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Grandparenting

Family conflict

(32 Posts)
Grills Thu 26-Dec-19 08:05:26

My DS and DD both got married this year and it hasn’t been a smooth run! There are major issues between my DD and DiL and I’m referee. My DS and DiL gave us the news that they are expecting their first child next year and I know I should be over the moon, but all I can think about is how much more aggravation there will be! I’m really hoping that the baby will bring everyone closer together so would really appreciate any advice from grandmothers in similar situations
TIA

dragonfly46 Thu 26-Dec-19 08:10:51

My DD and my DiL are very different and not the best of friends but they are civil to each other when they are together.
My DS and DiL have 2 children and my DD and SiL like to travel and have no children but they do still see one another occasionally.

sodapop Thu 26-Dec-19 08:48:05

I wouldn't stress about it too much Grills just because people are related by marriage doesn't mean they have to be best friends. Don't push things too much and just enjoy their company separately. Congratulations on the new baby.

Yehbutnobut Thu 26-Dec-19 09:49:06

Daughter and DiL very often don’t get and I can find myself piggy in the middle. I make sure I never enter into any criticism of one by the other but do pass on anything nice they (very occasionally) say about each other.

Re the forthcoming GC. Be excited for and with the new parents. Say little to the other couple just focus on their own life and achievements instead.

Calendargirl Thu 26-Dec-19 10:01:04

Wise words Yehbutnobut.
Important not to effuse (if that’s the right word) about the forthcoming baby with the others, or could create a different sort of tension. Obviously be happy for the parents-to-be.

Hetty58 Thu 26-Dec-19 10:44:33

I feel as if my 'mother' job is done. My children are now adults so I limit my worrying. I enjoy their company and the love and affection I receive from my grandchildren is priceless.

They all know that I'm here and will help if I possibly can. Basically, though, their problems are their own - either to solve or learn to live with.

My daughters do find one of my DILs 'difficult to get along with' 'very hard work' etc. but I've told them to make allowances and make a big effort to stay in touch and meet up.

After all, it benefits all the children to have that close relationship with their cousins. The children's future is far more important than petty squabbles, unkind remarks or hurt feelings.

I am friendly and close with them all, encourage them to visit, take care to be neutral and never criticise. If any complain about another, I'll point out the other's point of view and any potential problems/difficulties they may have. I won't be drawn into bitching about them - very important!

Esther1 Sat 28-Dec-19 01:50:08

I am in exactly this position with dd and dil. I love them both but they are very different and have never really recovered from a horrible row a couple of years ago which the whole family got pulled into. We all live close by to each other and the girls are civil but at every family get together I am on tenterhooks in case things kick off again. I wish it wasn’t this way, and it’s easy to say don’t get involved etc but I can’t help but feel anxious.

janeainsworth Sat 28-Dec-19 08:18:16

It’s not your job to be ‘referee’, grills, any more than it would be if two of your friends were fighting about something.
Don’t get drawn into anything.
‘I couldn’t possibly comment’ is quite a useful stock phrase.

Daisymae Sat 28-Dec-19 08:28:31

Agree about not getting in the middle of these two. It's almost like giving them the permission to act as children. Just relax and enjoy the coming year. Time they took responsibility for their own actions.

ginny Sat 28-Dec-19 08:45:05

I agree, you do not have to be referee. They are adults and need to sort out their own differences.

grandma60 Sat 28-Dec-19 08:53:51

My daughter and daughter-in-law fell out at a family get together seven years ago. Sadly, as they live at other ends of the country it has never been properly resolved. I soon learned that by trying to act as a go-between I was making things worse so I have stepped right back. I'm just sad that their children have very little to do with each other.

HettyMaud Sat 28-Dec-19 09:47:34

You can do nothing about relationships. My 2 children never got on. I just stayed out of it. Now as adults they are on good terms. Just show no interest in whether they get on or not. As adults we often behave like silly children when parents are around. It’s rivalry. Don’t rise to the bait.

