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How much did you or should you know about adult child’s divorce?

(35 Posts)
Nanamar Wed 20-May-20 14:46:26

I think I need a slap upside of the head because I’m plagued by my wish that I knew more details about DS’s and DDIL’s decision to divorce after 5 years. We’ve been told the decision is mutual and it’s amicable and it seems to be so far, although quarantine has added pressure I’m sure. We have a darling 4 year old GS and his parents insist they’re going to appropriately co-parent him. I know that our DS’s depression is a stressor on the relationship and I know that they bought a home that was too much for them, had their child by IVF, moved across the country, moved back, son was out of work d/t being in treatment for depression - all in the span of 5 years. My DIL has said that they are different people, and that she cannot trust him but that trust issue has to do only with their marriage, doesn’t affect anything else, our DS has said they’ve tried counseling but they are just unhappy in the marriage and says there was no infidelity. Why can’t I accept the fact that I may never know all the reasons? I accept I cannot fix it but I’m still troubled.

Jani31 Thu 21-May-20 10:32:26

We separated in 1997, OH had a fling or 2 when working in America for 3 months. We went through the usual counselling and Relate with a free half hour with a lawyer via Citizens Advice Bureau who gave us options for an amicable parting. Divorce, legal separation or a parting. We split houses, he moved out, girls were in their teens and it all seemed so easy. By 2011 when he died, I was still the executor of his will. I am now his widow but his works pension is 1/6th of what I should have as we were separated, so annoying.

TrendyNannie6 Thu 21-May-20 10:39:23

Oh gawd, why do you need to know the ins and outs of your sons divorce! Why is it your business? It is very sad when our AC relationships come to an end! It happens,

icanhandthemback Thu 21-May-20 10:52:27

I'd be glad you don't know the ins and outs of their marriage. My SIL and DD have both discussed the intimate details of their problems and now I am just waiting for the axe to fall. After venting for about an hour, my SIL asked me to be there whilst he told my DD that he wanted out because of her faults. I gently declined and I am so glad I did because a week later my daughter told me a few things which put things in a very different light. At that point, I vowed to take a step back and hoped they wouldn't involve me further but I do worry that they are stumbling on unhappily with ill effects on the children. I can't even bear to think of the battle about custody which would take place if they were to split.
The only thing I would urge my children to do in the case of a split is to do their best for the children and, no matter how much their spouse has hurt them, to try to put that to one side as far as the children are concerned.

JaneRn Thu 21-May-20 11:30:08

It sounds brutal to say its none of your business, but at the moment it isn't. I was very close to my mother but I would not have expected to confide in her all the details - some might be very personal or even embarrassing - of why my husband and I had decided, mutually, to divorce, and I know she would not have expected me to. You have such an important role to play, especially for your little grandson, so just bide your time, make it clear you are not taking sides - difficult as your daughter is involved - and perhaps later you may learn why this marriage had to end.

Sometimes it is very hard being a mother, isn't it, but we cannot live our children's lives for them, or make everything perfect much as sometimes we wish we could!

grandtanteJE65 Thu 21-May-20 11:36:44

I think you should only know what they are prepared to tell you, and sometimes not even that.

If you want to continue to see you son's wife after the divorce, I would say the less you know the better.

They are adults and have made a hard decision.

Be willing to listen, but be careful how you answer direct questions.

GardenofEngland Thu 21-May-20 14:21:20

I would keep my feelings worries etc to myself. My daughter broke up with her fiance after over 5 years. I loved that lad and I thought they would marry and live happy ever after. She was the one to initiate the breakup and I could not help but blame her, not directly but asking too many questions, and this caused a massive rift between us for over 4 years. She is happy now with another lovely partner who we did not meet for 3 years as she had moved abroad with him and it is only since she had a baby and returned to the UK we are now reconciled. I do wonder what did happened but know now to keep my thoughts to myself.

Rabbitgran Thu 21-May-20 15:52:12

It can be difficult to know to what do for the best. It is usually good to be supportive and non-judgemental and not interfere or require details that aren't freely given. Sometimes though parents are told about unacceptable behaviour/coercion during the relationship. Then the adult child seems to change his/her mind, resuming the relationship/contact and is maybe at risk or has children at risk. What to do then? I am speaking of psychological coercion and risk not physical violence. It's heartbreaking and very hard to know how to behave responsibly as a parent in this situation. No good asking advice even within the wider family, it makes everyone uncomfortable.

Txquiltz Thu 21-May-20 16:56:52

DS divorced and chose to tell me the basic reason with none of the details. I am glad to not know all the messy parts. He has recently remarried and is truly happy. More happy than I have ever seen him. I am just glad to enjoy the good parts....the bad parts are history. Let your son handle the details in the way that is right for him.

Nanamar Thu 21-May-20 22:02:40

Again thank you all! As I said in my first post, I think (really I know) that I needed to be slapped on the upside of the head and not worry about the reasons for their decisions - and just trust their judgement. Many of you have fortunately reminded me
of how much I disliked it if/when my parents questioned or expressed doubt about decisions I made. That was definitely a reminder that I needed!