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What on earth do I do

(55 Posts)
britgran Sun 08-Dec-19 18:19:54

I've asked for advice before, quick youngest son suffers from Bulimia because of this he has mental health issues, but he holds down a very responsible job as a Manager so is capable of making rational decisions....he left his first wife and child ( now aged 19 ) for his present wife ,and has gone on to have two more daughters aged 5 and 3, today he has decided to leave his wife and children, I don't care why but I'm raging that this close to Christmas he has left these most precious excited little girls, I realise I'm his mum and as his mum I love him, but as a woman I despise him and men like him. I know he has terrible mood swings due to the mental health problems and we have tried many times to help him attending family counselling etc. He's 44 yrs old is it ever acceptable to say I've had enough, what about my mental health.....I shall support my DiL and the DGD's 100%, we have a wonderful relationship with our 19yr old GD his first child

Bridgeit Sun 08-Dec-19 18:32:54

So sorry to read of your situation & well done for supporting your DIL & GC .
You must also take some time for yourself, or else you won’t be able to help at all. Best wishes , I do hope it all levels out.

Gonegirl Sun 08-Dec-19 18:36:42

I would estrange myself from him. Bulimia or not. He doesn't have to act in such a manner. He just sounds like anasth selfish got.

Gonegirl Sun 08-Dec-19 18:37:19

a nasty and selfish...

Gonegirl Sun 08-Dec-19 18:38:20


love0c Sun 08-Dec-19 19:06:29

A bit harsh Gonegirl, but I know what you mean. Poor wife, poor children, poor mum and dare I say it poor son (husband) too. Clearly he is feeling lost and has done for many, many years by the sound of it. Depressed for most of his life? Happy people do not suffer with bulimia and addictive type traits. His mother needs to support all of them I think. Not easy but then so often life 'stinks'. Mum should stay caring for his wife and children and for her son as well without being obvious in taking sides. Best for her as taking sides will be too stressful and will only bring misery. His mother does not want to get depressed herself as she will be of no use to anyone then. Family breakups are terrible when children are involved. All parents want their children to be happy. When you think they are settled and then this happens, everybody in the boat gets knocked about.

annep1 Sun 08-Dec-19 19:12:04

Not sure about estranging myself but I would let him know what I think and would not support him.
Its difficult to know his thought process. He may be a good manager but not good at personal stuff.
But you need to look after yourself. It sounds like you are doing what you can.

M0nica Sun 08-Dec-19 19:16:14

britgran you have all my admiration for being able to see a line between the man who is yor son and his behaviour, which is not acceptable

It has been mentioned on another thread, tough love. He is essentially like a man with an addiction, at a certain point you have to accept that you have done as much as you can and that if change is to come it can only happen if he wills it.

You must now step back from him, stop trying to help him - because you can't and look after yourself and the wife and children he has left behind.

I am not suggesting estrangement or anything like that, just stop trying to help him in anyway.

You sound remarkable, I am sure you can plot your way to drawing a line for yourself that you will not step over.

Hetty58 Sun 08-Dec-19 19:18:00

It's quite common for people to leave around Christmas time. Any issues and stresses come to a head, then, with the added pressure of 'doing Christmas'. It's also a time when we look back and examine/evaluate the last year.

Britgran, your son is still your son, whether you approve of his behaviour or not. It's perfectly possible to support his wife and family, even express your disappointment, but still be a caring mother. He already has serious problems. If you desert him, they can only get worse.

Naty Sun 08-Dec-19 19:21:54

I'm thinking he has bipolar. Ask him to go with you for counselling and get meds.

CosyCrafter Sun 08-Dec-19 19:22:37

I think for now all you can do is what you are doing and that is supporting those who need it most just now. All the years of dealing with your son and his problems, trying to help and being there for him must take its toll, you have to look after your health and wellbeing foremost, whatever happens.

Buffybee Sun 08-Dec-19 19:32:05

I agree with Hetty58!

Callistemon Sun 08-Dec-19 19:48:46

I don't know what caused his problems but he needs help - but you cannot help him, he needs professional help.

If he feels no remorse for devastating his wife and two little girls at Christmas there is not a lot you can do to get through to him. All you can do is support your DIL and all your DGC and advise him to do what he must know he needs to do.

The thing is that he left his first wife and child for his present wife so she must know that he could repeat his behaviour.

