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Utterly bereft

(20 Posts)
john2205 Sat 16-Aug-14 15:19:03

In the last 4 days my daughter's marriage has totally broken down. She has a lovely husband and 2 beautiful children ages 4 and 6. My daughter is a committed mother but not well equipped emotionally but she's fine. She never wanted children and they married on this basis but after a couple of years she agreed on condition that she could rely on him under any circumstances. They had 2 lovely children well kept well loved and well looked after. Her husband has worked long long hours in a not very well paid job and she has contributed as best she can. Last thursday she turned up at my door (my wife was out) utterly distressed and told me that her marriage was over. I made a cup of tea and sat thinking what would my wife do - so I shut up and listened. The marriage is most definitely over - thing too much said etc but has left me emotionally paralysed and bereft. I know it will be OK but hard for her and I know she will cope and we (me and my wife) will do all we can to help and support but I am really shocked by my response. I suffer from COPD but that is in control but I feel totally ill-equipped to handle this

Nonu Sat 16-Aug-14 15:28:00

I am very sorry to read your Post JOHN, I could feel your pain coming through.
sad for you

Mishap Sat 16-Aug-14 15:35:34

What a shock for you. I can understand that you are upset. Let us hope that in time things will settle into a new life and new routines.

kittylester Sat 16-Aug-14 15:39:14

I'm sorry too John and welcome if you are new!

Your pain comes through clearly and I can empathise as we currently have our youngest daughter and her 2 under threes living with us after her marriage broke down. Unlike you,we are not sad to see the back of her husband!

You are obviously a good dad and listening, if your daughter wants to talk, is the best thing to do. Life will be difficult for a while but you will be there to help your daughter and she knows that!

Keep talking on gransnet - it does help!

Galen Sat 16-Aug-14 15:43:17

I had the same a week after my husbands funeral. I was pretty shocked as well. Fortunately she has now found a much better man and has 2 lovely little girls by him. She won't marry again but they seem very happy.
John2205 things quite often turn out for the better.
At least she has her parents to talk to and help.

HollyDaze Sat 16-Aug-14 16:03:21

Hello John

I feel totally ill-equipped to handle this

I think you most likely did exactly what was needed: listened without giving advice and trying to tell her what to do. Sometimes, that is the best help anyone can give. If your daughter is looking for advice, she will more than likely ask for it and then you can try to offer some (after you've had time to digest everything she has told you).

Good luck John and I hope everything works out for the best.

Kiora Sat 16-Aug-14 16:49:46

I am so sorry john your families world has been turned upside down. It's hard but you will cope, you'll cope because you must. You love your daughter and grandchildren and they need you, so you will find the strength. You and your wife will need to support each other. Right now your probably feeling a massive mix of emotions and your shocked. You'll get lots of support and advice here. So post when you feel the need. In the meantime take a big breath. Good luck to you, your wife and daughter.

ninathenana Sat 16-Aug-14 17:20:24

I empathise. My daughter's husband moved out a fortnight ago. It has been an emotional rollercoaster over the past 6wks or so for her and her two sons but also for me. DH just lets it all wash over him.
I have had to bite my tongue on several occasions whilst allowing her to let off steam.
All you can do is be there for her, let her talk when she needs too but don't press her if she doesn't.
You will all come through this.

Welcome to GN.

Lona Sat 16-Aug-14 18:58:28

john I empathise too. I have a dc with a very rocky marriage at the moment, which would probably be over if they could afford it.
It's made me feel quite insecure for some reason.

You did the right thing by listening. What hurts our children also hurts us as parents.

henetha Sat 16-Aug-14 19:02:06

So sorry John, what a shock for you. All you can do is listen and give her loving support. I do hope things work out.

Grannyknot Sat 16-Aug-14 20:36:18

hi john, welcome to gransnet. You sound very shocked and understandably so. I think that once the initial shock has passed and you regroup as a family, you will probably feel better. Taking concrete action always makes me feel a whole lot better. Do what you can - perhaps help her in practical ways by entertaining the kids for short periods of time?

I wish you well flowers

rubylady Sun 17-Aug-14 02:45:55

Welcome John. I do feel for your upset. Take time to digest what has happened. As parents we get the conclusion of what has happened and in doing so it can come like a hurricane into our settled life. You and your wife are obviously there for your daughter but you also need to care for yourselves too (especially with your COPD). You are equipped to handle this, you are her dad. Just her seeing you and getting a hug and a cup of tea, to sit with you and talk things over are more than comforting to her. What more could any child want, regardless of age, than a hug from their loving parent.

My question to you though is about you son in law. Have you had a good relationship with him? Will you miss him if they divorce? Do you have a sonor another son in law?

We try so hard to get on with our children's partners and so can take them under our wing also and form a loving relationship with them. So if a break up is on the cards, we also lose one of our loved ones too. Is this what you are feeling? Especially being the dad in the situation, you may have tried hard to form a good relationship with him and feel bereft now yourself.

Be good to yourself and come on here to get whatever it is off your chest.

ninathenana Sun 17-Aug-14 12:05:21

Well said rubylady

Nonnie Sun 17-Aug-14 12:43:27

So sad John and a terrible shock. Many of us have watched our child's marriage break up and are doing all we can to give support and know how hard it is for you.

If you can do anything to encourage them to be civilised about it all and to not argue in front of the children or speak badly of each other to the children I think you will have done all you can.

Best of luck and know that you will get lots of understanding on here.

kittylester Sun 17-Aug-14 12:48:44

Nonnie - good post! smile

john2205 Sun 17-Aug-14 14:37:56

Thanks to all of you - so very supportive and of great succour to me..

We live in an internet age and to illustrate the point, last night my SIL took off for the night saying he would return this morning to my daughter and the children at 10 to take the children out for the day.

At 3am he sends a pic to my d (and others) of him and his brother in a night club with some girls. I have known my SIL for 17 years - I am not close to him but this seems so out of character. I know my daughter is not a saint but she doesn't deserve this behaviour. It feels like he is trying to push the self destruct button on his marriage.

It has done him no favours but it has helped me. My deep deep sorrow remains but now I am angry that my daughter is being treated so badly.

Thanks again for all your support

Nonnie Sun 17-Aug-14 18:04:57

John I wonder why he did something so out of character? What was he trying to prove? He sounds very insecure to me, even possibly saying 'Look I can do it too'. I only say this to suggest you try to look at both sides. Unfortunately we usually only ever see one side of a break up and there is quite possibly some things your daughter is not telling you. I am speaking from experience.

john2205 Sun 17-Aug-14 20:09:43

ye, perhaps, and I do understand what you are saying but there is one thing I can say with almost 100% certainty is that my daughter has been faithful in her marriage. I will be the first to say that she is not the easiest of people but I still feel that she does not deserve this.

The thing is that we (my wife and I) have always vowed and have never involved ourselves with our children's affairs. and we have only ever played a supporting role.

Penstemmon Sun 17-Aug-14 20:32:43

Sorry to hear you are having a tough time at the moment john

I can't add much to the advice about being a good listener but saying little! Sometimes these apparent disasters have a way of righting themselves (my experience) and you do not want to have said anything that proves awkward later. All I would add is that Relate counselling (or similar) may be useful for your DD (& her husband) even if it just helps them to end the marriage without ongoing bitterness.

Deedaa Mon 18-Aug-14 21:49:35

I think any one whether male or female would have had the same reaction as you john It's a real body blow for the whole family. I would say listen a lot, talk, but try to resist apportioning blame at the moment and keep up your supporting role while your daughter works through it,