lmanuel (original poster new member #79599) posted at 8:30 PM on Tuesday, November 16th, 2021
I recently found out my daughter was being unfaithful. I’m devastated and disappointed in her. Shocked that she would do that to her husband and my granddaughter. It’s been 3 weeks since I’ve seen her and we usually talk every day but I can’t bring myself to see her face to face. I know as her mother that I should be understanding and supportive but I am so upset and angry. She doesn’t express any remorse to her husband or her father and I. She has shaken up our entire families. Her husband has asked her what her plan is and all she says is that she is overwhelmed and busy working on her Masters degree. I don’t know if she is being selfish or heartless. I don’t know what I should do as a mother. I feel bad for my SIL and granddaughter. I’m so disappointed in her behaviour and worried that if I see her in person that I might not say the right thing. Any advice.
Catwoman ( member #1330) posted at 9:07 PM on Tuesday, November 16th, 2021
I'm a big advocate of "hate the sin/love the sinner." Unfortunately, your disapproval (and I would disapprove as well) is likely to test your relationship.
I would suggest be there for your granddaughter and son-in-law. If they need a sitter so they can go to counseling or talk away from her, do it if you can. Make it very clear that although you are very much in the "cheating is wrong" camp, you are not going to take sides and that you love all three of them. You can be present to listen and advise, but be prepared to walk away if you're asked to take a position you don't agree with. "Agreeing to disagree" is helpful.
I wish my MIL had been a little more understanding instead of blaming me for her son's serial cheating.
FBS: Married 20 years, 2 daughters 27 and 24. Divorced by the grace of GOD.
D-Days: 2/23/93; 10/11/97; 3/5/03
Ex & OW Broke up 12-10
"An erection does not count as personal growth."
asc1226 ( member #75363) posted at 9:09 PM on Tuesday, November 16th, 2021
You may want to read How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair and send it to her, and tell your son in law about this site.
Does she at least claim that her affair is over? (Cheaters lie a lot) Does she want to keep her marriage and family?
I make edits, words is hard
ChamomileTea ( member #53574) posted at 9:21 PM on Tuesday, November 16th, 2021
Wow.. that sucks. What a tough position for you to be in. My kids are grown too, so I can imagine what a nasty shock it's been. And to have a grandchild in the mix makes it even tougher. On the one hand, you don't want to alienate your daughter. On the other, what she has done is so wrong. If you gloss over it in the hopes of keeping her from shutting you out, you also lose the closeness and honesty you've had in your mother/daughter bond. If you go apeshit though, she's most likely going to push you away. So, I think what you're looking for is something in the middle. I just find it hard to go wrong with honesty. You might admit that you're disappointed, that you hope she can find her way again so that she can live within the confines of the values you've taught her all her life. But it is also HONEST to tell her that you love her and that you are there to help. That doesn't mean you have to do things that are wrong or uncomfortable. I certainly couldn't imagine allowing the OM into my home or abandoning the SIL, for example.
Speaking for me, I can be a pretty strong critic of how people decide to end their marriage/relationship when it comes to cheating. But what I can never stand in judgment on is whether they need to end it or not. I don't have to wake up in that person's bed every morning with that person's mate, right? I don't know what goes on behind those closed doors, only that there's a right way and a wrong way to decide you're out. In your place, my heart is broken for SIL, but I can't fault daughter if she no longer wants to be with him. That's between them. Cheating on him though is wrong.
So sorry this happened to you. It's not going to be an easy thing to find the right balance. You're her mom though.. and her lifelong teacher. Have confidence in yourself that you can handle this.
Nanatwo ( member #45274) posted at 10:32 PM on Tuesday, November 16th, 2021
Several years ago my son was the OM. He is single - his AP was married with a young child. The only thing I ever said to him about his affair was he knew the devastation his father's affair had caused to our family - how could he do this to another family? It is so hard to not try and intervene when our adult children make choices that we know is going to end in heartache - but as much as we hate what they are doing it is unfortunately their choices to make.
As in most affairs - when his AP divorced they were together for a few months and then broke up. We never discussed the affair - he knows I love him but he knows how much I hated what he was doing. I do know the if he had tried to justify the affair I would have called him on that bullshit.
I know it is hard, try to stay neutral - but let your SIL and granddaughter know you are there for them. It may be hard for your SIL to come to you - he may think you will take your daughter's side. Let him know that is not the case - you love him and will support him.
It is a difficult situation - just trust that you will find the right balance between being neutral and supportive.
Time heals what reason cannot. Seneca
First the truth. Then, maybe, reconciliation. Louise Penny
Forks027 ( member #59996) posted at 10:39 PM on Tuesday, November 16th, 2021
She’s "overwhelmed and busy," yet she found time to fool around. You’re sure she’s not mixing her affair somewhere in there as she works towards her Master’s?
Sorry, OP. But with no definite plan from her, tell your SIL to start protecting himself and the child.
