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Feeling confused 😕

(26 Posts)
Gran32 Wed 10-Feb-21 11:04:01

Hi everyone. Just off loading here.
My daughter behaved badly in her marriage towards the end and they are now apart. They have 3 children. The repercussions on me and my husband have been horrendous both emotionally and financially. We had to move house to replace savings we used and are still using to help her. I love her and the kids so much but am struggling to come to terms with what she's done and feel at peace. She has had a couple of relationships since but nothing that's lasted. Her husband was a good man and we loved him and is still a great dad. It's been 5 years now since they separated and I've had counselling who tell you to put you first, do what you can for the kids, she's a grown up making her own mistakes etc. But we pick up the pieces of those mistakes and they are hard to deal with. My heart hurts for the kids who adore their dad and deserved better. My eldest GS lost respect for her at the time but he's OK now.
Anyone else found themselves in this position and how did you handle it? Thank you for reading

M0nica Wed 10-Feb-21 11:34:49

I think if you go through the many threads on GN from parents in your predicament, you will find the advice they always get is: turn off the tap of endless support and money and allow your daughter to grow up and take responsibilities for her actions and deal with the problems her behaviour causes.

But you have been told that in counselling,and you have chosen to ignore that advice. So you are in the same place as hyour daughter. You have to wise up, take responsibility for your actions and let go of your daughter, let her grow up, you cannot keep her a dependent child forever.

midgey Wed 10-Feb-21 11:38:23

I totally agree Monica but no doubt these mistakes impact the grandchildren and so it must be impossible to ignore.

M0nica Wed 10-Feb-21 11:51:42

Grandchildren are always a good blackmail card, and emotional blackmail is a very nasty tool and difficult to fight.avoid. But the blife of these children is already pretty miserable with or without help from their grandparents.

But isn't better to bite on the bullet and accept that there may be a short more difficult time for the children but that is better than a whole childhood that is difficult and dysfunctional

Gran32 Wed 10-Feb-21 12:24:32

midgey exactly that!

Gran32 Wed 10-Feb-21 12:32:04

MOnica my grandchildren lives are far from miserable. They have a lovely life albeit one I wish they didn't have.. splitting their time between parents. But they have families and parents on both sides who love them and look out for them. I think you've missed the point of my question. It's about moving forward without these feelings of despair over what she's done. We have definitely taken our hands off the reigns as soon as it was safe to do so but my feelings of loss are still there. She has a full time job now so that makes life easier. But I just can't help wishing that life was back to how it was before she became unhappy as she doesn't seem to have found what she's been searching for

cornishpatsy Wed 10-Feb-21 12:39:10

It sounds as though those involved have moved on. It seems you are just stuck with wanting things the way they were, they never can be.

I think it is a case of accepting the way things are, you cannot control the lives of others.

Gran32 Wed 10-Feb-21 13:07:11

Cornishpatsy yep. You're right I think

Peasblossom Wed 10-Feb-21 13:10:41

Now you say that your grandchildren have a lovely life, with parents who love them and care for them but also that your heart hurts for them. Because they don’t have what you see as your ideal - the united two parent family.

Your daughter tried living to your ideal, with a man that you thought was lovely, and it didn’t make her happy. Now she is trying to live her own life, getting it wrong sometimes and still searching.

Truthfully this is what most of our children did in their teens and early twenties. Perhaps she tried to hard then to please you and you tried too hard to make her live the life that you thought was good, a life like yours.

Perhaps you are still wishing that? Your counsellor is right. You must step back. Stop wishing she had the life you have had. Look closely at the support you give and ask yourself honestly whether it is actually a way of controlling and ordering her life to the way you think it should be.

keepingquiet Wed 10-Feb-21 13:17:21

Hi Gran32

I know how it feels when the lives of our children don't turn out the way we envisaged.
I think what you need to do is see your daughter less as your child and more as a grown woman.
I think peace is there if you want it. You have to forgive her and practise some loving kindness.
Yes, you 'do' things for her and sometimes people confuse doing with helping. Five years is not a long time for her to recover from a bad marriage (SIL can't have been that great, sorry) and having to find work and parent her own children means she is neglecting that forgiving part of herself too.
My own relationships with my kids has been under strain too, but if I want them to take responsibility I have to do that too. When I accepted I had got things wrong I could see it was quite easy to say sorry, especially to my son who I can now see didn't get the support he needed when my marriage ended. He now also says sorry to me which he never did before.
Another friend of mine can't accept how her daughter hates her when she did so much for her. I have tried to point out that maybe what she did may not have been what her daughter needed.
When our children grow up they need to see us as people too, and they can only do that when
we begin to admit we made mistakes. I now have a much healthier relationship with both my adult children and hope you can find that peace you seek.

Gran32 Wed 10-Feb-21 13:27:57

Peasblossom none of what you say is true. But thanks for replying anyway. I didn't expect anything except for her to be a good mother. Which she is. But they're was a time when she was out with friends when she shouldn't have been leaving her husband in looking after the children. That eventually ruined the marriage. HER expectations were too high however. She wanted more than they could afford and he did his best to provide. Eventually he couldn't do it and she was left heartbroken when he left. I know exactly what happened as unfortunately we got dragged into it every time. But she now admits she made mistakes. And those mistakes cost everyone dearly.
I know I need to accept her life as hard as it is now. She works full time with 3 kids. Whereas she only needed to work part time when she was married. She knows she was intolerant and admits it. But that doesn't help me to move on. But I know I need to. She doesn't know how I feel. But it's so hard knowing how much easier life could have been for us all if she'd have realised in time that grass isn't greener on the other side.

