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My son and GD have fallen out with each, has anyone been in a similar situation?

(54 Posts)
Semiruralgirl Thu 01-Apr-21 12:18:15

My elder GD, now 25, has fallen out with my son, her Dad. She refuses to discuss the problem with my son. My son is divorced from her mother a couple of years ago, unfortunately acrimoniously. Up until very recently, GD and mother didn’t get on for many years, she was almost excluded by her Mum. My GD has always been a bit of a difficult child although we haven’t witnessed it particularly (as we live some distance away and don’t get to see the GC that often). She ‘took off’ from home when she was 16 which caused her parents and me great anxiety, but her parents would never discuss the matter with me. (My son was very loyal to his family). However GD kept in touch with me, texting etc, and eventually arrived back home. She is very intelligent and bright, and has recently been diagnosed with autism. However her Mum has (suddenly) started taking an interest in her, previously only seeing her DD once every couple of months, now seeing her every weekend. And just as suddenly GD has turned against her Dad. It almost seems as though her mother might be ‘bad mouthing’ my son to my GD? He is very upset; GD leaves him quite unpleasant phone messages and texts and says she doesn’t want to speak to him again. I don’t want to fall out with her, and so don’t discuss the matter with her, and we seem to be ok. I have always tried to be a support to her, and have never been judgemental. I have suggested to my son that he and my GD go to a family counsellor/therapist - my GD apparently refuses to do this. I then suggested he goes himself to a family counsellor who might help him handle this unhappy situation. The other 2 GC are fine and happy. I wondered if anyone had any helpful suggestions?

Hithere Thu 01-Apr-21 12:44:34

I would not interfere.
You never know what happens behind closed doors.

How was she difficult?

BlueBelle Thu 01-Apr-21 13:08:55

I agree don’t get involved and don’t take sides It could be that mother has told the granddaughter some stuff about her Dad that may or may not be true but you can’t help unfortunately without making matters worse perhaps the mum has some answers about her daughters behaviour now she has a diagnosis and feels more supportive of her
There are many unanswered questions for you
I would carry on supporting your son and carry on being friendly with your granddaughter nothing much else you can do

ElaineI Thu 01-Apr-21 13:36:12

I don't think you should interfere. She is an adult now so able to make up her own mind. If she is autistic then that might be why she was labelled difficult so please don't change how you communicate with her and as others have said - you don't know all that happened in the marriage or between your GD and her parents only what you have been told. I don't understand why she is leaving messages and texts if she doesn't want to speak to her Dad? Surely that means she will not be texting or phoning.

eazybee Thu 01-Apr-21 14:23:56

Maintain your contact with your granddaughter but stay neutral and do not get involved.
If she has recently been diagnosed with autism she may have been offered counselling, and this may have triggered relationship issues.

DiscoDancer1975 Thu 01-Apr-21 15:25:30

I agree with the others. Don’t get involved, hard as it is. It could just end up backfiring on you.

SpringyChicken Sat 03-Apr-21 10:37:07

I agree with the others, keep out of it. It’s hard to see your son being unhappy but GD is highly likely to see any intervention from you as interference.

Bbbface Sat 03-Apr-21 10:48:46

By getting involved you will achieve in all likelihood nothing but separating yourself from either your GD or son.

Stay neutral.

And for heaven’s sake don’t talk badly or express your suspicions about the mother

ayokunmi1 Sat 03-Apr-21 10:50:42

The turn a blind eye why?
If its causing upset it should be addressed.
You now know your granddaughter is autistic this explains some of the issues that are being encountered. (Read up about this condition)
Its a shame that your son and ex daughter in law can't have a talk about whats going on.
It would be right for you to have a discussion with your granddaughter about what your seeing from your end .
Talk to her find out more.

Nannan2 Sat 03-Apr-21 10:52:49

No dont get involved, just stay neutral.There could be reasons she feels justified in this (could it be her parents both knew she was autistic, and kept it from her, for example?, or at least her dad did, but mother thought she knew?)- or it could, as you say, be her mum making trouble- in any other way- but if she has done similar (by 'taking off') in the past, then try just wait & see, it may all just blow over as suddenly as it came.All you can do is be there for them both really, and at least your son gets to know she's ok, through you.I too don't understand why she texts, etc. if she isn't talking to her dad, but unless she brings up the subject first, its hard to broach that subject without her falling out with you too..just tell your son to try ignore it to an extent, she's just venting her anger i guess, much like a stroppy teenager would?- he might benefit from the counselling himself, and one day his daughter may eventually come to agree to it, you never know.If not at least it may help him understand a bit- can he find one who specialises in autistic relationships? It may help him understand why she is as she is towards him?🤔

Goodynanny Sat 03-Apr-21 11:02:38

Message withdrawn, posted on the wrong thread.

Nannan2 Sat 03-Apr-21 11:04:22

She may well just be 'kicking off' against her recent diagnosis- as she could be 'in denial' and finding it hard to accept? She may come to terms with it and calm down, but its hard to have that thrust on you when you've grown up not realising you have it i would think? And you don't know what her mums been saying either- maybe 'suggesting' either her dad knew, or he should have found out sooner etc.? All things that would might make her turn against him? But for now, at least, hold your tongue- she may reveal more over time about what her mum is saying- or not- then it will be clearer maybe, why she's like this all of a sudden, with her dad.But unless she volunteers info you must just stay neutral, and friendly.

