In the 19 years they have been married, I can probably count on one hand how many times they have been alone to work on their relationship. I haven't been able to help much because I live 400 miles away. They have not been able to go anywhere as a family because of their son. They also have a 10 year old son and can't leave the two boys together, so my daughter and her husband can spend time alone. The 16 year old is verbally and physically abuse to his parents and to my 10 year grandson. Now my daughter tells me that she and her husband have grown apart and never spend anytime together.
Both of my kids were verbally abused by their father and my daughter is is no condition mentally or financially to take the 10 year old with her and I'm worried sick for him. To make matters worse, I'm close to my son-in-law and I'm worried about him too because it's been hard on him too.
The 16 year old threatens my daughter more so than his father. My daughter says she can no longer live this way. For years, the father worked long hours and my daughter has taken more than she can handle. The father seems to be able to handle the 16 year old without having a mental breakdown, but my daughter can't. I'm worried about her taking her own life because she feels so guilty about leaving her kids. She says she won't, but now she in in a hotel room alone and I'm worried sick. Any of my frugal friends that can comfort me I will sure be glad to hear from you. I don't have a friend that truly understands.
By Betty from Lubbock, TX
Please don't "own" this. Your daughter and husband are adults. If they ask for your help-offer what you can but don't blame yourself. I assume the older mentally ill child is receiving some sort of therapy, special ed or out-patient care-your daughter should seek some resources from these sources.
If the younger child or your daughter is at risk of injury from the ill boy, they need to get out. A 16 year old is essentially an adult and can cause serious physical, not to mention emotional damage.
As for the marriage, a couple who ants to save their marriage will take steps to do so. Not all marriages are salvageable, especially one that has been dysfunctional for a very long time, but if your family wanted to try, they would/could have done so. "No time" is an excuse.
Please don't be co-dependent in this situation. Offer support if you can and care to, but don't let it destroy you.
I really think this is one for child protective services. If the oldest were removed from the home and got help your daughter and her husband might be able to work things out. Even though you don't live in the area you can still call them. First suggest this to your daughter and her husband; time is wasting.
I don't have any good advice to offer, all I have for you is a big (HUG), and prayers for you and your family through this terrible time. Please keep us updated.
You just sit back and I am sure the help will flow in on this one. If not, I will do what I can.
The first thing you need to do is make sure you don't blame yourself. The end of a marriage is not the end of the world. I does seem like it for a while, but sometimes the only reason we beat our heads against a stone wall is because it feels so good when we stop. A bad marriage is like a cancer, so the cure is often to just cut it out and move on.
Did they have any friends close that could give them some respite care? Any adult parenting classes? Some "night outs" that could have reminded them they were a pretty good match at one time? If they didn't seek them out then, perhaps now?
Sometimes a breather is what every couple needs. They sound like they have focused so much on their son that they forgot to care for themselves and each other. That is more common then you can imagine. Parents feel "guilty" for going out to dinner or a movie, because someone else is caring for their son instead of them.
I don't know the cause of the mental issues or whether they were genetic or not, but that often causes great guilt as well. To that, I feel that unless anyone has a crystal ball, you can't know ahead of time whether you should have kids or not.
Sometimes all we can do is play the hand we are dealt.
It doesn't sound like they are going to abandon your grandson, so that is a testament to her and him, both sacrificing for the welfare of their child.
You seemed to have raised a good person, so give yourself a pat on the back for that much.
Now, what can you reasonably do? Can you help with money? Time? Can you take the boy for a year or two? If there is anything you can do, you sound like the type of person who would do it and will do it. But, we can't be the "be all to end all" for anyone, so you have to be reasonable and offer what you can do. These folks are in their mid to late 30's I presume?
There will have to be a time when you let them deal with their marriage and be there when you can.
Other than that, grieve with them and for them, and know that that is all you can do.
I was just the opposite. I saw my mother go through 4 husbands before she died, and each one had it's share of drama and trauma. I was kind of "the parent" in a sense.
I don't know if I have helped. I hope I have. You are in my thoughts.
Add your voice to the conversation. Click here to answer this question.