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Struggling with split

(41 Posts)
Seanc Wed 16-Dec-20 10:14:43

I’m and not sure if I’m okay to post this here but my son and his girlfriend have split and I’m really struggling with the pain that my beautiful and perfect granddaughter is going through.

FannyCornforth Wed 16-Dec-20 10:19:52

Of course you are okay to post here.
Is the girlfriend the little girl's mum, how old is your granddaughter?

Seanc Wed 16-Dec-20 10:25:09

Thanks. Yeah she is and it’s very amicable. But I know she’s hurting but there’s nothing I can do but be there. I’m overthinking everything. Does everyone feel this way?

Seanc Wed 16-Dec-20 10:25:47

She’s 5

FannyCornforth Wed 16-Dec-20 10:29:54

I'm not the best person to give advice, as I'm neither a mum nor grandmother. I am however a granddaughter, and your little girl is very lucky to have you. flowers
I know that you will now get lots of kindness and support from some very wise women.

Seanc Wed 16-Dec-20 10:35:29

Thank you. When ever I think of her getting upset I turn into an emotional wreck lol. She’s loved by everyone in both families and I know there’s no magic pill, I guess I just need to chat with others.

Carenza123 Wed 16-Dec-20 10:35:31

I would be devastated if my daughter split up with her husband and an know how my two granddaughters have been affected by their best friend’s mum and dad splitting up. I think the best friend has had some counselling. All you can do is be there as a support for your daughter and granddaughter and don’t judge or criticise.

FannyCornforth Wed 16-Dec-20 10:37:57

Carenza it's op's son.

Seanc Wed 16-Dec-20 10:42:48

Yeah, I’m guessing that’s all I can do is be there for her. I’d never criticise as I know that would make things worse. It’s a strange situation as both parents struggle with their mental health which has played a big part as well as lockdown.

V3ra Wed 16-Dec-20 10:47:36

Seanc it's heartbreaking to see from the outside isn't it?
Hopefully your son and his ex can remain amicable and agree shared care of your granddaughter.

I've seen this so many times over many years with the children I childmind. From my experience as long as the adults co-operate with each other then after the initial upheaval, when children are often confused, upset and angry, things do settle down and the children get used to their "new normal."
Your granddaughter certainly won't be the only child in her class in this situation.

One annoying thing recently is that a couple of schools have only sent emails or letters to one parent and the other one misses important information, so you could suggest that they ask for any communications to be sent to both of them.

Seanc Wed 16-Dec-20 10:52:34

I think both parents will keep it amicable. It’s interesting that you say once the initial split happens they get used to the new ‘ normal’ because this is what I’m hoping for. It only happened this weekend but has been brewing for about a month.
I’m glad that I came on here.

yggdrasil Wed 16-Dec-20 11:26:33

At least she still has two parents, even if separated. My father died when I was 7.

Seanc Wed 16-Dec-20 12:01:32


At least she still has two parents, even if separated. My father died when I was 7.

I’m sorry. That really does put things into perspective, although I feel sad, it could be much worse

sodapop Wed 16-Dec-20 12:24:57

If the parents can keep things amicable and share child care then that is the best way forward Seanc It is distressing seeing our adult children in these difficulties, they will need you to be supportive and keep things on an even keel for your granddaughter.
As yggdrasil said at least your granddaughter has both parents, my son in law died when his children were 4 and 18 months.

Hithere Wed 16-Dec-20 13:17:35

A sad reality is that many couples break up. They will be ok

Please dont let your son, ex dil and gc know what you are doing through. They should concentrate on finding their new normal.

PollyDolly Thu 17-Dec-20 10:01:26

Perhaps some straight talking with your son and his girlfriend, separately or together, however you feel comfortable. Tell them both you are saddened by their split but their child is still your grandchild and as such you want to maintain and nurture your relationship with her and be very much part of her life.
If they are both decent human beings with an ounce of common sense and decency they will understand and actually welcome your involvement in the child's life surely.

pen50 Thu 17-Dec-20 10:02:10

She's quite young and probably won't remember this at all when she's older. I met my late husband after he'd been through a very messy divorce. His younger daughter, six when her parents split, has had no ongoing problems and can't remember a time when daddy was at home, though unfortunately her sister, three years older, was affected.

esgt1967 Thu 17-Dec-20 10:03:43

I split from my first husband when our daughter was 4 so she has effectively never known a time when we were together. Things were a bit messy for a few years, he would cancel at short notice when he was due to have our daughter at weekends and never made time for her during the week and he was only "supportive" when there was good stuff happening - good school reports, parents evenings etc. I never badmouthed him to her though and let her establish her own relationship with him once she was an adult. My daughter is now 28 with her own son and she has a great relationship with her father, sure there are occasions when he drives her mad as I'm sure I do! My ex-husband and I are even "friends" now and he was really good when my mum died last year. I don't feel that my daughter has been adversely affected by our split, she has a great step-father and 3 siblings from her parents second marriages. Things are not always awful when parents split, obviously in an ideal world this wouldn't happen, but the damage can be managed.