Kartush Sat 28-Dec-19 10:29:16

My daughter in law and my two daughters do not get on. Last Christmas an issue came up between them. My daughter in law complained to me. I was at a loss to know what to do as in my opinion all three of them were at fault. My daughter in law has not spoken to me since then and she unfriended my daughters from Facebook. I guess my advice to you is stay well clear of the conflict, if you let yourself get dragged into it you well only cause yourself grief.

notanan2 Sat 28-Dec-19 10:44:46

Dont force them together, in reality they dont need to be too much except at bigger family events where they will be "diluted". DS and DD are married not joint at the hip, and you can still do some things 1:1 or just the 3 of you.

Forcing people to be "friends" doesnt work and can cause them to resent each other so take the pressure off! Expect CIVILITY but closeness isnf compulsary. They'll be more likely to gradually naturally warm to each other if they dont feel forced together as "new sisters/bffs"

notanan2 Sat 28-Dec-19 10:46:47

See them separately dont arrange everything to be "everyone"
Which is easier logistically now anyway as their own families expand.

notanan2 Sat 28-Dec-19 10:47:31

When you are with one of them, focus on them, dont talk too much about the others. That'll help too

maryhoffman37 Sat 28-Dec-19 10:55:27

Please don't let it spoil your pleasure in your new (first?) grandchild! As others have said, make it clear you won't be refereeing any conflict over the coming baby because you want to use your energy on meeting and enjoying her or him.

notanan2 Sat 28-Dec-19 11:04:54

Please don't let it spoil your pleasure in your new (first?) grandchild! As others have said, make it clear you won't be refereeing any conflict
I would stop there thats fine/enough

over the coming baby because you want to use your energy on meeting and enjoying her or him.
Please dont go on about the baby too much to the other couple:
Either they are trying to concieve and so far no luck, in which case they will be feeling bruised/sensitive about it, and will struggle to be happy if all other people talk about is someone elsea baby
Or they're not trying, and it infers that they are a lesser couple just because they dont want to reporoduce (whether its just for now or ever).

It is absolutely reasonable to refuse to be piggy in the middle. Just dont add "for the baby" too much IYKWIM

Grills Sat 28-Dec-19 11:12:47

Thanks so much everyone! All good food for thought 😊x

Tickledpink Sat 28-Dec-19 11:50:18

Wise words Hetty58, stay neutral, for the sake of GC’s.

notanan2 Sat 28-Dec-19 12:03:21

Wise words Hetty58, stay neutral, for the sake of GC’s.

What about staying neutral for the sake of your own relationship with each of your AC?

If you start seeing your paired off AC and ILs as a vehicle to GC then you will run into bigger problems...
Work on your own relationship with the adults and dont be a piggy in the middle, and the relationships with the GC will come naturally

Phoebes Sat 28-Dec-19 13:07:47

Wise remarks, Hetty58!

Gingergirl Sat 28-Dec-19 14:06:49

The advice I’d give as a parent and a grandparent, is definitely to take a step back, metaphorically and physically. Don’t be involved in their relationships, love and appreciate your grandchild when he or she arrives.....and leave it at that. Lead your own life and let them lead theirs....with all their ups and downs. I know its hard but allow them to make their own minds up and resolve their own issues. They are adults after all. So if you have a strong opinion, keep it to yourself. All will be well.

Bekind Sat 28-Dec-19 14:16:50

My situation is the same as yours, but unfortunately didn't get better. My daughter won't visit if she has to see her brother and his family so there have been no visits. My DIL is mad and won't speak to my daughter so I'm in the middle and have to act as if the other family doesn't exist. I will never be able to have my family all together. The silliness of these grown people is unbelievable. I bet my experience is unusual and your family will be able to adjust to the new family relationships and appreciate each other! I wish that for you!

NanaandGrampy Sat 28-Dec-19 14:31:02

Babies aren’t glue .

If there are issues between your DD and DiL then they need to sort themselves out . They’re grown ups after all. You would be foolish to get between the two of them OP , you just make yourself the ‘target’ .