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heartbroken son

(53 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.?

fizzers Wed 14-Aug-19 11:18:35

I think all you can do is be there for your son , offering as much support as he needs. I would keep out of it and not approach the daughter in law, it could quite easily back fire on you, and you could be seen as meddling or interfering.

annodomini Tue 13-Aug-19 19:33:17

Just keep out of it unless you do have a specially friendly relationship with his partner. Be there for him, but don't push it. Let him come to you if he needs a shoulder to cry on.

llizzie2 Mon 12-Aug-19 21:08:02

Is he really considering ending his life? I hope you can disabuse him of that thought. It is not just the prospect of losing her, but the prospect of being alone. To someone in this position it is like grieving for a spouse. It takes a very long time. If their relationship has ended completely the result in terms of human misery is the same. Your son will find things very hard and your shoulder may get very wet.

He may be more open to suggestions about his future after a while. He will not consider it helpful if he is actively encouraged to move on and find another partner until the hurt ha subsided. Criticising the one he loves won't help either. He will come round though. People do and any thought of not wanting to live without her must be taken out of his mind without a 24 hour watch. There are signs to watch out for.
Wish him well.

CarlyD7 Mon 12-Aug-19 20:33:15

Personally, I would contact your DIL - just with a nice card saying how sorry you are and asking if there's any help you can offer. Apart from anything-else, you never know - at sometime in the future they just might get back together again, so it's a good idea to keep the relationship friendly - just in case. Try not to take sides.

Tillybelle Mon 12-Aug-19 19:45:37

Phoebes It's a dating Agency. Plenty More Fish.

I have no idea if it is good bad or ugly! I have never used one! I googled it out of curiosity because of this thread. I would be far too scared to use a dating agency and anyway the last thing I need is another close relationship with a man! I love being on my own!! (With the dogs of course!)

Tillybelle Mon 12-Aug-19 19:37:18

Mauriherb. You raise a very good point. It really depends on the relationship between them. If it is like your relationship with your DiL then showing unbiased friendship might be a most natural thing. The problem arises when it becomes "two against one", which is very hard to avoid when one party, here the woman, wants to leave and the other wants her to stay. If his mum joins him to talk to the one wanting to leave, she cannot help but feel she is on her own against two. It needs a very strong relationship between MiL and DiL and very careful handling. So much depends on all the circumstances surrounding the situation.

We do not know how long she has been thinking of leaving. It might have been going on for a long time. Possibly something has happened to her, somebody talking to her maybe, that has made her appraise her life and situation and led her to decide she does not want to go on as she is, in this relationship for the rest of her life. Sometimes we know deep down that things are not right but we think we need to soldier on and it will get better, then something happens or several things happen to enable us to see ourselves and our lives differently and we know we need to make changes. However kind and tactful and caring this man's mother is to the partner who wants to leave, she will inevitably feel that his mother and he are upset with her and are trying to persuade her to stay. She will possibly become more entrenched in her decision as a result.

I do think it wisest for his mother to keep out of it and not try to talk to both of them. Many things go on in a relationship that a person would not want to discuss with their Partner's parent, however close they felt to them. This girl knows how much her MiL loves her son, she might feel uncomfortable about talking to her at the moment. I doubt if she is feeling on top of the world herself. It probably took a lot of courage to take this step.

Tillybelle Mon 12-Aug-19 19:14:52

heidimargaret. I think that is very good advice. I hope Macgran43 will do as you suggest.

crazyH Mon 12-Aug-19 18:40:50

It's heartbreaking, isn't it? A few weeks ago, I thought my d.i.l. was going to leave my 'difficult' son. He has a lot of good qualities, but .........even I find him too annoying at times.
So when she phoned to say she was 'fed up ', I just listened. She didn't leave, things are better, but there is always that fear, and sometimes I think it's better not to get too close to our
I wish your son all the best...hope it all works out for the best !!

heidimargaret Mon 12-Aug-19 18:25:56

Please ask him to see his GP. So as he may be referred under the care of the mental health team. There are so many avenue's open out there now. Do not let him slide into a deep depression. He may well feel life is not worth living and i can understand that seeing what he is going through. Please persuade him to get help. He may be unable to fight this alone even with your support

Tillybelle Mon 12-Aug-19 17:51:57

I can't add much - sorry.
I simply wanted to say how sorry I am both for you and your son. Break-ups after 20+ years are not actually all that uncommon. The shock to your son must be terrible, I get the impression it came as a shock.
I agree with those who say do not try to talk to his Partner. I think that would be unhelpful in many ways. Your role is to be your son's pillar of strength. Listen to him, feed him, keep him going, let him take time-out, rant or cry, but just be there for him. In many ways this is like a death and he will go through a mourning for his relationship overlaid with self-recrimination about what he could have done to prevent it. At some point he may turn against his partner. It may be quite a bumpy path while he gets through the horrible process of this change in his life.

I have not mentioned that his Partner might change her mind simply because I do not want to set up false hopes. To try and persuade a person to remain in a relationship they want to leave is not always a good idea.

I agree that counselling is a very good idea. The couple could be helped to get through the end of their relationship in couples counselling if that could be found. But certainly your son would be helped by a good counsellor who could be a valuable sounding board for his feelings and help him make some sense of this horrible time in his life.

