Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

should I do nothing?

(53 Posts)
Catlover123 Sun 03-Feb-19 15:28:39

Recently my DS and his wife went to visit my niece. My niece who is in her thirties has not had a good record with boyfriends in the past, and the last one was jealous and controlling. Her current boyfriend seems to be liked but I'm not sure how much we know about him. Anyway my DIL said after their visit that the new boyfriend seemed overly critical and bad tempered. My niece had told them that she couldn't discuss her new job openly with them because it threatened her bf's masculinity because he was in a lesser position. They didn't feel comfortable about him at all and now they are engaged. I would like to ask my sister-in-law if she thinks everything is OK but I would have to tell her about the private conversation I had with my son and his wife, and I wouldn't want it to get back to my niece that they had been discussing their visit with me. My DIL asked for my advice and I said I didn't see how she could do anything about it. I am still worried and don't know whether to keep mum about it or not? any advice appreciated.

Anja Sun 03-Feb-19 15:36:55

It’s not your problem, she’s a grown woman.

M0nica Sun 03-Feb-19 15:46:09

catlover my experience is that these marriages go ahead regardless of warnings, indeed if concerns are expressed the marriage often happens more quickly. So whatever you decide to do, it is unlikely to stop the marriage happening.

Under those circumstances I think it is best to say nothing
and if trouble does arise later never, ever admit you had any doubts from the start. Just offer sympathy and support

Iam64 Sun 03-Feb-19 15:47:05

Keep out of this. If anyone wants to get involved, it needs to be your son or daughter in law, who had first hand involvement, certainly not you.

SalsaQueen Sun 03-Feb-19 15:53:17

This is a woman who is in her 30s, not some teenager. She isn't your daughter. Why do you concern yourself?

sodapop Sun 03-Feb-19 15:55:15

I agree with MOnica & Iam64 it's not for you to get involved.

tanith Sun 03-Feb-19 15:56:56

Agree, stay out of it.

mcem Sun 03-Feb-19 16:11:32

Verging on gossip!

Catlover123 Sun 03-Feb-19 16:17:42

thanks, it is difficult because I am very fond of my niece, SalsaQueen, she is an adult as you say but I feel she is quite vunerable, and hate to think of her marrying a critical and controlling man.
We are a pretty close family, but I can see from the replies that you are right and I shall just have to step back from this.

Nannarose Sun 03-Feb-19 16:31:02

Catlover, you have my sympathies. Families operate differently. In my family, we have been in a similar position, and like yours, there is concern and involvement with nieces & nephews. We discuss our worries in this way, we consider it our business, and don't see it as gossip when it is just us - uncle, aunt & cousins.

Having said that, I would agree that you should be very careful about saying anything to your niece's parents. You might be able to say "What do you think of him?" in a very general way, which would invite them to share concerns, but would allow them to "toe the party line" as well. If they don't share concerns, then I agree that there is nothing to be done.

My own children have tried to keep an independent relationship with their cousin, so she can chat with them away from her husband (who worries us a great deal). I have been as neutral as I can with the parents, helped by the fact that a baby was conceived very early in the relationship - so I ask lots about how the little one is developing and give lots of praise, so managing to avoid talking about the father at all!

I wish you luck, and hope that it turns out better than you expect. In the meantime, this is a forum for support

MissAdventure Sun 03-Feb-19 16:36:40

Just a reminder that threads here can be put onto Facebook and Twitter.

Nonnie Sun 03-Feb-19 16:45:56

I think that as you have found it necessary to ask you should probably keep your own counsel and not discuss this with anyone, including your dil. Things can get distorted and get back to the people concerned.

In my niece's very close family it might be OK as they all do so much together as one big united family but I think that is very rare.

Tangerine Sun 03-Feb-19 17:59:38

I think you should keep out of it.

At most, you could casually ask your sister-in-law how she gets on with on with daughter's fiance.

Tread carefully.

Nannarose Mon 04-Feb-19 07:21:28

Thank you MissAdventure, a timely reminder. I think I am safe from identification and I hope that catlover is.

ClareAB Mon 04-Feb-19 08:15:06

Maybe it would be a good idea to visit/invite over your niece and her fiancée regularly .
That way you can get to know and make up your own mind, about this chap. And make it clear to your niece and partner that she has a loving, supportive family in the wings.
If that's not possible, then regular telephone chats with your niece to keep communication channels open and be there for her.
I don't believe age is an issue when you're worried about someone who may be vulnerable, or in a bad situation. Context is everything.

Harris27 Mon 04-Feb-19 08:19:47

Keep out of it let her sort her life out you wouldn't be thanked.

BlueBelle Mon 04-Feb-19 09:02:35

No I don’t agree at all Clare please don’t invite your niece and partner over so you can spy on them what if you do that and take a dislike to him what are you go8ng to do then ?
It is not your business nor is it her parents business she is an adult in her 30 s with obviously a well paid job
I find it very uncomfortable that you are all discussing and discecting your nieces love life behind her back
Let the girl sort her own life out she has a close family to fall back on if ever needed Blimey I d have run for the hills if I d had a family poking into all my mistakes you ve got to kiss a lot of frogs to find the prince, let her be and stop all gossiping about her behind her back

jenpax Mon 04-Feb-19 10:44:18

Say nothing! This is a mine field! niece will not listen as she already knows her BF short comings and intends to go ahead. The only thing likely to happen in my opinion would be a family argument!

Rosina Mon 04-Feb-19 10:46:50

It is hard to hear of things going on in the lives of people you care about, and so tempting to speak up. However, like most posters here I do feel that this will not end well if you do. The couple themselves will probably be angry, upset and might well contact you and it likely won't be pleasant; your own DS and DiL will then be embroiled in a situation that won't make them very happy, and all in all I do feel that 'a still tongue in a wise head' would be the advice to follow.

Pat1949 Mon 04-Feb-19 10:48:01

Definitely don't say anything. It won't make any difference, you won't be thanked for speaking out. As the old saying goes 'love is blind'.

razzmatazz Mon 04-Feb-19 10:52:06

Do absolutely NOTHING, not even talk about it to anybody. Too many maybes. Maybe she is being considerate of his feelings about the job situation. Maybe he is insecure and this comes across as being critical . We none of us know the ins and outs of other people's relationships and you wont be thanked for trying to solve anything or say anything as this can be seen as interfering and meddling.

Coconut Mon 04-Feb-19 10:53:11

I agree with others, this is a mine field and one many have to face with loved ones. Head versus heart. She is an adult and entitled to make her own decisions, mistakes etc But so many times when things go wrong I’ve heard or read “ I wish I’d spoken up”. I would stay close to her, phone calls, meet ups etc not as a way of spying, just so that she knows you are always there if she needs you. If he tries to isolate her from her family, then that would be a cause of concern to speak up. But then as others say, do they listen anyway .... yes a proper mine field, good luck ....

Aepgirl Mon 04-Feb-19 10:53:54

It’s harsh, but MYOB. Interfering will do nothing but harm to your relationship with your niece.

Mamma66 Mon 04-Feb-19 10:54:59

I cannot help but think that your post is a perfect illustration of the different ways families operate. Ours is a very close family and we would express and possibly discuss concerns relating to other family members. I would not see your involvement as intrusive from the perspective of a family that probably operates in a similar way. I would see it as counter productive in this instance and would recommend that you keep your council and just take a supportive role if things all fall apart. Good luck and best wishes to you 🍀

mabon1 Mon 04-Feb-19 10:55:50

Keep out of it.