Gransnet forums


Putting up with the unacceptable

(107 Posts)
Sparkling Tue 28-Jul-20 07:29:34

I find it very sad and troubling, that a parent or parents allow their children to treat them badly, in order to have some sort of relationship with their beloved grandchildren. They must get so ground down by it all, it can go on for years. I really feel you cannot accept the unacceptable, that if adult children are manipulating you and abusing you, you say enough. Being treated and spoke down to is a terrible thing for children to witness and by allowing it they must feel it's normal. However much I loved them, I would step back after saying why. Say until you treat me with respect this stops. If they are willing to go to counselling I would try that, but few would because of losing the control. If someone hits you, you don't wait for the next blow, you get out, because that next blow will come.

Lucca Tue 28-Jul-20 07:33:42

I see your point Sparkling but I guess until or unless you are in that position you cannot say what you would do ?

Ohmother Tue 28-Jul-20 08:19:47

My heart aches for relatives whose DIL abuses their son and grandchildren by taking total control over when, if at all, they can see their GCs. Yet these relatives go to the ends of the earth and back and are proper doormats to keep the link with the GC alive.

Smileless2012 Tue 28-Jul-20 09:29:51

I agree Sparkling and as Lucca has posted, you don't know how you'd respond unless faced with that awful situation.

Having lived with estrangement from our son and only GC for more than 7 years, and knowing how devastating that is, when I read about the abuse that some P's/GP's put up with for fear of being estranged, I'm so thankful that we never got to that stage.

I'd rather have no relationship with our son than be in an abusive relationship.

GagaJo Tue 28-Jul-20 09:35:38

You only have to read the estrangement threads to see how heartbreaking it is to be cut off from grandchildren.

Obviously, others are free to make their own choices, but I would sooner cut off my arm than lose my relationship with my very much beloved grandson.

Smileless2012 Tue 28-Jul-20 09:42:55

When I look back I can see now that we were fortunate that we never really knew our eldest GC , who was just 8 months when we were estranged and was before the second one was born.

I can understand that you "would sooner cut off (your) arm than lose (your) relationship with (your) very much beloved grandson" GagaJo. Parents will know that's how GP's feel and for some, it enables them to abuse their parents in the knowledge they'll put up with it, rather than lose the GC they love.

Greenfinch Tue 28-Jul-20 09:47:29

Everyone is different as is every situation. It is impossible to generalise without being able to walk in someone else's shoes.
We react in whatever way is right for us at the time and if we have never been
in that situation there is little we can say. All I can offer is to sympathise with anyone who has been in that situation.Who knows what we would do.

GagaJo Tue 28-Jul-20 10:09:30


When I look back I can see now that we were fortunate that we never really knew our eldest GC , who was just 8 months when we were estranged and was before the second one was born.

I can understand that you "would sooner cut off (your) arm than lose (your) relationship with (your) very much beloved grandson" GagaJo. Parents will know that's how GP's feel and for some, it enables them to abuse their parents in the knowledge they'll put up with it, rather than lose the GC they love.

Very much aware of this Smileless. However, it is what it is. I'm not prepared to lose DGS.

My childhood was pretty miserable but I had a set of beloved grandparents that gave me total, unconditional love. I hope DGS has a better childhood than I did, BUT I hope I can give him the love my grandparents gave me. My granny has been dead since I was 11 and I have such happy memories of her. That's what I'm aiming for.

Chewbacca Tue 28-Jul-20 10:18:48

I have the greatest of sympathy for anyone that's in this situation and I've been shocked to learn, whilst on GN, just how many GPs are manipulated and bullied by their AC just so that they can see their GC. I've read that some elderly parents have actually been physically assaulted by their AC and yet they're still wanting to maintain and repair the relationship because they love their GC so much and are pretty much willing to put up with anything to be able to see them. It's a very sad situation for those who have to endure it.

Smileless2012 Tue 28-Jul-20 10:22:18

I know what you mean GagaJo my childhood was difficult and my maternal GM was my rock and meant the world to me.

I'm sure you will give your GS the love you received from your own GP'ssmile.

Smileless2012 Tue 28-Jul-20 10:26:06

It is shocking isn't it Chewbacca and as you say very sad.

Toadinthehole Tue 28-Jul-20 10:26:23

We had problems my and my husband’s parents, siblings etc. We put up with my in laws for 25 years. My parents sort of fizzled out...they weren’t interested. That was enough, and we vowed never again, to let anyone treat us badly. We had a brief estrangement from one of our daughters, for 18 months, but were able to sort it out. We all wanted to be in each other’s lives. I know I wouldn’t put up with anything in order to see grandchildren, because it wouldn’t be good for them. I know this because of what my own children picked up with our families bickering over the years. Grandchildren are gorgeous of course, but they’re different to your children. I know I wouldn’t fight in the same way. I haven’t got the energy for one thing!

CassieJ Tue 28-Jul-20 10:30:08

I have stepped back after telling them until they can respect me there can be no point of having contact. As they don't feel they have done any wrong I don't see them at all now.

It is very hard. I have bought four children up the same, all treated with love and respect. But for some reason only known to himself, my son in his 40's decided I just didn't fit with their family life anymore unless I gave into their demands. Until this point I felt that we had an excellent relationship.

