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Estrangement

heartbroken son

(52 Posts)
Macgran43 Sun 11-Aug-19 21:06:06

Son’s partner wants to leave him after 24 years of living together. She says there is no one else. They have no children. Son is devastated and does not want to live without her. How can I help? Should I try to speak to dil.?

Luckygirl Sun 11-Aug-19 21:19:28

That is a long time to be together. Let us hope they can work this out.

I do not think you should try to speak to DIL - all you can do is be supportive to your son if he talks to you about it. Any hint of taking sides could backfire badly if they stay together.

What a very difficult time for you.

Tangerine Sun 11-Aug-19 21:23:14

It sounds as if DIL has made up her mind. I think I agree with what Luckygirl has written.

I suppose/wonder, if you are usually in friendly contact with DIL, whether you could (*with son's knowledge and blessing*) just send a simple message saying something like "how are you?"

BlueBelle Sun 11-Aug-19 21:31:41

I don’t think you should contact the daughter in law at all just give your son the support he needs Tough times ahead I m afraid but many of us on here have got through very tough times, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes dangerous parents can only ‘be there’ its the hardest job in the world

Tangerine Sun 11-Aug-19 21:34:52

Perhaps you're right, Bluebelle.

These problems are so difficult and sometimes there are no hard and fast right or wrong ways of doing things.

Bordersgirl57 Sun 11-Aug-19 21:45:10

Oh I'm so sorry, what a sad situation. It probably does depend on what your "normal" relationship with her is.

When I left my first husband, my MIL (his stepmother) wrote me a note saying that she was very sad and she didn't understand but that she wanted to say that she always grateful that I had invited her for meals regularly and encouraged her to have a relationship with our children. Ex would never have bothered but I felt it was important. She was a lovely woman and I often appreciated her occasional visits more that my mother's annoying frequent ones.

I hope there is a way forward for them and for you. flowers

Doodle Sun 11-Aug-19 21:54:03

So sorry Macgran. I hope they can work it out but I thought I would mention that the same thing happened to my neighbours son. He was absolutely devastated and very depressed, however he eventually met someone else and is now happily married again. I hope things work out for the best for your son.

FarNorth Sun 11-Aug-19 22:02:08

After my brother and his wife spilt up, my mother continued to be friendly with the ex-dil.

There were no children and my mother never tried to patch things up between them, and it seemed to work okay.

Macgran43 it's a very difficult situation for you, especially as your son is taking it so badly.
I think you should focus on support for your son, to deal with things in whatever way they play out.

BlueBelle Sun 11-Aug-19 22:54:16

doodle you can get over things without a new partner it’s not the only way to live on after heartbreak and doesn’t always happen

Macgran43 Mon 12-Aug-19 00:01:40

Thank you. I am trying to support my son and listening to him as he pours it all out. Liked his partner , but not recently, but if they separate it will leave a gap in our lives too.

Namsnanny Mon 12-Aug-19 00:47:55

Macgran43.....I'm so very sorry to hear this. It sounds definite from what you have written.

Do encourage him to try counselling. There will be things I'm sure you realise, that he wont feel comfortable talking to you about, (no disrespect).

A sad and difficult time for you, his parents also.

BradfordLass72 Mon 12-Aug-19 01:20:57

Macgran43 I believe your being there and listening is absolutely the best thing your dear son could have at this moment.

My son pours out all his problems to me in a way he could never do with anyone else. And always says how much better he feels afterwards.

From what you say, I assume you have a good relationship with your dil after 24 years, so as Tangerine says, at the right time and with your son's acceptance, perhaps you could talk to her, to express your sadness and appreciation of the relationship you've all shared.

I do hope this works out for you all; having been in this position I know how one grieves for one's unhappy children, whatever their age. flowers

agnurse Mon 12-Aug-19 03:31:47

You could send her a supportive email, letting her know that if she would like she can still contact you and spend time with you.

Please do not say anything about her and your son's split. That's between them. You can stay neutral and support them both.

