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Where do we go from here re DD3 and the Idiot!

(30 Posts)
kittylester Mon 30-Jun-14 11:44:15

As lots of you will know, DD3 has had depression (PND?), has 2 under 3s and an idiot for a husband. grin but also angry

DD is now taking citalopram and having CBT and is loads better. When things came to a head, the Idiot said to DH that she had a screw loose and needed to sort herself out before he could decide wether to stay with her or not.

DD doesn't talk to any of us about this apart from DD2 but, it appears, he has said he doesn't love her any more but will stay in the same house 'for the children'. DD has told her sister that she is prepared to stay till the end of the year to see if things improve but doesn't expect them to.

When DD first started to have panic attacks the Idiot suggested that she stay with us while he is away and then he would have the children over the weekends. Strangely, he works a lot of weekends! DD now stays with us for 2/3 night per week staying at home the rest of the time.

I should add that he is 50 this year, she is 27. He has been married before and has two grown up children. He doesn't communicate with us at all anymore and does not attend family things.

Our concerns are, mainly, how to help the children during this period but also what emotional and practical advice we can offer DD. And when do I get my tidy house back!

Grannyknot Mon 30-Jun-14 12:00:46

Oh kitty I do feel for you.

My instincts would be to say "Enough". If you are looking after the fall-out - literally and figuratively - from this man's behaviour, he needs to have a conversation with you. I know you have said daughter doesn't discuss it, but it needs to be outed now. Full and frank family discussion needed! Otherwise it's nothing but a whole lot of pretense.

Easier said than done, I know, but you can't carry on with this charade.

rosequartz Mon 30-Jun-14 12:13:24

If he says he doesn't love her any more then I doubt things will improve.

She deserves someone who does love her and eventually may find someone who does; however, she needs to get herself better for her own sake and for the children before any thoughts of that. He is not helping, in fact he is making it all a lot worse. She is probably staying because it is the lesser of the two evils - the thought of being on her own with two little ones is scary, but she has your love and support, kitty.

And you do need to talk directly, not through a third party, because you are being involved anyway.

It is so distressing to see your DC hurting and to feel helpless. flowers kitty

Elegran Mon 30-Jun-14 12:24:37

Yes, call a family meeting. You are involved anyway, so if he says that you are interfering ask him how you can have them in your house regularly for part of the week without being affected by the situation. You are picking up the pieces, so you would like to be in on the discussion. Add that you want to know what is going on, so that YOU can make YOUR plans, and not exist solely to sort out the mess that he has made.

Try to keep the discussion away from recriminations and concentrate on practical things. He probably knows your opinion of him by now, and as he has come clean about not loving your daughter any more, that is out in the open too.

Find out just what he means by "for the children" If he means for the benefit of the children, then he needs to come up with some solid plans of how he will achieve that, and stick to them. If he means for his benefit, so that he can enjoy the company of his children when he is in the mood, then he would be better off moving out and seeing them at regular previously agreed times.

I have a suspicion that professional help is going to be necessary to pin down this bloke to facing up to responsibility and considering other people as well as himself.

rosequartz Mon 30-Jun-14 12:43:47

It sounds as if he has previous - what is his relationship with his first wife and other children? If he has a good relationship with his older children then perhaps your DD and he can talk and progress to a situation where he sees their children regularly (worked out for the benefit of the children). They may be very young but will still be aware of tensions so he has to think of their welfare not just what he wants to happen.

whenim64 Mon 30-Jun-14 12:50:08

I'm wondering why she doesn't change the locks and leave his suitcase outside the door whilst he's away working! The children need their home back full time and perhaps starting divorce proceedings will help everything else fall into place. My DIL was married to an idiot (having met him several times at family events, I can confirm that he is). As soon as she asserted herself, got the children's routine in order and made it clear she was having no more of his nonsense, all of a sudden her 'depression' disappeared. It was hard going, but she had the support of her parents and sister, and three years later met my son - they have a happy relationship and looking back she wonders why she tolerated him for as long as she did. He has plenty of access to his children (often lets them down, so then it's set by DiL) and her ex knows her extended family is aware of his antics so he has to curb it these days.

petallus Mon 30-Jun-14 13:11:28

Kittylester I wonder if your daughter is still hoping to save her marriage. It's not always easy to leave a relationship which was once good and has now gone sour. People cling on hoping for improvement and you might have to wait until she is ready to go.

