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my teens don't understand my nc with their grandad . My hard earned resolve is slipping .

(29 Posts)
crje Sun 19-Jun-16 10:28:30

I am estranged from my very toxic father.
For background two of his kids don't talk to him , the other three just do jobs for him but have no relationship as he isn't capable/interested in giving anything back .
I struggled with my decision and it caused some problems with some of my siblings but I'm in a good place now .
Recently my teen sons have said its 'a bit lousy ' that I don't see him.
I explained it wasn't a decision I made easily .

I'm feeling very conflicted about it all, I wanted to save them being exposed to him and how he makes people feel shit about themselves.

Any advice ?

KittyLaRoux Sun 19-Jun-16 10:37:45

Given that they are teens can you not just explain what it was that lead you to go NC?

You cannot expect them to understand if they do not know what went on. You can give them all the facts then they decide for themselves. As far as they are concerned he hasn't hurt them and they haven't witnessed what you went through so they don't see what the issues are.

Isetan Sun 19-Jun-16 10:57:26

Perhaps, protecting them from their toxic grandfather is the reason for their ignorance and why they don't get it. There's nothing stopping you from setting out your reasons for NC but ultimately, you do not need their approval or permission to limit contact with someone who treated you badly.

FaFoutis Sun 19-Jun-16 11:03:24

Depending on the reason I would let teenage dc have contact with him and decide for themselves.
We are NC with in-laws because they are nasty fuckers who have no interest in us at all, but I plan to let my dc contact them (and find out why we made that decision) if they want to.

It does depend on the reason though. I'm NC with step father and not in a million years would I let the dc have anything to do with him.

OurBlanche Sun 19-Jun-16 11:04:01

If they currently see it that way and have felt old enough to say so then they are old enough to have the reasons behind you decision explained.

Don't feel you have to protect them, they cannot possibly understand if you choose to leave them clueless in a desire to save them from something nasty. They will resent that as much as anything else.

Good luck.

fuckincuntbuggerinarse Sun 19-Jun-16 11:05:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

lljkk Sun 19-Jun-16 11:08:07

When they are 18 they can make up own minds about having a relationship with him. You don't have to justify your decision to them.

665TheNeighbourOfTheBeast Sun 19-Jun-16 11:09:03

Ultimately and without judging your decision I think the point to make here is that you have made an informed decision about what is good for your own welfare.
It might be interesting to ask them as teens - people who are endless peer pressured (and educated about not giving in to it ) if they respect that you have done that - or do they think that you should give in to pressure from people (who are not informed about the circumstances) and perhaps unwittingly asking you to act in a way which would be detrimental to your well-being?

starry0ne Sun 19-Jun-16 11:09:39

You kids don't understand..You reasons will be as valid whether or not you get their approval..

I don't speak to my mum..my Ds although younger said about meeting his grandma when older....She is a hateful woman who knows of his existence and never acknowledged it.. Anyway my response was we focus on the people who are a positive influence in our lives and not those who aren't.. We enjoy our life we have not what might be..

I think at teens giving them some idea might be helpful but you are the adult you get to decide.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 19-Jun-16 11:10:13

Give your son age appropriate truth re your father, his granddad.

And what OurBlanche wrote needs reiterating:-

Don't feel you have to protect them, they cannot possibly understand if you choose to leave them clueless in a desire to save them from something nasty. They will resent that as much as anything else.

665TheNeighbourOfTheBeast Sun 19-Jun-16 11:11:59

sorry deleted 1/2 a sentence there and it no longer makes sense it should read

Ultimately without having to detail what events occurred in the past its about them judging your decision, I think the point to ...etc...

Northernparent68 Sun 19-Jun-16 11:57:17

Encourage your children to speak to your siblings as this will help realise it's not just you who has a bad relationship with their grandparents

BertrandRussell Sun 19-Jun-16 11:59:24

Explain to them. Then if they want to have a relationship with him it's up to them.

crje Sun 19-Jun-16 13:48:33

Thanks for the feedback
I will talk to them, they are 18&14
I'm estranged 7 yrs
I'm just feeling a bit hard done by.
I'm not a bad person but feel this choice make me look bad .

