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(27 Posts)
dolly56 Sun 16-Dec-18 22:40:01

My dear son has told me his wife's feelings have changed. They have just started going to relate. My DGD is only 7. Help please

Coolgran65 Sun 16-Dec-18 23:06:19

I'm sorry, these things ripple out to the extended family don't they. Relate may help them or it may help them come to terms with what has happened.

How you saw your future might change and in such situations we can but hope that it all works out for the best all round. It is positive that they have agreed to go to Relate.

I found myself in your situation last Spring.

Unfortunately a separation was the outcome and at present there are ongoing family court mediation sessions to help agree a Contract for shared child care. Our ds was in bits at the time but has found strength and indeed is now happier that ever, no more bad atmospheres, no constant criticism, and cares very well for his young daughter 50/50.

You can provide support and be there.
In the meantime know that in the Spring I hadn't a clue and was very worried about how our ds would cope. He has proved himself.
These things have a way of working out.

paddyann Sun 16-Dec-18 23:12:50

theres nothing you can do except support BOTH of them,you have no idea whats gone wrong in their relationship so dont take sides.They seem to want it to work by going to relate so offer to have your GD to give them some time together .
Its really hard to watch your children go through relationship breakups ,both of mine were cheated on by partners in the same month ,both walked away with their children,one was only months old .Whatever you do dont run down either parent to your GD and help her see that both her parents will always love her and be there for her if they decide to part.Try to hold it together for them all for now and let your GD have a great christmas and try to relax and enjoy it with them .My best wishes are with you all

sodapop Mon 17-Dec-18 08:53:36

I agree with Paddyann support them both, don't criticise either of them in front of your
Granddaughter. It's so hard to see this happening to your family I know. I hope things work out for them.

Saggi Mon 17-Dec-18 10:27:17

I’m going through this as my daughter and son in law are in the process of separating. My once loving. adorable 6 year old granddaughter is suffering ...and although she is ‘all over’ her parents whenever they walk into the house ...she’s taking all her anger out on me . As soon as they leave the house in the morning to go to their various jobs...she won’t speak to me...ignores everything I try to do for her ...and is often blatantly rude to me. A year ago she couldn’t get enough of our friendship. I’m devastated by it all!! All you can do is keep calm and try your hardest to behave with your granddaughter as you’ve skyways done. Do not criticise her mum or dad. It really wants to make me cry for my family’s situation so I imagine you are feeling exactly the same.... I understand exactly your pain!

Coconut Mon 17-Dec-18 10:30:20

I agree with the others, support both and let them know that, so that you can maintain contact and as much normality as poss to your GD. There is really nothing that you can do, only they can make or break this marriage. It does hurt like hell, but I managed it with son No2 and they are both with new partners now. Most importantly I have kept close to my 2 GD’s. My ex DIL and I still are in touch and even her new toddler calls me Nanny ! All any of us can do is ride the storm and hope for the best.

Maccyt1955 Mon 17-Dec-18 10:34:31

Hello Dolly56. Why do you head up your post as ‘Divorce’?
I am a couple therapist, and the couples I see rarely get to that stage. It’s a good and responsible thing to have some relationship therapy. Hopefully it will help their relationship, but if they can’t make it work, then it should help them to part in the best way for themselves and the children.

inishowen Mon 17-Dec-18 10:36:25

We're going through the same thing. My daughter found out her husband was cheating just a few weeks ago. He has left the home and she is divorcing him. The children are 6 and 18 months. I find it hard to feel Christmassy with all the angst going on. My daughter is being so strong.

trisher Mon 17-Dec-18 11:30:08

Sort of same thing going on here. Don't know what the outcome will be, mine are a step further with seperation counselling now in process. All I can do is hold on and try to stay out of things. I know it's going to be a long process and the children will take a long time to adjust. I was divorced and know the heartache involved for children. I think standing by and watching is even harder than being in the middle of it. Stay strong dolly56 and remember "this too shall pass"

dolly56 Mon 17-Dec-18 11:52:32

Thanks so much for all your support it really helps. Maybe I should be more positive and expect divorce to be the outcome.

trisher Mon 17-Dec-18 11:57:23

dolly56 just hang on, it's OK to keep hoping. Hope for the best and plan for the worst is always a good idea. There is always Emily Dickinson's poem

Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune without the words,
And never stops at all,

And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.

I’ve heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.

mabon1 Mon 17-Dec-18 11:59:45

Don't take sides, you may well regret it!!

sarahellenwhitney Mon 17-Dec-18 12:01:45

Dolly56 How many relationships are saved by going to Relate before throwing in the towel ?.Don't give up hope .

Shortlegs Mon 17-Dec-18 12:20:23

Keep out of it, their relationship to either break or fix.

