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Help! What can I do for my daughter?

 
 
Mame
 
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 05:27 pm
My daughter was just out visiting with her husband and daughter and they've only just returned home. She called me today to tell me her husband is leaving her, their 1.5 yr old daughter, and their unborn child (due Feb). He is only 33 and appears to find their marriage (of 5 yrs) stale and no fun. He doesn't know who he is anymore or what he wants.

But apparently he wants to date a woman they work with (yes, they work in the same field in the same office) who is 23.

She is devastated. This came as a complete surprise to her - his giving up on their relationship so easily, quickly and definitely. He said he's not in love with her anymore.

She thinks they could have gone to counselling about this, or just even talked about it. She thinks his expectations of a marriage are unrealistic. I mean, you can't have fun all the time. And they've had a tough go of it recently.

Remember they lost a child to crib death two years ago? Well, they went to bereavement counselling for a long time. He lost his mother just a few days before that darling baby was born, then she lost a grandma and an auntie - all within a year. It was a terrible time, but they did the counselling and hung in there for each other, then had Lucy.

This is all so sudden, shocking and bewildering. She lives so far away from me so all I can do is listen to her and sympathize. I wish I could do more. The poor kid.

And I'd like to add that her husband really is a nice guy. He comes from a very strongly family-oriented family and this will be as big a shock to them as it is to us. Really, he's a very nice, cheerful, responsible fellow. I just don't know what's up with him.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 21 • Views: 8,455 • Replies: 146

 
cicerone imposter
 
  3  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 05:58 pm
Mame, That is just devastating! Sorry to hear about the bad news. From what you told us, I believe that your daughter's husband is not mature enough at 33 to be married to anyone. Bereavement is one thing, but that's never been the cause of a divorce for couples who pledged "until death do us part."

Your daughter's going to require a whole lot of support from you and the family - especially because of their young ones. She needs to make sure that the father provides financial as well as "fatherly" support for the kids.

Over and above that, hope all turns out as well as it can under the circumstances.
0 Replies
 
OGIONIK
 
  0  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 05:58 pm
@Mame,
the heart wants what it wants.

marriage honestly is unrealistic no matter what way u look at it.

just my opinion but i hold it to be true.

if he doesnt want it, its not gonna happen... just comfort her, dont let her take it to hard..
hamburger
 
  2  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 06:01 pm
@Mame,
sorry to hear your sad tale , mame !
i really have NO idea how the couple can be helped .
i imagine your daughter is looking for a shoulder to cry on - and it'll be your shoulder , i'm sure you don't mind .



Quote:
And I'd like to add that her husband really is a nice guy. He comes from a very strongly family-oriented family and this will be as big a shock to them as it is to us. Really, he's a very nice, cheerful, responsible fellow. I just don't know what's up with him.


any chance that you and his family might be able to help them over this very rough spot ?

i've experienced some strange things in my life .
i remember our former next door neighbours . very nice and happy people . married 25+ years . he was a university prof , she looked after the three children - about 15 - 22 years old - and did some writing .
suddenly , one day , she left "to find herself" !

i could write a book about the couples we have met in our 50 years in canada that seemed completely "normal" ... and suddenly it was all over - and usually they had no financial strains - just that one or the other had "to find him/herself" .

i doubt that's of any help to you now - sorry !
perhaps someone a little younger can offer some suggestionns .
hbg
0 Replies
 
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 06:05 pm
Oh Mame I'm so sorry this is happening.

Pulling up a chair.
0 Replies
 
Rockhead
 
  0  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 06:07 pm
@Mame,
Onion, you are too young for this one--(just watch and learn, please)

Mame, hugs and thoughts, none worth posting for now...

Rock
OGIONIK
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 06:11 pm
@Rockhead,
lol, young but wise in the ways of humans, marriage is dumb, period. totally unnatural. if he aint interested anymore, its over. nothin anyone can do but make sure shes emotionally ok. truth hurts.
0 Replies
 
Izzie
 
  3  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 06:12 pm
@Mame,
Mame... girl - so sorry for the pain your daughter ... and you will be going thru - especially with a small child and baby on the way.

