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Grandparenting

Loyalty or not

(25 Posts)
britgran Sat 07-Jan-17 23:13:40

I posted on here before concerning my ex daughter in law and her 2 grown up children from a previous relationship.....we were grandparents to her children in every way but blood, when her marriage to our son broke down we gave her 100% support, he was totally to blame, I was so ashamed of his behaviour....we stayed good friends with her and saw her and her son and daughter regularly, our son remarried we had a rocky relationship with him and his new wife but gradually mended broken bridges and had a new start they have given us two beautiful GDs.....our ex daughter in law met somebody else we were so pleased for her but it soon became clear her new man didn't want us around, I sort of understood but it meant we no longer visited to see our GD or step GC, our step GD aged 25 decided she didn't want us in her life because we were friendly with our new daughter in law, on our 16yr old GD s prom day we were left out of all the celebration s , I made the mistake of telling our ex dil how hurt we were which resulted in her ignoring us, I was devastated and spent most of the time in tears, our step GS then cut us dead, I couldn't understand why I have apologized in case I said something they didn't like, but they want nothing to do with us , I've asked my ex dil to at least talk to me about our 16 yr old CD but she chooses not to....I can't tell you how much they have hurt me , I take anti depressants or I'd be constantly in tears , my husband is furious and so angry with them, and now my eldest sons wife said today she spoke to our ex dil before Christmas and told us what our Step GS is doing with his career and life, she said he'd love to see them........my husband thinks they should be supportive to us and tell them that their behaviour towards us has been disgraceful, I am now trying to stop my husband from falling out with our eldest son, I don't know if I agree or not, it's all so distressing again

Hilltopgran Sun 08-Jan-17 00:49:02

You are in a difficult position, but try not to let it hurt you anymore. You need to protect yourself, grownup children can make their own decisions, telling people how you feel about them can have a very long term negative effect. Better to keep the channels of communication open and leave time to heal, it may improve, if not try to enjoy the relationships you do have.

Hope you can get your OH to understand words can never be unsaid and often get taken and rehashed until nothing can mend the relationship.

Jane10 Sun 08-Jan-17 06:41:01

I agree with hilltopgran. There was a notice in one of the workrooms at Uni which said ' Words are loaded pistols'. That's always stuck in my mind. Didn't stop me from putting my foot in it at times though.

Starlady Sun 08-Jan-17 10:53:37

No, just no. Eldest son should not get in the middle. That will just cause more trouble. Believe me, I've seen it. A DS or DD speaks to the estranged relative or inlaw on behalf of their parents and the next thing you know that DS or DD is cut out by the same person or that person blames the parents or both! (Whew! Sorry for such a long sentence!). No good! Please tell your DH this.

I'm so sorry this has happened. I know you're in pain. One hurt on top of another - awful! Par for the course, though when an XDIL starts a new life. It's normal, also, that the older kids are standing with her - she's their mum. But StepGS seems interested in seeing you and DH if you got the correct information. Perhaps you could send him a friendly note or email and see what happens. As for your other SGC, back off, and perhaps, after a while, they might reach out to you again.

Right now, maybe you and DH should seek counseling to help you cope. And, of course, keep enjoying your other GC.

britgran Sun 08-Jan-17 11:23:54

Thanks I've tried to convince my husband that he should keep quiet but he's fed up with me being hurt and wants to stand up for me, it's my fault, if I was tougher I wouldn't get so upset, our StepGS has cut us dead along with his sister and Mum, for 15 yrs we were the only grandparents they had, as far as I'm concerned they are our grandchildren but they no longer see us that way, I don't understand anybody that is ok causing another person such awful pain, my husband thinks my eldest son and his wife ......who by the way never particularly liked my ex dil .......should have nothing to do with them because they have upset me so much, I sometimes think I should live on a secluded island and only let my GC visit smile

Deedaa Sun 08-Jan-17 21:30:39

Your DH is doing the male thing of wanting "TO DO" something, while you just want him to sympathise with how bad you feel. They always want to fix things but I think the onbly thing to do here is to back off. Given space they may want to see you again eventually.

rosesarered Sun 08-Jan-17 21:42:54

Britgran I have heard of this sort of thing happening so many times, in fact a good friend had this happen to her, after years of her being loving and supportive.
There is no answer.The way people behave is just baffling.
Sit back from it all, you have new DGC and you can focus on them for the future.💐

