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How to support a grandad whose son won’t tell his children they have another grandad?

(9 Posts)
Nannysaurus Fri 31-Mar-23 17:08:21

Hi all. I am not quite sure if anyone can help with this dilemma but I am out of ideas as to what to do or how to support my partner. My partner left his ex wife when his son was three. He spent the next 6 years doing everytring he could to maintain contact, flying over from Canada for weekends etc only to be told his son was ill or too busy to see him until at the age of 9 his son told him he didn’t need him any more as he had a new daddy. My partner knows that was not his son talking but rather his mother who was angry at being left. But he felt he was causing his son upset and so stopped seeing him. They eventually did speak and meet up on occasions over the years as his son got older but when his son was 18 he then told my partner he wanted nothing to do with him and he was changing his name to that of his step father. My partner was devastated and tried everything to maintain contact but was cut out. Fast forward 7 years and my partner needed a triple heart by pass. He reached out to his son as had been told to let his son know about his heart condition but he was rebuffed. Being told that he was allowed to remain on the periphery of his life via FB to see what was happening in his sons life but no more.

It is fair to say not a day went by after I met my partner 5 years ago that he hasn’t been filled with sadness and guilt for leaving his wife as it meant he lost his son.

However out of the blue his son contacted him last year by wishing him a happy birthday. My partner was so overjoyed and estastic. He then learned that his son had fallen out with his mother and had wanted to contact his father. Hope reigned supreme that finally he may be able to begin rebuilding a relationship with him.

They met, we all did and after 6 4 months we were allowed to meet the grandchildren aged 6 and 4 before babysitting them the following weekend. The grandchildren had moved to live with their dad as he too had left their mother but had been able to maintain a relationship with them. We even thought that now that he had experienced a breakup himself he may have perhaps understood things may not always be black and white and there are two sides etc.

However hope reigned supreme. It was hoped that once the children had settled that they would be able to know who my partner was.

But it is nearly 18 months later. They still have not been told. My partner is seriously concerned with the way his son treats the children and weaponises them against his ex and in the last ten weeks has spent just one weekend with them. There is far too much that has happened but suffice to say when he started saying the children were better off without her and she should just go Jill herself alarm bells were ringing. His son stopped contact with their mother and her parents. The eldest child in particular has been struggling with not living with their mother and now us being referred to child psychologist for comments he has made about not wanting to be here.

My partner is desperate for the children to know he is their grandad so they know he won’t leave them but his son won’t tell them. I am worried it is a control thing he dangles in front of my partner in an effort to control him too as if my partner is terrified that if he dared to challenge him his son will cut him out again. He feels he has no hope of a real relationship with his son but wants to try to be there for the children. We have thought about perhaps trying to contest their mother or their other grandparents to discuss our concerns (not about the grandad thing but the other concerns we have) but just don’t know where ti start or what to do. We do have a three year old granddaughter from my son who we adore but I think it makes it harder on my partner seeing how she is treated when the others aren’t. We know he doesn’t have a right to contact with them but do they have a right to know who their family is?
Thank you for letting me vent here. I am just beyond knowing what else we can do?
Can anyone offer any guidance?

Hithere Fri 31-Mar-23 18:09:05

Your partner needs to concentrate on the relationship with his son

He is the key to the granchildren

Sizzlebot Fri 31-Mar-23 18:27:58

Your partner didn't leave his wife; he left his toddler son to emigrate to another country. I think he needs to go right back to the basics of that abandonment and focus on trying to rebuild those bridges with his son. Drop all expectations and just be there for him and, by extension, the grandchildren. It may be too late, but he still needs to try. Obviously if there are actual safeguarding concerns, he will need to act on those regardless of what it may cost him.

Theexwife Fri 31-Mar-23 18:29:12

The children seem to have enough to cope with at this time without adding anything else. I would stay out of it for now but keep cordial with the son or contact could completely break down.

Smileless2012 Fri 31-Mar-23 20:32:26

The OP's partner didn't abandon his son, he left his son's mother because the relationship broke down, and it appears that his son's mother prevented contact between father and son with excuses of the child being unwell or too busy, when he came back from Canada to see him.

How has your partner's son been able to stop the children having contact with their mother Nannysauras? The children having a relationship with their mother is more important than knowing that your partner is their biological grand father.

There must be an awful lot more going on here if these children are unable to see their mother, and the eldest has been referred to a child psychologist because of the effect this is having.

What do you think you can achieve by making the mother and other GP's aware of your concerns, if they are being prevented from seeing the children?

I apologise if I've misinterpreted your OP Nannysaurus but this is how it reads to me.

VioletSky Fri 31-Mar-23 22:16:23

Contacting the mother or the other grandparents would only cause them upset and serve to destroy the relationship with the son

If there are welfare issues with the children you believe the school or whoever referred the child for help does not know, you should contact social services or child protective services.

The fact that the child is being given help would suggest that Dad is trying to do his best for them so what has Dad said about the situation with the mother?

The things he has said about the mother has he said in front of the children?

Another point, just because you believe the children are being kept from you wrongky doesn't mean Dad has done that to the mother and other children. Dad has custody after all.

Also, for whatever reason, son and dad have not been close and not had a proper relationship, Dad may be trying to protect his children who are already struggling, from a relationship he doesn't feel secure in yet.

As previously said, the best way to have a good relationship with the grandchildren is to have a good relationship with their father.

NotSpaghetti Fri 31-Mar-23 22:44:43

In the eyes of your partner's now-adult child he was left by his father.
Now he is reluctant to introduce this complexity into the existing confusing situation for his children.

I think your partner has to just accept this and if he wants to be involved at all, as others have said he needs to focus on relationship-building with his son.

Grannydream Fri 28-Jul-23 21:33:34

He abandoned his toddler son to move to another country. Probably never paid child support.
He reaps what he sows.

BlueBelle Sat 29-Jul-23 06:10:00

Well that’s a jump grannydream and a judgement how do you know if he did or didn’t pay child support that hasn’t been mentioned
Talk about rewriting a story to fit your own interpretation

Anyway why have you felt the need to revive this 4 month old thread ?