I don't know what you can do to help her - other than to be there for her to cry to, get angry at and ... just be her Mom.

I'm afraid, as you know, marriages can be pulled apart - whether it is with a child bereavement... or even with the pressures due to children - as well as many other reasons. Marriages can break up for minor reasons... the death of their child, a very small child and a baby on the way - perhaps your SIL is just not able to cope with the reality of what is in front of him. Perhaps he is scared that he will lose another child. Perhaps he does not want to be an adult. Perhaps it's a case of the grass is greener.

No reason is going to console your beautiful daughter. No explanation that he or you or anyone gives her will be right.

All you can do is support her to the best of your ability as a Mom - and that won't be easy. You can't fix anything for her or take her pain away - I know you would, as would most parents, if you could.

Be there for her ... give her your strength - you are a strong lady - let her grieve..... and... if possible... try and give her hope. She needs hope. x
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 06:12 pm
@Mame,
Oh, no. I actually said that out loud when I read this. Your daughter has already been through so much.

I know that such a devastating loss often leaves a permanent mark on a relationship. Maybe the bereavement doesn't happen at exactly the same pace (very few people DO grieve at the same pace) and one partner thinks the other is being callous, or the second partner thinks the first is being too gloomy...

She can't force counseling now.

Ugh. I agree that all you can probably do is listen sympathetically. I know it must be hard for you too though, to see your daughter suffer like that.

Take care...
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 06:13 pm
She called me today to tell me her husband is leaving her, their 1.5 yr old daughter, and their unborn child (due Feb). He is only 33 and appears to find their marriage (of 5 yrs) stale and no fun.

He doesn't know who he is anymore or what he wants.



People marry too damn early, from my pov. (Of course, sometimes it works out.)
Plus, let me guess, the 23 yr old needs him, oh, so much.

She is well away, but it's going to hurt.



Butrflynet
 
  4  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 06:28 pm
@Mame,
Mame,

Where is your daughter living? I don't remember. Maybe she lives close enough that an A2K member can be your surrogate and check in on her for you. Does she have Skype and are the two of you able to communicate with it via PC? If so, that will help you keep in touch to help her through this.

As a caution, be sure to advise her take care of all financial stuff immediately and change locks at the house. She needs to change bank and credit card account passwords and signing authority, etc. If they resolve their differences the accounts can always be changed back. If they don't and things get nasty, he could easily wipe her out financially with access to their accounts.

It's very difficult to do, but she needs to find a way to keep herself as calm as possible for the health of her baby.
Izzie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 06:30 pm
@ossobuco,
I don't know Osso... possibly if you marry very very young.... but SIL is 33 -

I do know that pressures on a marriage... know matter how strong and loving it is... when it involves children, and especially a bereavement... people react in very strange ways.

This might not be the case with SIL - it could be that he sees a greener pasture and his wife, and family will then suffer horrendously.... ultimately, so will he, tho he won't see that yet.

no-one knows what he is going thru - I think that's what Mame was saying - he's maybe not a bad person - but that isn't going to help her daughter. He could be the nicest guy in the world - but still hurt Mames daughter.

Mame - you'll need to be very controlled in how you respond to your daughter - she'll need a shoulder, but she'll also need someone to battle with when emotions and hormones are flying around uncontrollably. Not having strong opinions would maybe be a plan - unless you feel she needs to hear some backup - like "he's a B8stid"... and "Yep - he is".... do you see what I mean?
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 06:32 pm
this couple has already done counseling.....it did not work. The data is not precise, but most agree that the loss of a child stresses the marriage and is a major root cause of divorce. Stress either drives people together or it drives them apart, it appears that in this case it drove two people apart. If she were my daughter I would ask her "looking back, do you see any reason to think that you two have drifted apart over the last few years?" I would also encourage her to investigate the literature on divorce coming directly after the loss of a child. If she comes to see that she is not alone, that many couples have spit for this reason, she will be able to better cope.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 06:43 pm
@Izzie,
33, whatever.