GagaJo Tue 28-Jul-20 10:57:17

The period of time for manipulation is limited, as far as I'm concerned Chewbacca. Once DGS is of an age to make his own choices, the unacceptable won't be tolerated anymore.

In addition, my estate such as it is, won't be totally settled on D. DGS will get at least half. Although that obviously depends on the situation at the time. Things could change in a myriad of ways.

Smileless2012 Tue 28-Jul-20 11:07:48

It depends on the ages of GC when the manipulation starts as to how long the period of manipulation will last. It could go on for on years and depending on how controlling and manipulative the parents are, that may well have affected their children to the extent that they are reluctant to make their own decision with regard to seeing their GP's, for fear of how their parents will react.

As you've said Toadinthehole there's also the affect on GC to consider. Will they grow up thinking it's OK to treat people the way their GP's have been treated to get what they want?

GagaJo Tue 28-Jul-20 11:09:08

All of that is true, Smileless. I hope I would be strong enough to walk away if I thought that it was best for my GS.

Starblaze Tue 28-Jul-20 11:32:32

I allowed a parent to treat me badly for too long, it's hard if that is how you are brought up to see abuse. I gradually realised how wrong some things were because of how different I was with my children but I didn't realise my children were being impacted by how they treated me until they told me all the things they had seen/heard.

I thought them having some kind of relationship with their grandparents was important even if they weren't very involved grandparents and I had to do all the hard work to make it happen.

Its tough, I put up with a lot to keep relationships together that ultimately didn't work out anyway. I don't know if I could/should have just not bothered sooner.

Maybe it was better for my older children to know the truth and be part of the decision to estrange but I still regret what they witnessed to come to that decision.

I think I would put up with a lot to see my own grandchildren but it would be awful to go through a bad relationship again after fighting so hard to get over one and I'd have to consider if it would impact my grandchildren badly in the long run.

quizqueen Tue 28-Jul-20 11:45:21

I wouldn't put up with any abuse from any adults, whoever they were. If it were family, I would wonder where I went wrong in their upbringing.

I would find it very difficult to believe my 2 daughters would ever try to stop my grandchildren having a relationship with me because they want to be with me so much.

sodapop Tue 28-Jul-20 12:17:21

You are fortunate then Quizqueen I'm sure many of the posters on here never thought it would happen to them either.

It's not just daughters in law who do this ohmother they do get a bad press.

Chewbacca Tue 28-Jul-20 12:45:28

I admire your pragmatic and long term approach to your situation GagaJo and if I was in a similar position, I hope I'd do the same. You sound a good GP, with an excellent relationship with your little GS and I'm sure your way of dealing with it will produce the best outcome in the long-term.

Smileless2012 Tue 28-Jul-20 12:45:58

We never thought it would happen to us either quizqueen and like you, I wouldn't tolerate abuse from an adult regardless of who they are.

When there's parental abuse of children we of course accept that the children are unable to help themselves because by the very nature of the relationship, they are in a weak position.

We don't expect parents being abused by their AC to be in a weakened position but of course they are, when there's the threat that they'll have their GC taken away from them, if they don't comply with unreasonable demands.

Thank you for starting this thread Sparklingsmile.

Hetty58 Tue 28-Jul-20 13:17:46

Sparkling, this theme matches my earlier comment on the 'Reunited' post - (glad it was helpful) so I'll copy it here:

'Hetty58 Tue 28-Jul-20 07:23:27
Lucyloo12, it's vital that you do stay strong and correct her. If you let the situation continue, it will escalate.

It's not good for the grandchildren, to witness you being manipulated and bullied by your daughter. Don't allow it to happen.'

We really do have a duty to be good role models for our grandchildren, whatever the personal cost.

Starblaze Tue 28-Jul-20 15:37:11

It's definitely most important to look out for the little ones in any situation, not allowing mistreatment to happen is so important so that their growing minds aren't harmed by witnessing things they shouldn't. Sometimes that does mean removing yourself from the situation entirely. Sometimes it means working out how to keep relationships positive with people we wouldn't normally want relationships with.

When we expect others to behave reasonably or rationally just because we do, it's a pointless exercise. If we allow them to pull us down to their level, things just get even worse. So you either have to swallow your pride and not bite while setting and enforcing your own boundaries or walk away knowing it's for the best in the long run.

In an ideal world no one would ever have to make that decision with a family member but we just don't live in an ideal world.

Maybe by keeping our own behaviour positive and not feeding into the negative we can impact future generations though and that's at least something good to come out of it.

Dinahmo Tue 28-Jul-20 15:48:58

Starblaze Surely the most important thing is to look after one's self first? If that means that you don't get to see you GCs for some time at least you'll still be around for when they are old enough to contact you.

That said, as soon as they get old enough to do their own thing, they'd rather be out with their friends than seeing their GPs

Starblaze Tue 28-Jul-20 15:58:11

Dinhamo adults look after themselves, children need to be looked after by the people in their lives responsible for making sure they have a good childhood and grow into resilient adults. I couldn't have estranged if doing that would cause more harm to my children.

Bearing in mind any adult around them who is stressed and upset, it will be picked up on by the children no matter how you try to hide it and impact them too...

Its a lot to weigh up really and I didn't mean to oversimplify