I agree with posters who have said an open discussion would be a good thing but I am wondering how possible this will be if your SIL is not prepared to co-operate. You might have more luck with your DD but I wouldn't push it too hard if she is reluctant.

At the very least you can (if you can find the strength) keep on supporting your daughter in the way you have been for as long as she needs it, which won't be forever.

As for the tidy house, well, you might have to let that go for a while though don't think I don't sympathise. I have a similar situation myself.

kittylester Mon 30-Jun-14 20:08:44

Thank you for your thoughtful replies.

I think Petallus has come up with a solution that chimes best with me at the moment but it is soooo difficult - we don't want her to take umbrage. flowers

Crafting Mon 30-Jun-14 21:03:22

kittylester you must be exhausted with all the worry. Thank goodness your daughter has such a caring mum but you need some time for yourself too. When people get depressed it drains the life out of them, I'm glad your daughter is getting help. Her husband doesn't seem to be giving her any support at all (I'm not sure idiot is the word I'd use for him I could think of some stronger terms).

Sorry I have no wise words or helpful suggestions but feel desperately sorry for anyone suffering depression - it is the worst feeling. I hope your daughter can have some happiness in her life soon.

Deedaa Mon 30-Jun-14 23:08:12

On the whole I don't think seperation should be taken lightly and think that children are better with two parents, but this is beginning to sound like one of the exceptions.
There is quite an age gap, SiL doesn't sound either helpful or empathetic and I think come the end of the year your daughter may have to seriously look at seperation. It's an awful strain for you but I think you just have to be the stabilising inluence for her and the children.

Paula8 Tue 01-Jul-14 22:56:00

I feel sorry for your daughterkitty but also worry for you, it sounds like it is piling up on you slowly but surely.

Make some ground rules that benefit everyone re the mess..

I have alway ssaid your life partner can make you or break you, and it sounds like this idiot has broken your daughter..

Try and get shot of him by distancing your precious family from him, so as to give your DD some breathing space and to be able to move on from this disaster.

I know it looks bad now Dear but things will turn around and get betterflowers

rosesarered Wed 02-Jul-14 11:06:06

Kitty a member of our family was in a similar situation, and leaving him was the best thing she ever did.The 2 children were happier as well, and the younger the children are when this happens, the better.Your SIL can either buy her a small house somewhere that she chooses and stay in the family home himself, or he can have the smaller house and she gets the family home, or they sell up and split the proceeds.She may need a mortgage though, can she work at all?

kittylester Wed 02-Jul-14 12:04:42

roses They are in a rented house - long story but I said he was an idiot! We have noticed that the more time she spends at home, the unhappier the children seem and the more badly behaved!

She is trying to set up a wedding cake making business so that it fits in with staying at home with the children for now but would like to get a part time job when she is more on track. She was an event planner - not conducive to having tinies. She is also (nominally) a director of his company. It's a flipping mess!!

Luckily we can either have them here (in the short term) or help her financially for a while but (in fairness and much as it pains me!!) he seemed to play fair with his other children!

She is spending the weekend with her sister so we might get some more info then on which to base an approach!

Thank you everyone for your input!

granjura Wed 02-Jul-14 12:47:45

I am so sorry to hear all this Kitty- I have no advice to give sadly- just my very best wishes and flowers flowers flowers

Iam64 Thu 03-Jul-14 08:00:14

Sorry to hear about this tough situation kitty. The age gap is quite a big one, and his unpleasant comments 'skew loose' etc don't make him sound in the least bit likeable.