Grannyben Sun 08-Jan-17 22:41:27

I am genuinely so sorry for the pain you are feeling at being estranged from your step grandchildren (from now on I will refer to them as your grandchildren as that is obviously how you see them). However, I do think it would be unwise for you to ask your DS and dil to have nothing to do with them and their mother. They are adults who clearly feel able to make their own decisions and, the last thing you want is to create an atmosphere with them. I do wonder if their contact could actually be a good thing. They are aware of the relationship you had previously and how you are suffering now. If things are taken very slowly they could be the key to building bridges. If it were me, I would stay quiet (and your dh) and see how things pan out. If your son and dil do have contact with them and, they bring them up in conversation, just say "oh I do miss them, if you get the opportunity can you tell them that I miss them very much". I truly hope things work out for you flowers

Starlady Mon 09-Jan-17 04:32:55

I think Deedaa is right that dh wants to fix this for you. That's so sweet of him but he can't control other adults' relationships or conversations. He does realize that ds, dil and xdil are adults, doesn't he?

What I would be wondering if I were you guys is why is xdil friendly with other ds & dil but not us? Why is her new guy ok with having them around but not you & dh? Did something happen between you that you're not really looking at? Think about it.

Starlady Mon 09-Jan-17 04:37:24

Also, does your remarried ds have visitation with your 16-yr-old gd? If he does, could he share some of that time with you & dh? That may be your best bet where she's concerned.

britgran Mon 09-Jan-17 09:10:19

Starlady, we see our 16 yr old GD all the time, we have a lovely relationship with her, she's in an awful position knowing her mum , half brother and sister won't have anything to do with us, and yes my husband knows our eldest son and his wife are adults, he just feels they should perhaps be more aware of my feelings, but as you say they are adults and must do what they think is best for them,, I just have a very angry man who is fed up seeing me distressed, no doubt I'll get over it, in my old age I've become very cynical and decided to trust nobody......my exdils partner has no contact with our eldest son or his family and I have wracked my brains trying to think what we did wrong, I have apologized for things I don't even know we might have done, the only thing I think it could be is the new partner of our ex dil influencing them, maybe it's time I toughened up and said to hell with them, why do I want a relationship with people who have hurt me so badly

Foxygran Mon 09-Jan-17 10:33:46

I'm so sorry that you are in such pain, and having been in a similar position, I understand completely what you're going through.

Time definitely does heal and just remain the good, loving people you are. I wouldn't advise your husband to say anything and don't get other family members involved.

During this difficult time in your life try and take on different and new activities to keep your mind occupied on other topics (volunteering? Dancing? Ramblers group? Local club?)

I found it hugely beneficial to learn new things, meet new people and take my thoughts elsewhere. Though it's incredibly difficult when you feel so low. In fact, it's probably the last thing you want to do but eventually it's amazingly therapeutic to have other things to concentrate on.

Eventually, things have improved for my husband and I. But it was an excruciatingly painful time.

Love to you flowers

Flossieturner Mon 09-Jan-17 10:42:18

I think that, possibly, you had too high an expectation when your Dil remarried. As you say, you understood that the new husband did not want to be on your company but cannot understand the children's attitude. Yo state that your son was to blame for the breakup, it follows that the children saw how much he hurt their mum.

They have a torn loyalty and have chose a side rightly or wrongly. You are hurt but you surely have to see why they have acted the way they did. For your own sake and for the sake of your remaining family you need let this stop tearing you up . It seems that your hurt is clouding your judgement.

radicalnan Mon 09-Jan-17 10:56:37

Wait, I know it is tough but just wait and be cool but friendly is any opportunity arises.

I have known family things resolve themselves after many years and when asked, the people who were at the root of the problems, have no idea why they acted as they did.

Perhaps the new husband saw you as part of the old family and acted accordingly.......who knows what people think.

Probably no hurt intended, just the new man feeling fearful of complications he could not face.

Marnie Mon 09-Jan-17 11:58:04

My blood DS & DD have very little to do with us. Don't know why. Have had bereavement counselling which has helped tremendously. There are 2 DGC and dil whom we haven't seen in two years. DD we have seen twice in past 5 years and DS maybe half a dozen times in the last year. They do not answer the phone to us and I have now come to terms with how it is. Roll on my life......

Marnie Mon 09-Jan-17 12:00:16

(Hadnt finished) full of gardening neighbours and friends. You cannot choose your family and can only do what is your best to maintain a relationship with them.. It is very very sad

sarahellenwhitney Mon 09-Jan-17 12:12:20

Marnie.When I read stories such as yours, and others, I often wonder if I am better off that my family live the other side of the world and that I am not subjected to the upset that so many families cause each other.