Isetan Sun 19-Jun-16 14:34:17

I'm not a bad person but feel this choice make me look bad.

Your difficulty in accepting your decision coupled with their minimal understanding of the circumstances behind your decision, is probably making it even harder for them. Whether your children accept your decision is their prerogative, as it is yours to accept your decision.

BertrandRussell Sun 19-Jun-16 14:41:18

Try to be dispassionate- you are talking about your relationship with him, not theirs.

Practically impossible, I know.

crje Sun 19-Jun-16 17:23:56

I think my resolve/need to be NC is waning.
I'm feeling very detached from my feelings toward my father which I couldn't manage before.
I think I could handle him better now.

I had this all tucked away and sorted and now it's not.

Pagwatch Sun 19-Jun-16 17:37:46

I think you are possibly relying too much on the idea that your feelings should be fixed but that's not reality.

We didn't see my PIL for 10 years. We explained to my children why. I never felt the need to conceal why - it didn't protect them to not understand. I never tried to interfere with their relationship with them as my DC got older. They always knew they could visit them if they wanted too but they were fairly disinterested. My DD is the youngest. She probably wanted to meet them more than the others did so she met them. They then couldn't be arsed to visit again so now she is indifferent all on her own.

I think unless there are elements too disturbing to be talked about, I think honesty always help. I hate family secrets. They are often more damaging than the truth the try to conceal.

OurBlanche Sun 19-Jun-16 17:39:28

But, regardless of why you went NC, is that enough? You could manage him.

Your DC have no need to override your decisions. They are probably just curious, in that clumsy, only see how it affects them manner that most teens go through.

Before you leap into trying to play happy families for them ask why they think what they do... explain your reasoning... put it all into the open and see how they react.

You don't say why they think it is 'a bit lousy', do you know?

Have a chat with them before you double think yourself into any changes.

BubblingUp Sun 19-Jun-16 17:44:13

17 years NC with my dad and I have found it's pointless trying to explain "why" to anyone. It just makes me upset and defensive that I have to justify it to anyone. I don't have to justify it. I don't have to explain. Anyone on the planet include my DS is welcome to have a relationship with the asshole, but I don't have to and no one can make me. Period.

That's how I deal with it. If it means losing contact with other family members - so be it. I absolutely don't care. There isn't a doubt in my mind about my decision.

Ragwort Sun 19-Jun-16 17:51:50

I'm just feeling a bit hard done by.

But why are feeling a bit hard done by? You don't have to justify your behaviour to your teenagers; it is absolutely your decision to be NC with your DF. Do they have a relationship with him? Presumably that is up to them and your DF (unless you forbid them from seeing him?).

BubblingUp's comments make sense, have confidence in your decision, don't complain and don't explain. You are your own person with your own choices.

crje Mon 20-Jun-16 19:53:22

you don't say why they think it is 'a bit lousy', do you know?

My father has a disability & lives alone .
He needs people to help him.
He burns through helpers because he doesn't treat people well.

OurBlanche Mon 20-Jun-16 19:57:45

Ah! that explains why they felt able to comment. They see a sad, lonely disabled man. They don't see his character.

I can see why you said you are wavering.

Have you decided whether or not you will speak to them and give them an idea of why?

mummytime Mon 20-Jun-16 20:00:32

Explain all that to your DC.
To be frank some people are so nasty that even those paid to look after them don't last long. (If necessary ask them how they'd feel if someone really evil was their grandparent eg. Hilte, Stalin, Pol Pot etc.)
The 18 year old is old enough to make contact themselves - but make sure you offer them an escape route.

Floralnomad Mon 20-Jun-16 20:01:01

I have been NC with my Inlaws since DS was 4 and before dd was born , they had limited contact because DH still has contact . DS (23) limited contact himself by 16 and has not seen MIL for 3 yrs since FILs funeral , dd has gone NC this year - her choice . My advice is explain your reasons and let them make their own decisions - they're old enough to do that .

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