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Here we go again

(34 Posts)
britgran Thu 17-Aug-17 12:47:25

After deciding to step back from our son and his continuous problems for our own health and sanity....when is it acceptable to say enough is enough.... my dil called me this morning to tell me she has discovered our son is having an affair, I've excused his behavior for so long as he is suffering from Bulimia and Depression, I've always blamed his problems on mental illness because the alternative is we raised a complete b***ard, well seems like it's the latter, why oh why is he so self destructive he has the most beautiful children and risks losing everything, I despise men like him but he is my son, what the hell do I do now sad

Welshwife Thu 17-Aug-17 13:05:38

your poor DIL - she obviously trusts you and there are the children to keep in mind. He is a grown man and may eventually come to you - I would support his wife as much as you can and keep contact with her and the children.

M0nica Thu 17-Aug-17 14:08:07

Oh brtigran how awful for you. I have seen this happen in other families where despite a good home and loving parents, one child just goes off the rails and stays their determinedly.

I have (quite unscientifically) concluded that as we all seem to be a random mix of genes from several generations of two families. Sometimes the genetic dice comes out all 6s and parents get, to their amazement a 'golden' child, so in other cases it comes out all 1s and you end with a problem child. That is no consolation, but don't blame yourself.

britgran Fri 18-Aug-17 13:02:21

I'm furious with him to inflict such emotional pain on his wife is unforgivable but to risk the happiness of his children is despicable, as an adult it's not our business what he does we just get to pick up the pieces, he is grovelling to his wife and promising to get help and counselling it's my dil's decision what she does we'll support her 100%, our 2yr old GD is staying with us so they can talk, it's funny as far as we know our eldest son and his wife have never had a cross word and that's because he doesn't involve us

Starlady Sun 20-Aug-17 02:22:13

Poor dil! But I think it was immature of her to run to his mum and dad with the bad news. She has put you in a very painful, uncomfortable position, causing you worry about a situation you can do nothing about.Yes, you would know about it, eventually, but by then, they would have made their decisions, maybe even have been in counseling (if that's the route they decide to go).

But I suppose she did it in the first throes of her anger and sorrow. I'm so sorry she did, and I'm so sorry ds was selfish and foolish enough to cheat on a lovely wife.

barbaralynne Sun 20-Aug-17 09:49:18

Actually I disagree Starlady. She needed to talk to someone and she turned to the people who, apart from her, presumably know the guy best and so could understand her and the problem best. Most sensible thing she could do and the OP is supporting her emotionally as well as practically as a result.

mumofmadboys Sun 20-Aug-17 09:51:01

I disagree. I don't think the DIL has been immature. She obviously trusts britgran and has chosen to confide in someone who loves and is committed to her DH. Sorry life is so hard at the moment britgran. It will improve.

mumofmadboys Sun 20-Aug-17 09:51:31

Crossed posts

Crazygrandma2 Sun 20-Aug-17 09:53:25

Do not take sides - support them both and especially the GC. I'm sure your son knows how angry and disappointed you are with him. I'm sure he is feeling a right heel at the moment. and clearly worried that he's really blown it. This may well be the making of your son. Maybe he needs to risk losing everything before he finally grows up.

An affair does not necessarily mean the end of a marriage. Surprisingly it may actually make their relationship better. However there is a lot of anger, pain etc to be worked through first and that takes a lot of time. It's probably clear that I'm talking from bitter experience. I wish it had never happened but then if it hadn't, I doubt we would be where we are today, happier than we've ever been. It is not your fault, as an adult he is responsible for his own decisions.

I feel for both your DIL and your DS. It's simply horrible. I wish you all well.

moobox Sun 20-Aug-17 09:56:49

It was good she told you, as that relationship with her is likely to become really important whatever transpires and with respect to the child. I hope it doesn't sour if they can't resolve their differences

GrumpyOldBat Sun 20-Aug-17 10:04:50

My son's father is one of those like your son. His mother is under no illusions about him. Be there for your DiL and GC, and leave him to come to you, which he may or may not do. Make it clear you love him, but that his behaviour is not OK. I know it is hard, but focus on the GC who need some love and stability right now. Your son might redeem himself, but I doubt it. All the cads and bounders have families - it is luck of the draw whether your children grow up to be complete gits, and all you can do is try to limit the damage. Just keep it clear that his behaviour is unacceptable, but leave the door open if he tries to put things right.

nightowl Sun 20-Aug-17 10:08:18

Yes support them both. Don't judge him - no one has any idea what goes on in another person's mind or in a marriage - be there for them both but let them work it out for themselves. I'm so sorry, what a difficult situation for you to be in. It is so painful to see your child doing something you know will only bring them pain in the end.

glammanana Sun 20-Aug-17 10:13:16

Britgran what a sad situation but it is so good your DIL has confided in you she must trust you so much just be there with the door open to your son you can't change the fact he is your boy and that at the moment you do love him but don't like him for what he is putting the family through.