Have you had any success in talking things through with your daughter, without the input of her (charming) husband. What does she want to happen? Emotionally abusive, and destructive marriages feed depression and anxiety. Getting on the Relate waiting list is something constructive, skilled and properly trained/supervised staff there, who can assist with communication as well as help couples either stay together, or separate in a more amicable way.

As for having a tidy house, good luck with that one kitty grin

Aka Thu 03-Jul-14 08:04:59

Like Granjura I have no practical advice to give. Just be there for her flowers

JessM Thu 03-Jul-14 08:18:54

Kittylester it all sounds miserable. But to be blunt:
As a marriage it sounds dead in the water. If I was a betting woman, I'd have a tenner on the fact that the idiot has another woman (or man) in his life.
Also she is probably in no fit state to be starting a business. In her present circumstances this sounds like an escapist fantasy.

kittylester Thu 03-Jul-14 14:02:23

I agree that the marriage is dead Jess but DD doesn't seem to yet! The 'business' idea is just what she has always done for friends but is being asked to do more nowadays. It would never be a full time venture but good occupational therapy at the moment and a bit of extra cash.

I am hoping that we can make some progress after the weekend.

Cressida Sun 06-Jul-14 12:05:05

kittylester, the best thing you can do for your daughter is just give her time. While she probably 'knows' the marriage is dead she isn't yet in the right place to do something about it. I was in a similar situation and it took me about a year on Citalopram before I was able to take control of my life and leave.

kittylester Sun 06-Jul-14 12:42:15

Thank you all for taking the time to offer advice. I knew I could rely on GNs flowers

Cressida - I think you are right and that was our thinking but it's good to get other people's advice in case we've missed something.

Paula8, thank you for your concern but there is no need to worry about me, this is all just part of life in a big family like ours. I'm a woman - I can cope grin and we do support each other at difficult times. flowers

petallus Sun 06-Jul-14 12:48:15

' this is all just part of life in a big family like ours. I'm a woman - I can cope grin and we do support each other at difficult times'

kittylester I love your comment (above). I think I shall adopt it as my motto!

Good luck with everything, by the way flowers

Agus Sun 06-Jul-14 14:01:01

Kitty we are 2 years on from the situation you are in at present. DD also suffered PND and panic attacks and the'idiot' saying she was a mental case. All of this we discovered was to hide his own guilt at what he has done to DD and his two daughters. Something he will have to live with.

We supported DD in any way we could and had to wait till she realised she was looking for something that wasn't there and told him to leave. We had to let her go at her own pace.

DD's and our priority is the girls. He is their Daddy but on occasion when we have to be in his company, I just think of him as a bad smell that keeps coming back and I am damned sure I won't allow this lowlife to spoil the relationship we have with our precious GDs so I laugh and chat when I have to as I would hate my GDs to have any upset if they realised the hostility between Granny and Daddy. The girls are both very happy bunnies as they believe we are all friends.

I wish your DD strength to get through this Kitty and she will, in time! bounce back with the love and support of her family

kittylester Sun 06-Jul-14 14:21:45

Agus thank you for your post - I know we will all get through this and our priority is DD and the children. It's hard to do the right thing isn't it!

Today, is their wedding anniversary so I gave DD a card before she left on Friday as I could bring myself to take it round today. It is the Idiot's birthday next week too and we had bought quite an expensive present, that is only appropriate to him, before things came to a head. DH is insistent that we take it round to him at the weekend and I know it's the right thing to do. I'm just not sure I can. It is a framed print which could make a handy blunt instrument! grin

Agus Sun 06-Jul-14 14:34:03

Forget the frame Kitty. Karma will bite him in the bum. grin

kittylester Mon 07-Jul-14 07:19:08

Hopefully Agus grin