A friend of mine was left each time she was pregnant for the needy secretary.
(different secretaries)
It's a type of immaturity.
Izzie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 06:52 pm
@ossobuco,
Yep Osso - it is, I'm afraid - and damage has been done already. Such a crying shame to happen after what they have had to endure. It will be so difficult for Mame's daughter - I'm glad Mame is a strong 'ole bird - daughter is going to need her heaps.
0 Replies
 
squinney
 
  2  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 06:52 pm
Crap, Mame. Sorry to hear this.

As others have said, you can listen and be supportive and encouraging. Help her get her feet under her. Make sure Lucy stays happy....

Crap!
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 07:01 pm
@Mame,
Oh Mame, I am so so sorry to hear this. Your beautiful daughter has been through so much and now she's pregnant and he's leaving her where she's
at her most vulnerable.

Chances are that he's just infatuated with this young girl and once he wakes
up and realized what he's done, he'll regret this for the rest of his life. In the
meantime, your daughter does need you and a support system to get her
through her pregnancy and help out with Lucy.

Can you - or one of your sisters - be with her?
0 Replies
 
kuvasz
 
  2  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 07:08 pm
mame, my heart aches for your daughter. the only thing you can do is support her and know that she is loved.
0 Replies
 
Eva
 
  1  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 07:16 pm
@Mame,
Oh, that's just awful! SIL may have been a nice guy in the past, but this definitely isn't nice. Not nice at all.

Sounds like life has gotten too complicated for him, and he wants a fresh start.

Wow, will he ever be surprised! It's just going to get more complicated for him now. He is jumping from the frying pan into the fire and doesn't realize it yet.

I'm really sorry that you, your daughter, and the children all have to go through this, Mame. Stick together.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  5  
Reply Fri 29 Aug, 2008 07:57 pm
@Mame,
Thank you for your responses, advice, and support. She said she has a wonderful support network out there (friends) so she's feeling okay that way. I think she's still in shock. She's feeling rejected, left out (no discussion), surprised (they do talk but apparently not enough or about the right things), betrayed, bewildered, and a whole host of other things.

On the good side, and yes, there is always a good side, this is a chance for her to discover what she's made of and what she really wants.

I listened to her for an hour and a half and neither of us dumped on him. It is what it is. If that's how he's feeling, then that's how he's feeling. How do you argue with that? And honestly, he's a perfectly nice guy - it takes guts to end something you don't want to be part of. I just think he may be being a bit precipitous. And he was a little insensitive in how he told her. He said he wasn't in love with her anymore. And he needn't have told her about this woman, for example. He could have let that develop later.

I think he's just less responsible, less mature than she is and perhaps wants to have some of his youth and fun times back. Maybe he'll regret this, maybe he won't. Maybe this is just too much pressure for him.

But you're right, she's going to have to be strong (and she is) to pull through this without becoming bitter, resentful, etc. That's what I recommended the counselling for. It's so easy to get mired in self-pity and righteousness. She has a tendency to justify/rationalize things without acknowledging the truth even a bit.

This whole thing is so unexpected; I was caught completely off guard and can only imagine what she went through when he first told her. Her whole world just crashing down on her and she hadn't a clue it was that bad for him. At least when Oliver died, she had him. Now who does she have? Well, family and friends, I guess. And there she is, in their house alone in their bed. I guess it's just going to take some getting used to. Sorry, I'm just rambling.

I don't usually post this kind of stuff on public boards but I was so distraught for her - again. I just feel so helpless and yet I know there's nothing I can do but support her. I guess I was just asking for some sympathy, myself. So thank you again for providing that.

 

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