My son was married for a number of years. They had a baby boy who is now 3 and a half. He worked from home for the last 5 years of the marriage and during this time he became my grandson's main carer. This involved my son going to him during the night when he was upset , getting him dressed and giving him his breakfast each day and bathing him each night ready for my DIL getting in from work. He was also responsible for all the domestic duties including cooking. Consequently my son and grandson developed an extremely strong bond. Unfortunately partly due to stresses in the relationship with his wife and my son's addictive personality he started to gamble 'on line' Unfortunately he also gambled all of their savings and got them into serious debt. He eventually confessed and understandably his wife threw him out and he moved in with my husband and I. We were absolutely devastated and provided support to him and our DIL. This included clearing a substantial amount of his debt and giving her
thousands of pounds to help her move on.
Our son has received counselling to help him overcome his addiction. I also had counselling to help me come to terms with what he has done and to cope with the impact it has had on the wider family. He has now moved into a lovely house and has his life back on track. He has told us that he will always be grateful for our help and says he is guilt ridden about what he has done to his wife and child. Consequently he has submitted to all her demands relating to access to his son. Prior to the separation I shared childcare with her mother but since they split up her mother looks after him most of the time. My son does have some access based on negotiations with his ex. During negotiations and in an effort to placate his ex he has basically taken my access to my grandson as his access time and left his ex with all the weekends and her mother with her normal days. In other words there has been no impact on my DILs family only on my 'one to one' time that my grandson has always had with me. There is also no opportunity for my grandson to see his cousins ( who he loves dearly) on our side of the family or to be with the wider family on any weekend.
When I tried to discuss this with my son he told me to negotiate my access with his ex as it's not his place to do this and basically shouted at me about it. His ex and I have always got on quite well but due to the circumstances of the separation she does not want to meet me on a one to one to discuss anything. I had (and still have) great sympathy for her but she has always been quite a difficult person to interact with so I can't see this situation changing.
I am bitterly disappointed in my son's actions but also proud at the way he has moved on. My son also pays a substantial amount of child maintenance each month. What I am finding hurtful is the fact that he has done his best to ensure there is no impact on her parents when it comes to having one to one time with my grandson but has no problem using my time with him. I feel really hurt about his lack of thought for his own family when we have done nothing but support him. I am also disappointed that he had not fought to get greater levels of access to his son bearing in mind the strong bond that they have. I apologise if this seems trivial to some but I am struggling to deal with this issue after what has been such a difficult year. Any advice would be appreciated.
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