Good luck Britgran and I hope you can help to make Christmas special for those little girls.

britgran Sun 08-Dec-19 20:32:50

Gonegirl I can say he's a nasty selfish git , you can't smile

Septimia Sun 08-Dec-19 20:36:39

Your granddaughters need the continuity and security that you can show them. As has already been said, give them a special Christmas. They and their mother need your support.

It's difficult with adult children. Sometimes you love them simply because they are yours, but it's not always possible to like them or approve of what they do. And it's not always men who behave like this - more and more women seem to be doing so as well.

Hetty58 Sun 08-Dec-19 20:41:08

The other way of looking at it is - he just can't cope. Of course, it's only natural to be angry about the timing. A girl at work didn't like Christmas at all. Her dad had left early on Christmas morning.

britgran Sun 08-Dec-19 20:42:11

Thank you everybody, I'm so torn, but talking to you all and reading your responses is a great help

MissAdventure Sun 08-Dec-19 20:45:44

I think you should support your son to get help.
He really needs to, for himself, quite apart from the children or his partner.

Good luck. I admire you for your courage.

BradfordLass72 Mon 09-Dec-19 03:50:57

britgran I wonder if your daughter-in-law will be glad of the respite?

It must be hard on her with 2 small girls and a sick husband, so your support and love will be appreciated and needed.

My mil was very supportive of me when her son and I split up and I was deeply grateful for that and the love she always showed us afterwards.
She was never against him but always for us - if you see what I mean.

By the time we did break up, I'd had just about as much as I could bear and the dreadful atmosphere was affecting our sons.

They both blossomed away from the moods and altercations and as they were still in a loving, caring and now stable, peaceul home, they did well.

I sincerely hope this is the case for your little family.

It may be the same here.

BradfordLass72 Mon 09-Dec-19 03:52:49

It may be the same here

Eh? goodness know where that sentence came from !!!

paintingthetownred Mon 09-Dec-19 05:27:50

This sounds really tough. Maybe on some level you need to hear that it is not your fault.

I would try for everyone's sake to reframe this in your head if you can. The kids are young but, and there are loads of kids out there who have moved successfully past a marriage break up and do not feel stigmatised by it.

Nowadays it is more the norm than some people might like to think. Yes, it is sad and nobody would choose that if they had a choice but many people find peace in blended families. And if the partnership has been really difficult it can be a relief.

We are a single parent family ourselves and I'm looking at the Christmas tree behind me and reflecting on our journey. I know that my DD is happier than she ever would have been if we had stayed in previous relationship.

The Christmas spirit can be a very precious thing. If you can possibly provide a stable loving presence for the little ones,I'm sure that would be very helpful.

Sometimes I think it may be the expectations of Christmas that we put upon ourselves which can be most stressful. Try to find new traditions in this next phase of your life. Try to cut back on the stress you are under also. Think simplicity. When kids are really little which they sound as if they are, they are often happy with simple things.

Try to enjoy it. I know that sounds strange in your situation but it may be a new start for you all. All the best painting

agnurse Mon 09-Dec-19 06:06:53

Support everyone, but don't take sides.

You don't know all the ins and outs of his marriage, nor should you. While he does have problems, it's rare that in a split one person was perfect and the other was the devil incarnate.

Don't get involved with telling him what he should do, but be supportive.

Juliet27 Mon 09-Dec-19 06:34:22

I agree with Bradfordlass’ thoughts. I wonder just how difficult his issues have made life for his wife and children. Maybe a break for a while for a rethink by both wouldn’t be so bad. I also agree with Agnurse that there are usually two sides to a story and maybe your son could also do with your support at present.

BlueBelle Mon 09-Dec-19 06:48:45

I totally agree with hetty58 give your love and care to your granddaughters and their mum totally, but your son still needs your support too and you can’t stop loving your child because of their behaviour Timing is dreadful but who knows what has been going on between them No one ever knows what goes on behind closed doors he does sound as if he may be bi polar but if he won’t accept any professional help what can you do ?
Where is he living now he’s left his home ?

gonegirl that is an awful post and good on Britgran for pulling you up on that

mumofmadboys Mon 09-Dec-19 07:09:31

Brit gran you have my sympathy. 2 people have suggested your son suffers from bipolar with little evidence in your post. I wish people would leave such diagnoses to the professionals. However having suffered from bulimia for a long time must be very hard for your son and it would be good if he accessed some long term support for this. I agree you should continue to love and support your DIL and GC . Your son also needs your ongoing support. To estrange him at this point would be a terrible idea. I hope you can continue to cope while also looking after yourself. Wishing you all the best