[This message edited by Forks027 at 10:39 PM, Tuesday, November 16th]
zebra25 ( member #29431) posted at 10:55 PM on Tuesday, November 16th, 2021
I feel for you. I strongly suspected my DD of cheating on her fiance/husband. It devastated me.
My relationship with DD was strained for quite some time. Things are much better now.
I tried to be there for DD to help her with whatever it was she was going through when I noticed her behavior changing but she kept pushing me away. When I suspected cheating, right or wrong I became angry. I think it is wrong to lie and treat people poorly and was very upset with her for doing so.
I suggested to my DD that she take some time for herself and not be with anybody for a while. She did not take my advice.
I think it is okay to be truthful with your DD about how you feel. I think its best to remain calm and respectful and know she most likely isn't going to want to hear what you have to say. It's also very likely she will lie and or minimize.
"Don't let anyone who hasn't been in your shoes tell you how to tie your laces."
D-day April 2010
RealityBlows ( member #41108) posted at 11:22 PM on Tuesday, November 16th, 2021
They say "Blood is thicker than water" and in the case of affairs the cheater's family usually rallies around the cheater and forsakes the betrayed which adds deep intimate lifelong insult-to-injury, becomes a double betrayal, and condones bad behavior.
Don't do that!
Be there for your SIL. Listen to him. Support him. It's good for him. It's good for your granddaughter and it will eventually be good for your daughter to witness empathy, humanity, loyalty and integrity in action.
Your DD is going to refer to the Cheater's Handbook-as they all typically do, and attempt to rationalize-justify her affair, demonize your SIL, minimize and gaslight. She will try and manipulate you and others and spin a sob story.
Don't stand for it.
She didn't just cheat on her husband and daughter, she's cheated on all of you and, herself.
Although she's a grown ass woman, with good parental guidance, this could be a learning experience for her.
We have former cheaters here who have used there experiences to become outstanding human beings and spouses and are paying it forward by dedicating much of their free time here helping others.
It is a profound inspiration-especially to us betrayed, to see them in action.
Just the fact that you have sought us out, demonstrates that you're a good parent. Blaming yourself is not justified and not productive.
[This message edited by RealityBlows at 11:55 PM, Tuesday, November 16th]
lmanuel (original poster new member #79599) posted at 12:03 AM on Wednesday, November 17th, 2021
Thank you everyone. Just had wonderful visit with SIL and granddaughter. He still comes to visit. My daughter doesn’t come though. She’s busy posting "Easy on Me" song by Adele on her Instagram so whole world can figure out she’s not happy in her marriage. So embarrassing and she’s 33 years old. I’m humiliated by her immature behaviour. She’s so self absorbed that she doesn’t see how she’s burger husband and daughter. How can I be there for her as a mother when I’m not sure that I respect her anymore. Sad mom here tonight.
Marz ( member #60895) posted at 12:14 AM on Wednesday, November 17th, 2021
She may be your daughter but I think you should inform you SIL he has nothing to work with. You know the score.
You can’t fix her and neither can he.
pearlamici ( member #67631) posted at 1:18 AM on Wednesday, November 17th, 2021
Brutal honesty .,, tell her when she gets her head out of her own ass, (posting her BS on social media) … you’re there for her, your SIL and granddaughter. Terrible situation for you but the only role for you is steering each of them towards honesty.
~Bad marriages don’t cause affairs. Affairs cause bad marriages.~
WontBeFooledAgai ( member #72671) posted at 8:02 PM on Wednesday, November 17th, 2021
You may also want to direct your SIL to this site OP. Not to bash your daughter, but instead to help him protect himself and your granddaughter from the craziness put upon their lives by the affair
SnowToArmPits ( member #50943) posted at 1:27 AM on Thursday, November 18th, 2021
Warn her she's in danger of losing her marriage and custody of her daughter.
Think about offering her a place to stay when her husband kicks her out.
Be there for your SIL, he's being the adult here. Help them until your daughter returns from cuckoo land.
nekonamida ( member #42956) posted at 1:39 AM on Thursday, November 18th, 2021
I do agree with Pearl. BUT I don't think you should go out of your way to say it. Let her come to you and then be honest with her about how you really feel. This must be what it means to be a lifelong parent and she really needs some tough love if she's this entitled at her age. I suspect that may be why she hasn't reached out though because she must know how you're going to react and doesn't want you cramping her fantasy land. It's okay to be angry and disappointed and I trust that when the time comes, you will have her best interest at heart even if you're harsh on her. It's okay to put yourself first right now and continue having that space from her until you calm down and process it more.
I also caution against being quick to offer her a soft place to land because we see from SI that many BSes feel betrayed when inlaws they're close to do that. It may not be a rational feeling. It may even make sense to the BS why it happened. But it also doesn't hurt less to see a WS's family members scramble to clean up after them while the BS is picking up their own pieces. I don't think you should turn her away if push comes to shove but SIL may think you're taking her side if you're too eager to support her in that way right now. Be honest with him if she is going to stay with you and preferably before he hears it from her if you can.