Bluebe11 Sun 20-Aug-17 10:13:20

Have been in this position and DIL had no one to turn to only me as her family are the other end of the country. Told my son I will not take sides but pointed out exactly what he will lose, how a separation will affect him and the kids etc I gave him a lot of food for thought mostly in emails in the middle of the night when the stress kept me awake ! I said read this and delete, as after all, advice can be given but does not have to be taken. They had counselling and have come back stronger than ever, now can't believe how happy they are. Hope you have a happy ending too 💐

cassandra264 Sun 20-Aug-17 10:21:09

It is good that she came to you for support. Make sure you give it..You don't have to split your loyalties. You may be needed both practically and emotionally where she and the children are concerned.

My DH refused to break off contact with his DIL and small grandchildren (as ordered!!) when his DS decided to go off and spend his life playing Jack the Lad with a succession of women. The support he gave them has resulted in us now both enjoying close relationships with former DIL and GCs as we approach older age. We also recently attended the wedding of the former to an altogether nicer human being!
And Jack the Lad? Making lots of money all over the world. Not over bothered about maintaining relationships of any kind. I do wonder what sort of old age he will have....

ethelwulf Sun 20-Aug-17 10:39:18

Gobsmacked that someone on here has actually suggested that "having an affair may actually make a marriage better..." Not in the world that I inhabit... The only advice I can give is to try not to take sides... that never works out well... and to remain supportive towards all involved. Yes, your Son sounds like a "proverbial".. We have one of our own, who we cut loose from some six years ago now, and have never regretted it... mind you, no Grandchildren involved...

Tessa101 Sun 20-Aug-17 10:43:01

Lots of good advise already given. All I can add from experience is some people don't care about what they could loose or about hurting other people it doesn't mean a thing to them and because they don't have this emotion about others they just carry on the way they are, discarding others hurt. I feel this is what you are up against how do you make someone care if they don't. My heart goes out to you.

elfies Sun 20-Aug-17 11:24:57

Its lovely to know that your DIL loves and trusts you enough to ask for help . Cherish that Britgran, you're obviously doing all you can for your family and doing it well . Not many MILs have such a fantastic relationship with their DIL .
It sounds as if your son is his own worst enemy, and will have to seek help to sort himself out , maybe not from you if he won't talk , but from a professional .
Enjoy your lovely DIL and your grandchildren , they sound trusting and caring, and know you care .

radicalnan Sun 20-Aug-17 11:39:33

Your future is invested with your GC, make sure you safeguard that for yourself.

As for your son, people with mental issues are a strain to parent, protect yourself from his shenanigans, he will always want you to support his behaviour, making unreasonble demands upon others is part and parcel of it all.

If you consider him b****td then don't let him convince you otherwise. I would support the DIL to maintain contact with GC but be careful, not to be a facilitator of the dramas, some people feed on them as a reason to resort to their other habits.

Very hard to stand back and really see what is going on. Make sure you are your own first priority.

nightowl Sun 20-Aug-17 11:57:33

I don't know your son britgran, only you know whether he is really a b*****d but I don't think anyone posting on here is in a position to say he is. Nor do I think people with mental health problems indulge in 'shenanigans'. I am reluctant to judge anyone else's relationship; yes, it's sad when people have affairs and it's not behaviour I can approve of but sometimes it's a symptom of other things going wrong in the relationship. So I say again, don't judge him, keep your counsel, be there for all of them.

icanhandthemback Sun 20-Aug-17 12:02:20

It might look as if your son is the proverbial but actually it is more likely to be just another facet of his mental illness. A lot of this, particularly the Bulimia, comes from a complete lack of self esteem. Your disapproval every time he goes downhill may well add to his problems. Obviously you love him but he isn't seeing that. My advice is to keep reiterating that you do love him, warts and all, but find it difficult to understand his behaviour. Tell him you are always there for him as long as being there isn't destructive to him but you do want to maintain a good relationship with your grandchild and his wife so don't want to take sides. He needs to realise that, as much as you love him and want to support him, your DGC has to come first in this instance. By supporting your DIL, you are putting his child first when he isn't able to because of his problems.
Mental Health issues cause people to become selfish, liars, and completely self-destructive. I totally understand how wearing you find it but normal b***tards don't hurt themselves too, they just hurt everyone around them. Until your son is in the right place to step up to the mark, he can't, not won't. Please don't blame yourself either, you have no control over the chemical balance in his brain and neither does he.

blue60 Sun 20-Aug-17 13:28:28

There are always two sides to a story, and you will never know all the truth - only they know, and each person has their own truth in order to gain the most sympathy/understanding with others. In this kind of situation no one wants to be at fault, not completely anyway.

In my experience, it's best not to make judgements and stay out of any conflict. You can be supportive, as you are now, but keep a distance and let them sort it out.

damewithaname Sun 20-Aug-17 13:36:51

I'm in shock! You actually get MILs that disagree with this kind of behaviour and are sorry for the DIL who has to deal with this [email protected]? All I can say is "you're one in a million". What an absolute treasure you are!!

damewithaname Sun 20-Aug-17 13:38:05

Oh and for the record...a spouse having any kind of affair is NEVER and will NEVER be the other spouses fault. It's a choice made by that person who is well aware of what's right or wrong.

Norah Sun 20-Aug-17 14:15:58

I would express no opinion. It is not your problem. I am sorry your son is mentally unwell, I'm not given to excusing him, but I know he is your first priority as he is your AC. Tough problem. Keep call, carry on supporting,