Christinefrance Mon 09-Jan-17 13:06:24

Sometimes you just have to let go. It's sad when you were close but there is no point in making yourself ill over this. Leave the door open if they want your care or help. Don't let this issue cloud relationships with other friends or family. Get on with your life and enjoy time with your husband.

newnanny Mon 09-Jan-17 13:23:48

In your difficult situation I think I would write a letter each to both DSGC explaining that even though they are not blood related to you you love them both and have seen them grow up and feel very connected to them. I would say that no matter how they react you still love them and would love to have an ongoing adult relationship with them but will leave it to them to decide if they would like to meet up with you 3 or 4 times each year or not. Then leave it to them to respond or not. You will feel better knowing you have tried.

Helmsley444 Mon 09-Jan-17 13:59:57

Wen marriages split and the dil or sons find new people it always happens that they move on.My own ds and dil blood.Dont ever visit my dh and i.We have the dgc once a week.If they have something more important to do were dropped .Weve never been any thing other than loving supportive parents and grandparents.The influence of parntners on our children will always of course be there first priotiy.Life us sad for most people.And its better to make a life for yourself and your dh then relie on your happiness coiming from family members.I cant tell you how many times my family hurt me and take me fir granted.Your now got your beautiful gds.I feel for your sadness .But peopke will move on and make their own choices .In the end you have to accept that.

NannaM Mon 09-Jan-17 14:33:54

Oh britgran, what a horrid position to be in. My heart goes out to you. It's all about power, and discarding people without consideration of their feelings or fear of consequences, IMHO. My ex SiL (under the influence of his new wife, I'm sure), once wrote to us - "you are excess baggage from a past relationship" !!!!! WTF??
As he is the guardian and custodial parent of my granddaughter, this made things very difficult for a while.
I suggest back off a tad. Hard as it is. When things get tough in this new relationship, your ex DiL will remember the support she got from you. Be glad that there is still some sort of contact with her and her children through your other sons family so you can get some sort of news about what the young ones are up to. Also don't forget FaceBook. Use your page to show a grandma who has a happy life. You gave those kids happy memories. They won't forget, and I'm sure they will come back into your life. Xoxo

FlorenceFlower Mon 09-Jan-17 14:40:29

I am so very, very sorry for the situation you are in - it's often very difficult being a step granny and the actions of others can be baffling at the best of times.

I certainly feel that I have to tread far more carefully than friends of mine with their own 'blood' children and grandchildren, and no matter how wonderful step parents and grandparents are, we are often a very easy target when things go wrong in any part of the extended family.

As others have said, leave the door open but be careful of confiding in anyone .... comments can be accidentally or mischievously misinterpreted, and can inadvertently make matters worse.

You have had some wonderful years with these young people, and perhaps now is the time to get some counselling and to turn your energies to other areas. The young people have benefitted tremendously from you both, and they may turn back to you if the door is left open.

Sincerely hope it resolves, and that you and your husband find some contentment and happiness 🌺

britgran Tue 10-Jan-17 10:04:23

Thank you all for your wise words it has helped me to see a bit straighter by opening my heart on here, I think I need to somehow toughen up and move on, my husband tells me that anybody who can knowingly cause us so much pain doesn't deserve to be in our lives, I have convinced him to say nothing to our other son and his wife , as long as I see our DGC they can say what they like...... I'm not a silly woman and I do understand that with new relationships people move on, I wasn't expecting things to stay the same but an occasional text or perhaps meeting for a coffee would have been nice, it's the cutting us dead that's so hurtful, when my ex dil collects our 16yr old GD from our house she actually parks further up the road !! But I do thank you all for responding and offering advice I have found it very useful flowers

EmilyHarburn Tue 10-Jan-17 10:42:02

Dear Brithgran

So glad the the responses to this thread have helped. As your husband has said he is fed up with you being hurt. I was taught by my father that we choose our emotional responses and therefore must take responsibility for our emotions. So may I suggest that you do get some counselling to see this all in perspective. Discuss it all put it in context and you will find that you can put this behind you and move on able to enjoy all your current relationships.

Starlady Sun 15-Jan-17 12:28:43

Sounds as if xdil & family have drawn a line between sgc and blood gc. Foolish, imo, but not uncommon. Maybe the older ones feel they need to stand with their mom, also. Perhaps it makes things easier for her with her new man.

So glad that you get to see dgd. Sorry you were "left out" of her prom day but prom really isn't about you. Poor dgd is caught in the middle of all this. Just enjoy the time you get with her and don't expect more.

Good that you convinced dh to leave other ds & dil alone. Glad our responses have helped. The suggestion of counseling is a good one, imo. Dh probably needs it too. Hope you can both begin to move on soon.