Seeking2Forgive ( member #78819) posted at 5:05 PM on Thursday, November 18th, 2021
This is like seeing your daughter wandering into traffic without looking. She has absolutely no conception of how she's destroying her life and the lives of her husband and child. She's all caught up in the "fog" of soothing whatever is broken in her that has led to this. Shes' blind to the harm right now but it's all accruing, waiting to be dumped on her and her family all at once when it all comes out.
But it's not harmless while it's hidden. It's corroding everything it touches. Her husband and daughter feel the tension and deception - the lies. They just don't understand it. They think it must be something wrong with them.
She may think that he'll never find out and therefore no harm will come of it. It never works out that way.
She may feel like she is stuck with it now and there's nothing she can do to fix it. But she can end it now and stop any further harm from accruing. She can get IC to understand how she got here and decide from there whether she can take the step of revealing it to her H. I desperately wish that my FWW had not to have betrayed me to begin with, but it would have been easier to handle if she had ended the A by her own choice and not because she was discovered.
I would suggest finding some articles from the Healing Library or a book that seems relevant and recommending them to her. Tell her that you love her and will be there for her no matter what, but you can't stand by and watch her destroy her life or fool herself into thinking that her choices aren't doing real harm. It's all coming.
[This message edited by Seeking2Forgive at 5:10 PM, Thursday, November 18th]
Me: 59, BS
Her: 58, FWS
Married 37 yrs
lmanuel (original poster new member #79599) posted at 5:44 PM on Thursday, November 18th, 2021
Thank you everyone for your advice and wisdom. I still haven’t seen my daughter since I discovered the relationship a month ago. She sends me pictures of my granddaughter occasionally but we haven’t spoken to discuss the situation. She used to come to my house almost daily but hasn’t since. My youngest daughter tried to set up a meeting between my daughter and I to discuss a few days after I discovered the affair but I was too distraught to even face her. It’s been a month and I’m still not sure I can face her without anger and I’m afraid that will make things worse. I feel she should be reaching out to me. We were very close.
BluerThanBlue ( member #74855) posted at 5:51 PM on Thursday, November 18th, 2021
First, you don't need to be understanding and supportive of your daughter, because she hasn't really asked that of you. If she were remorseful and reaching out to you for guidance and support to preserve her family, then heaping shame on top of her would probably be counterproductive. But that's not what she's doing. She is comfortable with her choices and the destruction they have wrought. She has made it clear that she has priorities that trump her marriage and her family.
Second, you would not be doing your job as a mother if you only told her what you think she would like to hear. Sometimes, the most loving and caring thing that a person can do is be honest and tell the truth, even if the recipient of the message takes offense. You don't have to yell or use pejoratives. I think it's perfectly fair to share with your daughter how devastated and disappointed you feel, and your bewilderment over how selfish and heartless she's behaving. As a mother, mother-in-law, and grandmother you are concerned about how her choices will harm everyone around her, especially your granddaughter.
Third, for the sake of your granddaughter, I think you should be kind and compassionate with your son-in-law, but avoid entrenching yourself too deeply on his side (ie, being one of his primary sources of emotional support, arguing his case with your daughter, etc). There are several reasons for this, but the main ones are: as the mother-in-law, you clearly have a conflict of interest, you don't want to alienate your daughter to the point where she decides to limit your access to your granddaughter, and you also don't her husband to use you as a way of communicating with or persuading your daughter.
BW, age 40
Divorced WH in 2015; now happily remarried to a great guy
I edit my comments a lot for spelling, grammar, typos, etc.
jb3199 ( member #27673) posted at 5:56 PM on Thursday, November 18th, 2021
How is your SIL handling things currently? Is he desperate to save the marriage, or is he strong enough to lay his boundaries down....and enforce them?
The early days of infidelity are brutal. It often takes some time for the betrayed spouse to get their feet underneath them.
Married 28yrs.(together over 30yrs.)
All work and no play has just cost me my wife--Gary Puckett
Accepting that I can/may end this marriage 7/2/14
lmanuel (original poster new member #79599) posted at 6:28 PM on Thursday, November 18th, 2021
My SIL is holding it together for my granddaughter. I know he wants to save his marriage and is taking it one day at a time. I think he’s hoping she will come to her senses. I think my SIL had said he would give her six months before he made a decision. I don’t like that her gives her all the control but understand that he just found out a few weeks ago and he’s in pain.
asc1226 ( member #75363) posted at 6:51 PM on Thursday, November 18th, 2021
I know he wants to save his marriage and is taking it one day at a time. I think he’s hoping she will come to her senses. I think my SIL had said he would give her six months before he made a decision.
It’s good that he’s taking time to make a decision but waiting for her to come to her senses is not a plan. He needs to be taking action. If you want to see her keep her marriage point him to this site. Divorce is the most likely outcome of infidelity but for there to be any chance at reconciliation he will have to act to protect himself and your granddaughter.
Your daughter’s actions and entitled attitude are making R less likely with each passing day. It’s the betrayed spouses who take action early on who have some chance of snapping their waywards back to reality.
I make edits, words is hard