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family split up

(42 Posts)
Kate13 Sun 18-May-14 21:51:25

Hi anyone out there? Haven't been on here for a while but tonight I'm hurting so badly for my son. His wife has moved out and they have a four year old son, who they are "sharing". My son's been on the phone in tears because he can't see his child when he wants to.(They have prescribed days). It means he's trapped and can't move away or change job. If anyone out there read my "divorce" thread about six months ago, this is the ongoing story. Any advice appreciated. If I'm honest I'm fed up with the unhappiness. My husband won't talk about it and "has no interest " in a wailing son who wants to cry to his mummy". My son is 36 so not a baby.

glassortwo Sun 18-May-14 21:57:39

kate I am so sorry I haven't any advice for you but someone will be along soon who will be able to help. {{{hugs}}}}

Mishap Sun 18-May-14 22:08:13

Let him cry - he is sad. You do not have to be a baby to cry or be sad. And I am sure that you are too - so sorry that you are having to deal with all of this. Dads often get a raw deal when it comes to access - it must be unbearable for them. I am sorry that your OH has no sympathy with his son's sadness, which leaves you as piggy in the middle. I am sure you will be a great support to him.

Do you see much of the GS? - grandparents an often be a valuable source of stability in these situations.

rosequartz Sun 18-May-14 22:25:56

We often think that women cry and men should be strong, but I think that men, particularly younger men, get hurt far more by something like this happening to them. I think it is good that he has you to talk to and hope your husband can bring himself to talk to him about it, perhaps offer some practical advice later on when he needs it, if not sympathy just at the moment.

flowers (if not practical advice which I am sure others will be able to give)

Aka Sun 18-May-14 22:32:51

Thank goodness he is able to talk to you (((hugs)))

grannyactivist Sun 18-May-14 22:44:25

Hi Kate13, I remember you from your previous posts about this situation. I'm guessing that now your daughter in law has moved out the reality of the separation has finally hit your son and he's grieving for the future he recognises he will no longer have with his wife.
Sometimes all our children (in fact any of us) want is a listening, non-judgmental ear and to share the burdens of life. The problem with that comes when we, for whatever reason, end up carrying such burdens alone. In your shoes I would be glad that my son is giving safe expression to his feelings, but as your husband isn't supportive I would be looking for a friend to offload to. (Gransnet is a really good place to find support too.)
In practical terms your son (and the wider family) have all been hurt and I know it seems trite, but time really does blunt those feelings eventually; at least enough so that a 'new normal' life can be established.
I think I remember that your son sometimes travels abroad for his job, so any kind of shared care for your grandson may work in his favour at times. Also, when he's at school full time there will be opportunities for your grandson to maybe spend some of the long summer holidays with his dad - especially if your daughter in law is working. There are some wonderful holidays organised for just such times here:
Keep coming back and sharing until things are less raw at least. (((hugs))) flowers

Kate13 Sun 18-May-14 22:56:46

My DH has always been jealous of the relationship between DS and me. We've always been able to talk. DH gets really angry if I'm on the phone to him, especially if I walk out of the room. So I can't share MY feelings with DH. As if one problem weren't enough.
I see DGS regularly and he seems a happy little boy accepting that sometimes he's with mummy, sometimes with daddy. In fairness, both his parents have dealt with the split very maturely as far as DGS is concerned and there is a lot of love around him. Both sets of grandparents are supportive and we are also good friends.
I just don't know how to balance feelings/time/phone calls so that I don't get all
this ranting at home.

Mishap Sun 18-May-14 23:01:54

Oh just ignore the ranting. Excuse me for saying so, but it is not your son who is being a baby, but Dad who is being a toddler! The balance of people's needs in a family changes and swings back and forth; and it is your son who need the support at the moment.

Kate13 Sun 18-May-14 23:18:46

grannyactivist thank you. Yes the reality has just kicked in. She moved out ten days ago. On the surface everyone has been and is being very matter-of-fact and doing everything to ensure that DGS is surrounded by a loving and fun atmosphere. And that's been OK over the past 8 months or so.
I guess we've just been protecting ourselves by refusing to accept the inevitable...and now it's happened.
Feeling less raw after reading your words of support. Thanks.

Kate13 Sun 18-May-14 23:21:33

mishap cheers! wine

kittylester Mon 19-May-14 06:37:58

Kate (((hugs))) for you and for your son.sunshine

glammanana Mon 19-May-14 08:07:05

Kate sending virtual ((hugs)) to you & your boy who I imagine is heartbroken and needs the support of his mum,similar happened to my boy when my DGD was 3 yrs old and that was the first time I really saw him cry he was not crying for himself but for the future plans he had where in tatters and he also found it hard to come to terms with not having the constant contact with his daughter, his partner made access easy though and after a couple of months he was able to cope better with the new routine,let him talk about it as much as he needs and dismiss any remarks from your OH men are certainly more open with their emotions than they where years ago and it is a good thing I think it shows we have raised boys who care about their relationships even though they don't work out as they intended.
Just to say we are now 12 years on and we have such a well ajusted DGD who see's her dad 3/4 times a week and has a big input to our for you.

annsixty Mon 19-May-14 08:37:57

kate so sorry, but it was inevitable, now you are left feeling bereft and as Mums do,picking up the pieces.Those of us who have been there will know how you are

petallus Mon 19-May-14 10:22:22

At the beginning of last year DD separated from her husband for the second time. Six months later, when he realised they would not be getting back together he took off to the other side of the country and broke off all contact with her, us and his son, my GS aged 8. GS knows that his father has moved a long way away but cannot understand why he won't speak to him on the phone.