BlueBelle Mon 12-Aug-19 07:03:48

As if she won’t know why you’re sending an email all of a sudden

sodapop Mon 12-Aug-19 08:18:41

All you can do is listen and support them where you can. It's hard seeing our adult children with these problems but they do have to work things out themselves. So much easier when they were small and we could stick on a plaster and kiss it better.

jaylucy Mon 12-Aug-19 11:27:47

I feel sad for your son as he must be going through the "what did I do wrong?" stage and can only say that possibly nothing or sometimes the cracks may have been showing for some time and he has ignored them, hoping they will go away or just putting it down to "women's things"
I would say that his partner has been unhappy for some time and don't think it would be out of line to contact her and arrange to meet up somewhere away from the home - stress that you are not taking sides , but would like to hear just why she is feeling this way.
Once you hear this, you should be fully armed to support your son, without giving any criticism of her - you will no doubt be accused by your son of taking sides, so be ready for the flack!
Beyond that, just be a shoulder to cry on and help him through his grieving process.

Aepgirl Mon 12-Aug-19 11:28:19

You just have to be there for your son. If his partner contacts you, you could say ‘.... is deeply hurt’ or words to that effect. Avoid criticising or expressing your opinion. After all, it is their problem, not yours.

Grandyma Mon 12-Aug-19 11:36:56

Can this break up not happen on friendly terms? If you have had a good relationship with your dil why does that have to change?? It seems you are in position to support them both through this. Sad as the situation is there is no need for animosity surely! Be there for your son of course and help him all you can to get through this but continue the relationship you’ve always had with your dil. Things have to change sometimes but change can be positive. I wish you all well in this sad situation xx

Nanny41 Mon 12-Aug-19 11:39:20

When my Son divorced I was devastated, I still have a great relationship with my ex Daughter-in-Law.I didnt interfere, just kept up the friendship.My Son and his ex wife still have lots of good contact with each other. I really hope your Son can have the same Macgran43

Theoddbird Mon 12-Aug-19 11:45:37

Many moons ago relationships only lasted this long as death came early...are we programmed for that length of time? I split with ex after 25 years and know many who have. Nowadays still young enough to have a whole new life. Saying that I would just be there for your son. It is not fair on daughter in law to talk to her...she has made her decision and it should be respected. She is young enough to have new adventures and live her now chosen life. Your son has to accept this and make a new life for himself.

FC61 Mon 12-Aug-19 11:45:39

I divorced at age 45, overweight , depressed, feeling old as the hills, and looking to make the best of being on my own for rest of life ( can travel, be free blah blah) . Six months later I met the love of my life, got married , happy ever since! He’s everything I ever wanted in a man ! So you never know what’s around the corner! Trouble is what you think can get you down. Better not think just do. I’d have him on whatsapp and send questions messages , pester him to go on holiday, keep him occupied. He probably thinks he’s going to be on his own forever and so it looks bleak. Just need to get him through first weeks. Every day will , God willing , ease the pain. Therapy is great.

Craftycat Mon 12-Aug-19 11:50:26

When I left my first husband my in-laws were still friendly with me. I was very touched & grateful that they did not hate me. I dd not see them except at my son's weddings but they were always lovely.
I think that was the reason my ex & I managed to stay friendly too. It took a while mind you but now we get on very well.
Maybe you can have the same relationship with her in time.

4allweknow Mon 12-Aug-19 11:51:34

You refer to DS's partner not wife so one tiny fragment of consolation will be no trauma of a divorce. Still, a long time to have been together so there will be heart break and anger. Don't interfere in any way contacting the partner other than perhaps a note expressing your sadness but wishing her well. Your son is your main focus, listening, including in your life when appropriate.

grannybuy Mon 12-Aug-19 11:58:34

Some years ago, while involved in Adult Lieracy, I worked with a chap whose wife had left him. At the time, he'd been devastated, and felt suicidal. By the time I met him, he'd met someone else, and was very happy, and realised that it hadn't been the end of his world, and that he'd gotten through it. This will be the worst possible time for your son, and he will think at this point that he can't move on. He will need your support, and perhaps even professional help. I hope that time eases his anguish, and that the future brings him peace and happiness once more.

Quizzer Mon 12-Aug-19 12:01:12

A similar thing happened to my son after 10 years with his partner. She had declined his offers of marriage and did not want a family, which he accepted. He too was devastated. After a decent interval his friends signed him up on a dating website called something like "Fish in the Sea". He met a lovely girl and a wedding and two great kids followed. Just support your son and help your him to move on.