Nannan2 Sat 03-Apr-21 11:06:48

Goodynanny- do you need to make a new thread with this question?

Tanjamaltija Sat 03-Apr-21 11:08:21

"GD leaves him quite unpleasant phone messages and texts and says she doesn’t want to speak to him again..." as soon as she did it the second time, she gainsaid herself.

grannygranby Sat 03-Apr-21 11:12:16

I should think the most normal thing for you to do if you don’t understand is to ask your GD why. Listen to her. It’s not up to you to give judgment but at least you might understand, empathise or not. It is your business

GreenGran78 Sat 03-Apr-21 11:15:18

I would certainly remain neutral, but I would make sure that my GD knew how sad the situation was making me.

icanhandthemback Sat 03-Apr-21 11:29:27

Everybody needs a "safe" space, especially if you also have other issues that make communication difficult which is what ASD suffer with most. Your DGD has obviously found that safe space with you and you would be wise to keep that as the status quo otherwise she will have nowhere.
That doesn't mean you have to be accepting of everything but the way you handle it will be crucial. You can explain that you love both your son and your grandson so you don't want either of them hurt. You can make suggestions that your DGD should write her hurt down and tell her father how he could make it right. However, at the end of the day, it is her decision as to handle this and you can only wait it out. You can only reiterate that you will always be there for both of them and you won't take sides.
Unfortunately, a late diagnosis of ASD means that your DGD has not had the help whilst she was developing to assist her in less rigid thinking so it will be difficult to make real changes in her behaviour. However, it does mean that the adults in her life know that she will not be able to help how she sees the world in a major way. It is incumbent upon them to do the research to find out what ASD is all about and how to cope with it. Even then, you meet one ASD person and find a way through but the next ASD person will probably be entirely different. If affects people in different ways.

searose Sat 03-Apr-21 11:29:53

I have been in a similar situation. My GD 18 yrs flips between both parents. I am on good terms with everyone as best I can and GD recently came to stay with me after leaving Dads says he threw her out He says she left. She is back with Mum and knows there is an open door here if she needs respite for them all. In this case though she is the mature sensible one and Mum and Dad (my son) have always been at logger heads. It works well to listen to everyone and say little.

Dowsabella Sat 03-Apr-21 11:30:41

Semiruralgirl, you have my sympathy. For what its worth, I am in a similar but opposite position! GD has fallen out with her mum, my ex-DIL, but is on good terms with her dad who is my son. I understand that during GD's teenage years there was a certain amount of parent alienation going on from my ex-DIL which backfired once GD was no longer living with her mum!

I am on good terms with both GD (now 27), and ex-DIL surprisingly. I stay neutral, and all I have tried to do, especially now GD is expecting her first baby, is to encourage them to talk to each other even if it's an armed truce, though at the moment that's not going to happen!! (Ex-DIL knows nothing about the baby which upsets me, but GD says she doesn't want her mum to know.) They both know that I won't say anything to the other and keep confidences, and both know I'm there if they need to talk and that I am willing to act as a go-between/peacemaker.

I don't have the issue of autism to add to the mix, but with several grandchildren well on the autistic spectrum, I do know something of the difficulties this can cause.

My attitude of staying neutral and being there for any of those involved seems to be best for now, and is keeping possible lines of communication open. Sometimes that's hard, but I would recommend that's what you do as well, and be prepared to help if requested.

CarlyD7 Sat 03-Apr-21 11:34:42

I would stand WELL BACK - as others have said, stay neutral and don't take sides (it will be held against you in the future - have seen it happen too many times). families fall out, things are said, but, eventually, the dust will settle. Be available to both of them, listen, support where needed but STAY OUT. They must settle it themselves. As others have said - read up on autism and the rigid thinking and behaviour that can be a part of it - that might help you understand (but not interfere in) what's going on.

Alis52 Sat 03-Apr-21 11:36:50

Staying out of it is wise but your suggestion that your son should see a therapist himself is a good idea. Might help him enormously in understanding what’s going on.

JaneJudge Sat 03-Apr-21 11:44:03


Staying out of it is wise but your suggestion that your son should see a therapist himself is a good idea. Might help him enormously in understanding what’s going on.

I agree with this too, it is very good advice.

Keep your relationship with your Granddaughter separate to your son for the time being. I'm sure it will all work itself out eventually.

Nanananana1 Sat 03-Apr-21 11:57:57

I agree with many others here that you need to keep your distance, don't take sides and never assume that you know what went on in their family.
All you can do is remain friendly and civil to your granddaughter (to all of them) and let her know your door is always open
One day she will work it all out for herself
Sometimes our sons and daughters don't behave as we would like them to, there are always two sides to every story
If possible encourage your son to remain available and openly honest with his daughter
Horrible being caught in the middle and feeling helpless to sort out their problems but you may well be the rock they all cling to when they are lost

crazyH Sat 03-Apr-21 12:02:55

My son and daughter are constantly at loggerheads. It used to bother me, but now, I just let them get on with . They hardly see each other. Both have very strong personalities. It’s sad....I hope they will be civil to each other at my funeral ...😂

Nannashirlz Sat 03-Apr-21 12:07:26

Has others have said all you can do is keep tight lipped and say nothing.because it can back fire on you. You just have to be supportive of them both and I’m sure they will work it out in time. As for ex daughter inlaw Say nothing if she is to blame she could do the same to you. These ex daughter inlaw can be come very bitter and twisted and use grandkids like weapons