been so many attempts at reconciliation that I really do think the time has come for both to move on now.

My concern now is that DD becomes strong again for her own and the children's sake. And frankly for ours, if that doesn't sound too selfish. We have other grandchildren and would like to have time to enjoy them too.