I am sure he will get through this with you to support him. You are clearly a wonderful mum, he is lucky to have you. I wish you and your DS all the best and hope the future will bring some happiness and not too much pain. 🌈🦋🌺

Ooeyisit Mon 12-Aug-19 16:49:11

Bag off spuds in a fancy sack. it always amazes me how people can’t see they look awful , That being said I haven’t always had much to spend on clothes but have with the help of charity shops always managed to look smart on a shoe string . The uniform of the old used to be crimplene dresses and poplin macs ,then it went to crimplene trousers and fleeces .Now we have descended-even further with the leggings and tops . People in the main have forgotten how to dress . Sadly .

Phoebes Mon 12-Aug-19 15:25:36

Quizzer: Plenty of fish?

blue60 Mon 12-Aug-19 14:32:45

It's always a shock when a partnership ends after such a long time. I would have thought there were signs for your DS long before this, even if not to you.

We could never understand why my sil left her husband after 40 years of marriage - but she had been having an affair for some time, and a number of others before it, when she decided she no longer wanted to be in that relationship.

As time went on, she told of the many problems and difficulties she'd had over the years, unbeknown to us.

I guess the best thing is not to judge, and just see what happens.

icanhandthemback Mon 12-Aug-19 14:09:48

My son's marriage is quite rocky at the moment. I have been very careful to let his wife know that, as a family, we would not abandon her if she really feels she has to leave and that her happiness is important to us. I think after 24 years, unless you have had a disastrous relationship with her, it is good for her to hear.

Mauriherb Mon 12-Aug-19 13:53:24

I'm surprised that so many people are saying not to contact your dil. I'm very close to my dil and couldn't imagine not contacting her if something like this were to happen. Obviously you can't take sides or get involved but it seems quite harsh not to have any further contact with someone who has been part of your family for so long

sarahellenwhitney Mon 12-Aug-19 13:38:13

You must be devastated to hear of this and your son will not want to bring you into the reason why after 24 years his partner has decided to leave.
The only way son can' move on' is to 'unburden' and this can be achieved by professional help. His GP will advise on how to obtain this.I would suggest this to him making sure he knows your door is for ever open


RomyP Mon 12-Aug-19 13:27:11

Support your son but be open to the partner contacting you if she chooses to but I really don't think you should contact her. Time apart might be enough to heal the rift, it can happen but it's unlikely. We never know what really goes on in other people's relationships and usually only hear one side of things when there are problems, if his partner decides to speak to you treat what she says as confidential unless she asks you to relate her issues to your son, likewise the things your son tells you, then if they do ever reconcile you'll still be trusted. I think it's important you don't bad mouth her at all for same reason as rebuilding a relationship is very difficult and if anyone has said anything against the other party they're risking having it thrown back at them. It probably is all over and I suspect she's unlikely to contact you, concentrate on helping your son rebuild rebuild his life, not easy after 24 years together. I'm sorry for your son's pain and confusion about what's happened, I hope he'll gradually come to terms with it and learn to enjoy life again.

newnanny Mon 12-Aug-19 12:51:08

There must be a reason for dil saying this, maybe she just does not love him anymore. I would tell her you are sad to hear about breakdown in relationship but leave it at that. Just support your son And encourage him to plan for futurexwithout his wife.

Jacqui1956 Mon 12-Aug-19 12:50:50

When my ex husband left me for another woman my MIL stopped speaking to be and my 2 children. Apparently I was the reason he left! Lol
Be supportive to your son but let your DIL know that your there for her as well. Sometimes people just fall out of love.

GabriellaG54 Mon 12-Aug-19 12:48:33

My answer is no.
If she made the radical decision to leave, you can take it that she must have thought of other options and the pros and cons of that decision, otherwise she wouldn't have voiced her plans.

I take it that your DiL is 40+ and knows her own mind and that her reasoning is not skewed by medication or illness, mental or physical.

You cannot make her fall back in love with your son simply because he's devastated or because of the length of time they've been together and you have no right to try to change her mind.

I divorced my husband after 40 years of marriage. No other party involved and we're both still single but I simply wanted to be on my own. No other reason whatsoever.

It happens.
Let them work it out themselves. It's their marriage, not yours.

Willow500 Mon 12-Aug-19 12:29:05

So very sad especially after such a long relationship. There is nothing you can do other than be there to let your son talk - no doubt they have done a lot of that together already to have reached this point. Perhaps you could ask him if he would mind if you just sent his ex a message to express your sadness at the situation - after all 24 years is a long time to have had her in your lives too. As everyone else has said don't take sides - just be a support to your son during the next weeks and months while they work through the split.

BlueBelle Mon 12-Aug-19 12:20:22

When my ex left me my mum in law stayed my friend in fact she told me how ashamed she was of him I didn’t expect that from her by that time she lived in another country but we kept up correspondence I sent her photos and school reports etc etc and we were writing to each other (before mobiles etc) until the day she died

Davida1968 Mon 12-Aug-19 12:09:31

MacGran, you mention that they have no children. Also they aren't married. Did DS's partner want marriage and children? Sometimes if people want different things, it can lead to an eventual break-up. (I know of a couple in exactly this situation.)

Bugbabe2019 Mon 12-Aug-19 12:07:12

You should keep in contact with her
But not in an interfering way.
Just message her and day you’re sorry about the situation and if you can help in any way to get in touch
She might not reply, esp if she’s having an affair, as she will feel guilty, but she won’t be able to turn around and say that you haven’t bothered .

Notsooldat75 Mon 12-Aug-19 12:04:51

This happened to me recently, the only thing I could do was reassure both of them that whatever one said about the other, I would never ever repeat it. I was not going to be a letter box in any way.