Gran32 Wed 10-Feb-21 13:37:17

keepingquiet again I struggle to understand why people assume we as parents have done anything wrong. I know we haven't. The only mistakes I made I believe is not encouraging him.. who was and is a VERY nice guy. He just didn't live up to her expectations...to go to marriage guidance. She wanted to as soon as he said he wanted a divorce but he had given up. It wasn't a bad marriage until she decided she would rather be out with friends than staying in with her family. Do I sound judgemental? Yes I am because he told her time and time again he didn't mind her going out but didn't want her to stay out till all ours of the morning and she ignored him. The final straw came when she dishy go home after work one night. She stayed at a friends. And I didn't blame him for being angry. He rang me at 5am worried sick. I'm telling you this because He is a good guy. And they were happy for 7 years.. till she decided he wasn't enough

Galaxy Wed 10-Feb-21 13:40:01

But it's up to her to decide that not you.

Gran32 Wed 10-Feb-21 13:43:49

I didn't expect or welcome a lecture on parenting just some support from people who have been through something similar about how to make peace with the situation. We as parents have supported her in every way possible without judgement. She's very grateful now although she hasn't always been. Expected support rather than appreciated it. But she's 35 years old and wiser now. I can see I'm going to have to work through this on my own. Thank you all anyway

Gran32 Wed 10-Feb-21 13:56:13

Galaxy yes but her decisions have taken its toll on my husband and I. He had a heart attack in 2018 and I'm not surprised. The stress of the marriage breakdown was horrendous. But unless your child had been through it, to I can't begin to understand. Which is why I asked for advise of people who knew not just random comments from strangers who haven't got a clue what it's like

Smileless2012 Wed 10-Feb-21 14:04:23

"I struggle to understand why people assume we as parents have done anything wrong" I struggle with that too Gran32, but it does explain why some AC don't take responsibility for their actions. If they don't blame their parents, someone else will do it for them.

I realise this is not the case for your D.

Oopsadaisy1 Wed 10-Feb-21 14:07:20

Gran32 I have been in your position with both of my DDs so I know where you are coming from, however I do think that you have been overly involved in your DDs marriage and subsequent divorce.
To you it all looked lovely, but it wasn’t.
Your DD wanted to go to counselling but her husband didn’t.
Again, we were in the same position.
Our GCs also split their time between households and are fine.
But all the way through this we kept our lives and theirs separate, I don’t understand how you can be so involved in your DDs life that You were the one who had counselling and they didn’t!
Step back, stop funding your daughter and start to enjoy life with your husband, your daughter will be fine, she is a grown up and if my daughter is anything to go by she will get through it without any more help.
I know it will take a big gulp for you to step back but you cannot control what your daughter does any more (as you have found out).
Take pleasure in your Grandchildren and let their parents sort themselves out, without your help and please stop thinking that your SIL was so perfect, because he wasn’t perfect for your daughter.

Gran32 Wed 10-Feb-21 14:09:59

Smileless2012 yes it does. She she has accepted responsibility it took along time and years of soul searching

Gran32 Wed 10-Feb-21 14:45:15

Oopsadaisy1 believe me we haven't enjoyed being so involved. Another assumption! hmm When you have a daughter falling apart after a marriage breakdown that she didn't want but massively contributed to with 3 kids to look after, I defy any parent to "step back!" And for your information he was perfect for her and the kids son please don't assume you know anything. That's very u helpful. She knows that she have up a good man..too late. And that's the heartbreak of it all
Anyway, I asked for support. Not judgement or comments about things none of you know anything about in my particular circumstances. That clearly was unavailable. My fault for expecting it. I'll say goodbye to you all and i hope your lifes remain perfect and uncomplicated.

Oopsadaisy1 Wed 10-Feb-21 14:58:19

You said unless your child has been through it you can’t understand.

I have been through it, so I understand, you are obviously not going to change.

Grandmabatty Wed 10-Feb-21 15:03:00

OP people have given you advice and been supportive. The problem seems to be that you take offence if it isn't exactly what you want to hear. You are being very snippy with folk and seeing offence where there is none. I think it's a situation which you find difficult to be objective about and I can understand that. But nobody offering you advice here is nasty or unpleasant.

Hithere Wed 10-Feb-21 15:11:23

Parents dont have to clean their AC's mistakes, they choose to.
Parents can also step back and let the person get out of the hole they dug themselves into

Enabling is so common and damages the situation much more than helps.

Hetty58 Wed 10-Feb-21 15:12:42

Gran32, your daughter didn't love her husband any more and decided to end the marriage. Why be negative about it?

You say he's 'a good man' - but, surely, that's not the point and you do want her to be happy?

It sounds like you provided a lot of financial support. I wonder why you did that? Your daughter should have lived according to her means.

You didn't have to offer support - or be persuaded into it. Now you regret it. That's the problem, a problem of your own making.

If you give, then give freely, no conditions attached. Let others live their own lives - in their own way. Only offer what you really want to - emotionally or financially!

Hithere Wed 10-Feb-21 15:48:19

If I were your dd, i would be hurt you are on sil's side - instead of being neutral.

You never know what goes behind closed doors

SIL is clearly the type of man you like, but it was your dd who was married to him

Peasblossom Wed 10-Feb-21 15:56:48

I’ve read threads like this before. 🤔