Gransnet forums


Struggling with split

(42 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.

LauraNorder Sat 19-Dec-20 18:17:11

It seems the adults are happy so I’m sure your little granddaughter will be fine. No need for your worries after all. Happy Christmas.

BlueBelle Sat 19-Dec-20 18:07:09

It’s always a bit sad when a relationship ends but don’t worry for your granddaughter children are so adaptable and she has two loving parents and as it’s an amicable ending they are obviously good parents and will work it out she will see them both and hopefully have double the fun
Much much better than being under one roof unhappily or with nastiness
My grandkids daddy died when they were 6 and 4

Seanc Sat 19-Dec-20 17:58:23

Well my son is loving life and his ex girlfriend has come out as lesbian. They’re still close and my GD is okay. Ain’t life weird 🤷🏼‍♂️

BrandyGran Fri 18-Dec-20 09:29:04

I'm so sorry this has happened. It's unfortunately the way of the world now. My grandson told me that nearly all of the kids in his class had parents who were no longer together. In time you and your lovely little grand d will get used to it.
Speaking from experience better this way than living in a bad atmosphere or listening to rowing parents.
You will be her ROCK .

LauraNorder Thu 17-Dec-20 18:44:42

Seanc I do know what you’re going through. Our youngest son and girlfriend split when granddaughter was two years old. Broke my heart in private but worked hard at supporting both and making a good relationship with the mum, luckily I loved her too.
Now 11 years on granddaughter is as beautiful as ever, well adjusted and happy due partly to her own resilience and partly to her parents working as a team in spite of living 100 miles apart.
We kept out of all the emotional stuff in the beginning, didn’t take sides and didn’t comment. Just carried on loving them all. Had to bite our tongue at times but glad we did. They will all be hurting but your granddaughter will be fine, children adapt well as long as they know they are loved from all sides.

annodomini Thu 17-Dec-20 13:40:33

If you can maintain a close relationship with your GD, she will have stability in her life which she might not otherwise have. My GD1 had a rather unstable home life as my DS and her mum never lived together and eventually he went to work on the Continent. However, I had a wonderful relationship with her and her half brother. She had the kind of mother who never came to school events like concerts and carol services, but I did. She is now almost 29 and says I was the most important person in her life. Of course, she now has her own life to live, but she's still 'my girl'.

Nanamar Thu 17-Dec-20 13:18:17

I also know how you feel. I was devastated when our only son and DIL split this past year. I think I was more upset than either of them! Due to the fact that this was one more stressor in my life (DH has cancer, the pandemic, son lost job due to the pandemic, he struggles anyway with depression,) I am in counseling and take a low dose antidepressant - both help. Fortunately, DS and exDIL are determined to keep things amicable and DGS who is 4 simply moves easily between the two households now that DS lives with us - we comprise a bubble of 5. A few weeks ago I even went away for two days with ex DIL and left the “menfolk” to fend for themselves. She has no parents so I think she’s invested in keeping our relationship good at least for now. Things I have read here are very heartening and encouraging that this CAN be done well and DGS doesn’t need to suffer unduly. As with many things, time will help especially if over time you see that it’s working out okay. My best to you and family.

Caro57 Thu 17-Dec-20 13:04:19

be there for her - you will all get through it

Grannybags Thu 17-Dec-20 13:03:26

I know exactly how you fell Seanc My heart is still breaking for my granddaughters.

My son and his wife split up at the beginning of the year. They have two daughters age 8 and 3 and just when I wanted to wrap my arms around them all Covid came along and put a stop to it.

However, almost a year on and the 8 year old seems to be coping (the 3 year old has been fine) The parents are still talking which helps I think. Christmas is going to be difficult though.

As others have said all you can do is be there for them flowers

Kartush Thu 17-Dec-20 12:55:17

My grandson and his partner split earlier this year, they have an almost 3 year old son. While it was a shock to us my husband and I decided to not take sides and to just be there for our great grandson who spends alot of time with us. Things gave settled down now and it is easier
This is what I suggest you do, be neutral, be there for your granddaughter and give her someplace where nothing has changed. It is hard but children are adaptable and things will get easier.

moobox Thu 17-Dec-20 11:35:36

Mine was a bit younger but I think now she can barely remember when they were together - it becomes the norm, and they adapt

Nannina Thu 17-Dec-20 11:28:03

I’ve also experienced this with my eldest son and his partner. Sadly it took several court dates for him to get access to his baby daughter. 12 years on things are a lot more civil and all sides of the family were able to attend my granddaughter’s 13th birthday party. She often says how luck she is to have all the extra adults to love and care for her

NannieAnnie64 Thu 17-Dec-20 11:16:48

It's such a difficult time. I was in the same situation when my daughter's marriage suddenly ended. Amongst all the upset, my daughter tried to keep everything as stable as possible. She asked if her husband could have access visits at my house, so it was as normal as possible. I told my son-in-law he was welcome to stay over night with the children as he was couch hopping at friends houses. We took the kids to the park and out for meals...all the normal things. I'm not saying it was easy, but my son-in-law and I forged a new type of relationship. Both my daughter and son-in-law are in established relationships with blended families and I still have contact with him now some 8 years later.
It's not easy in the early days of the breakup, but just because your son has split from from his wife doesn't mean the end of your relationship with your daughter-in-law....just a different one. Keep providing happy memories for your granddaughter and she'll move through this difficult time.
Best wishes

GreenGran78 Thu 17-Dec-20 11:16:24

My DD split with her husband and came back to England with her two children, leaving him in Australia. He didn’t want to come back. The children were 8 and 11 at the time, and having their whole lives turned upside-down was very confusing for them.
However, my DD was careful never to criticise their father,and made sure that they had regular internet chats with him. He came to visit as often as possible.
There was a big hiccup when he found a new GF and brought her over, and the children were upset when he said he was getting married. It’s amazing how resilient children are, though. They grew to accept the situation and have a good relationship with everyone now.
Your GD, with luck, and a big effort from both her parents, will come to terms with the situation. Children are very accepting if they know that they are loved.

trisher Thu 17-Dec-20 11:08:51

Can I just say that a relationship with the son's girlfriend depends entirely on her and the OP won't be able to do it if the girlfriend doesn't want to know her. That doesn't mean she can't have a great relationship with her GD. Sons should take 50% responsibility for a child now and share all the caring. Your GC will be fine Seanc she may find moving from one parent to the other a bit upsetting, she may have times when she is very upset. Just keep reassuring her that she is loved by you all. I also think it helps to say that mummy and daddy will hopefully be happier on their own and so will be able to take better care of her.

Luckygirl Thu 17-Dec-20 10:57:28

This is where Grandmas really come into their own - a stable and loving rock for the GC.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.