I would say that you just need to be there if your granddaughter needs to talk about what she's going through and encourage your son (and his gf if you can) and be there for them all. Good luck.

B9exchange Thu 17-Dec-20 10:12:21

My DD threw out her H after two affairs one New Year. She was always determined they would have an 'Andrew and Fergie' type of relationship, and that is what has happened. It was a struggle at first, but now her Ex sees the children several times a week, they stay over at his house, and they even spend a few days away together (separate bedrooms!) for the sake of the children. Christmas is spent with the four of them together. The children have coped very well, for them it is normal, they don't favour either parent. My daughter keeps her thoughts about her ex, who also left her £30,000 in debt, to herself, and occasionally us when the children are at school!

If they work at it, and it sounds as though they want to, it will work out okay. Sadly their situation is so common that the children won't feel left out at school.

jaylucy Thu 17-Dec-20 10:13:00

I think you need to sit down or phone the ex girlfriend and say to her that you will not take sides in the break up and even though she will not be in your sons life, you would still like to be in hers and her daughter's.
My mum did this when my brother and sister in law split up and in fact put all her effort into supporting my two nieces when ever needed.
She did the same when her brother and sister in law split up as well .
Just be available for your granddaughter whenever you are needed and answer her questions as honestly as you can. Knowing that Granny still loves her will help her through this difficult time more than you realise.

Rowsie Thu 17-Dec-20 10:20:59

My son had a child with someone when he was 19. They split up about a year later and he is now in a long term relationship and has two more children. I made sure I stayed friends with the mother of my my first grandchild and he often stayed with me and came to our family Christmas's etc. Now all 3 grandsons are grown up and all are close to their dad. Children adapt very well and all you can do is stay in touch with her and her mother and make sure she is included in family gatherings etc.

Madgran77 Thu 17-Dec-20 10:21:40

I was devastated when my son and his first wife split up, and there were no children involved fortunately. Your feelings are totally understandable. Just be there for them.

With your grandaughter, maybe sitting doing things together will make you available to her if she wants to express her feelings in a safe place to you. My grandchildren often come out with things when we are cooking together, painting together, walking along the street! flowers

Nicegranny Thu 17-Dec-20 10:23:21

Seanc there is one major piece of advice that I would like to give if you don’t mind. Maintain a good relationship with your dil. I remained on good terms with my ex mil for my daughter’s sake and still treated her as a member of my family. We became such firm friends even though her son was difficult. Over the years I remarried and she was there still visiting, staying for Christmas and even on special occasions. My ex mil passed away this year and I was devastated as l loved her dearly.
No matter if your dil moves on or remarried keep her in your life for your gd sake and you might have a friend for life as l did.
Stay out of any fights and make it clear that you are there for all of them but mainly for your gd.
As time goes on they will appreciate your constant attention to your gd and except any changes of partners as this could also be difficult for your gd.
Keep calm and carry on xx

ElaineRI55 Thu 17-Dec-20 10:42:40

Lots of good advice given. Your GD will certainly not be alone among her peers in having parents who've separated. You can't change what's happened but can be there for all three of them, especially your GD. I think my three children realised as adults what a huge part of their lives my mum was both before and after their dad and I divorced. They're all wonderful parents now to my eight GC. Try not to be too anxious - you're not responsible for making everything ok or making up for what's happened. Be yourself and offer support and reassurance as they work out their new routine.

Craftycat Thu 17-Dec-20 10:54:42

I completely understand your feelings. My eldest son & his wife split up some years ago now. They had 3 young children.
They are now best of friends thanks to counselling they were offered. They went to the sessions together & it was brilliant. I would really recommend it once the dust has settled. They both have new partners but have not moved in with them. More often than not when I used to take the children back to her when they had stayed with us for the weekend he would be there doing odd jobs. He pops in for a cuppa several times a week & they get on really well. The children are now all nin their teens & happy well adjusted youngsters.
If you can get them to go to counselling once the dust settles it could make a huge difference.
I know just how you are feeling & I'm sending you good wishes.