The other grandparents are not happy with the situation at all but don't have any influence with their son.

At least the sons mentioned on this thread have managed to contain their unhappiness enough to care about their children and make efforts to see them and I think their mothers can be proud of that.

whenim64 Mon 19-May-14 10:55:55

I really feel for your GS, Petallus. I hope his dad changes his mind and resumes contact with his son. My GS was just 10 when his dad left to live just 500 yards away, but within weeks was stopped from seeing him. It affected him deeply and it was nearly a year of sporadic contract before it was properly resumed on a sound footing. He's 14 now and very close to his dad, but there's still that underlying insecurity from not seeing his dad for a while that shows through every now and again.

I do wish parents who break contact with their children, or stop them seeing the other parent, would think about what they're doing to their children.

petallus Mon 19-May-14 16:32:44

Thanks when.

Luckily GS has three grown up brothers to give him support, me and DH and the other grandparents are now seeing him once a fortnight (when hopefully his dad will agree to speak to him).

Also, DD is a great mother to him.

Kate13 Tue 20-May-14 08:53:59

Thank you to all of you for your support. You are spot on with your comments. I am just hoping that this initial rawness will become less acute as DS gets used to the situation.He is angry that he cannot see DGS when he wants to although they've agreed a 50-50 two week cycle (4 days/3days) AND included the grandparents. They have not changed the long standing arrangement that the grandparents have DGS every other Thursday, when he doesn't go to nursery.
I know I'm biased but I think my DS has done more than he needed to make sure DiL has a comfortable place to live - painted and decorated it AND bought all new white goods and furniture.DiL invited us round and we had a cuppa with her. It's SO CONFUSING. It's doing my head in. DS says she wants her cake and eat it. The flat's about ten minutes from the family home and they've both got keys for each other's place. I really don't get it. sad

glammanana Tue 20-May-14 09:10:29

Kate I think you have a boy to be proud of there,he has made sure your DGS has the surroundings he is used to and still has the continuing presence of all the grandparents,we hear so much of GPs loosing contact with their DGC when a relationship breaks down and it is so sad when that happens.

mcem Tue 20-May-14 09:24:45

Kate I do feel for you, but your son has done a remarkable job. We had to deal with such a nasty vicious split that I can't help thinking that your family will be ok. You and your DS have done all you could for your little GS and he seems to be coping well. The wider family too seems to be working together successfully. That's something we didn't manage and I lost friends of 40 years. Look on your DS's input of effort and cash as an investment which will surely pay dividends in the future.

Pity about your other half - I have no experience of such a situation. All I can say is that you can take comfort from the way the family has coped so far and as the 'rawness' fades your OH might get a grip and be more supportive.

Petallus, the first year was very difficult but DD's ex finally sorted himself out and although he'll never win awards as dad of the year, he now does have the children overnight for a couple of nights most weeks. Fingers crossed for you!

Lona Tue 20-May-14 09:24:53

Kate I think some people have much better relationships when they actually live apart, so give it time. They may all be a lot happier this way.
I do hope so for the sake of dgs.

Kate13 Wed 21-May-14 00:37:14

Deep down I think you're right lona. They are managing a remarkable amount of civility considering.
My DS has fallen over backwards to make it clear that none of our side of the family should be against DiL for DGS' s sake. Quite rightly.Maybe this is the way forward. Certainly her parents are on my DS' s side and he'll always be a part of their family. They are good people. So to give it time is all we can do. Impossibly difficult though.

Kate13 Sun 22-Jun-14 04:38:48

Another sleepless night after a distraught and angry(and estranged) DiL decided to let me know my DS "is seeing someone". I didn't need to know this and my DS has chosen not to let us know yet. For the first time I feel that she's deliberately trying to hurt me. What does she expect? They've been separated for a while now. I''ve followed some good advice but now I am fed up with being the punch bag.. What's the next step please?

seasider Sun 22-Jun-14 06:52:58

Katy many years ago my husband left me for a friend and I told his mum he was seeing someone. I think I felt she had taken his side (understandably) and I felt betrayed by all his family as well as him because they did not contact me or offer support. In later years we all became friends again and they explained they had thought I would not want to speak to them because of what ex-DH had done!

Aka Sun 22-Jun-14 07:00:58

I think seasider is making a very important point.

You need to be very careful how you handle this and remember DiL has feelings too. Perhaps she's not trying to hurt you but to let you know she's hurting.

Kiora Sun 22-Jun-14 07:11:39

Oh kate I can tell by the time of your post that your obviously very upset. I really feel for you. I think it's so much harder being the paternal grandparent. The daughter-in-law holds so much power, or at least that's how it feels to us. The fear of loosing contact with your beloved grandchild is unbearable. The only advice I can give is 'hold on very tight' this may be a long and bumpy journey. No matter how much you may want to defend your son to his ex DONT. Bite your tongue and just listen. She is hurting and needs to vent,so let her or She may be trying to hurt him through you. What ever her intention you need to appear neutral. I'm sure you'll get more precise advice here than mine but I think you need to find a way of coping with your own hurt and fear. Your the one in the middle dealing with your sons emotional needs, his ex anger and hurt and wanting the best for your grandson and keeping your relationship with the little chap. On top of that your husband isn't handling it well. That's more than enough for anyone to cope with. Things will get better I'm sure. In the meantime take care of yourself, deep deep breath. Perhaps you need to cry. You'll cope no matter how bad it gets. Hold on. flowers and a (((((((hug)))))