CarlyD7 Mon 17-Dec-18 12:29:18

I think it's a really good sign that they're going to Relate - it will either help them to strengthen their relationship OR it will help them both to sort out what went wrong and why. A friend of mine went to Relate and said that, whilst it didn't save the marriage, it did enable both of them to realise why they had gone into that particular relationship, and stopped them taking the same "baggage" into their second marriages (which have both turned out to be more successful). Whatever you do DON'T take sides - you've got to think of the future (changes in custody of their daughter; shared Christmas arrangements; your GD's wedding even - try to keep things neutral as much as possible; difficult I know).

Craftycat Mon 17-Dec-18 13:04:30

I feel for you but be positive-they are trying to work it out not just give up.
My elder son & his wife went to mediation when they saw their marriage was in trouble. The 3 children were all under 8. They did separate but in a really good & positive way. They now live within walking distance of each other & share childcare amicably. They still do things as a family - like Christmas day, days out,holidays etc. & get on better than when they lived together.
She has had several semi serious relationships & he has had brief ones but it has not caused any upset. The children are well adjusted & happy.
By taking professional advice these things can be managed well. Be thankful they are being sensible & thinking it all through.

cassandra264 Mon 17-Dec-18 13:24:47

Relate (as all have been saying) is a good idea and should help them clarify the issues. It is easy for all those involved to play the blame game - don't. No person outside a marriage knows everything that goes on within it.Or indeed, what doesn't go on - and maybe should! A lot of problems start when individuals no longer feel wanted or valued in a relationship.
However, it may not always be a good idea to make major life changes on the basis of emotions alone, which are often subject to change for all sorts of reasons.

breeze Mon 17-Dec-18 13:57:41

It's a positive step that they are going to Relate. At least it means both of them want to attempt to save the relationship. From my experience, if it's truly over, the one who isn't happy simply walks. I do hope it doesn't come to divorce. If it does, I would be liar if I said the children aren't affected in any way but children are remarkably resilient and this is when GP's are SO important. To give some stability in the homes your GD visits often so not 'everything' has changed. Just be prepared to carry on as normal and of course, you can't interfere. Don't overcompensate, just be the constant she will need in her life. I do hope it doesn't come to that and I understand your concerns but my 2 GD's are happy and healthy after the breakup that happened when the youngest was only 2. They are great kids and we all try to get along for their sake. flowers

newnanny Mon 17-Dec-18 15:09:33

How sad for the whole family. All you can do is be supportive of them all. Offer childcare so you get to spend precious time with your dgd and give her parents time alone. If the therapy does not work be supportive of your son and you could maybe offer to help him to do his share of child care. Keep on good terms with dil and do not critisise her to anyone, even to your own son, as you do not want her to have any reason not to allow you access to your dgd. I hope it works out for you all. Sometimes living apart but happy is better than living together unhappily.

Morgana Mon 17-Dec-18 17:01:43

A dear friend's daughter and husband (plus two children) separated and divorced a couple of years ago. My friend was devastated and the first year was difficult. But now, the dust has settled: son-in-law has new girlfriend and baby, but sees his first two children regularly; daughter has moved with her two children and they all seem to have worked through it all. Very painful at the time. I always wished my own parents would divorce as they did nothing but argue.

agnurse Mon 17-Dec-18 17:34:15

It sounds as if they're getting counselling for their marriage. Not necessarily a divorce.

Either way, the most you can do is be supportive. Don't bad-mouth either side, to each other OR to their children. I agree with offering to provide childcare. If the kids bring up a potential divorce, you can acknowledge that it is hard for them, but emphasize that Mum and Dad still love the kids very much.

Pat1949 Mon 17-Dec-18 17:52:48

I know how distressing it is, but they're obviously trying to do their best to save the marriage by going to Relate. I've been through this twice, I now have two divorced daughters. As others have advised do not take sides in front of your Grandchild, difficult though it is. Things will sort themselves out and you will come to terms with it if they decide to part. Just be strong for the sake of all concerned.

Ilovedragonflies Mon 17-Dec-18 18:11:11

Saggi - your DGD is taking it out on you because she knows you can take it and won't go away. Take it as a compliment that she feels safe enough in your company to be horrible - she has to let her angst out somewhere. Tell her when she's being rude, but also tell her that you love her regardless. She'll calm down as time goes on, and must feel overwhelmed by the uncertainty in her home - you are her constant.

B9exchange Mon 17-Dec-18 19:05:56

Hang in there as others have said, going to relate can only be a positive thing. Whether they stay together or whether they separate, don't see it as a disaster. DD threw out her husband after one Christmas when she discovered he had had two affairs. They tried a reconciliation and DGS was conceived, but he walked out on her again when she was in the middle of labour.

DD always said she wanted the sort of relationship that Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson have, and she has worked extremely hard to achieve that. They have formally divorced, but share child care, spend Christmas day together and sometimes ex SiL will join them for a few nights on their holidays.

As others have said you must do your utmost to avoid criticism, no matter what you feel, or if they reconcile it will come back to bit you.

luluaugust Tue 18-Dec-18 09:53:27

Yes hang on in there. Its good they are going to Relate and do remember you only have one side of the story at present.