'My husband and I never see our grandkids as our son's ex cut us out of her life'

The Mirror’s resident agony aunt, Coleen Nolan, helps a reader who feels upset as she and her husband barely see their two grandchildren after their son split from his partner

Older couple sitting at home
A reader feels upset as she and her husband cannot see their grandchildren (Stock photo)

Dear Coleen

My husband and I are in our 60s and have two beautiful grandchildren we barely see any more. Our son split from his partner several months ago – it was entirely his fault, as he kept promising to sort himself out and never did.

He has problems with alcohol and sometimes drugs, and just can’t seem to get himself together.

The truth is, I feel very sorry for his ex – she has put up with a lot – but she despises him at the moment and seems to want to wash her hands of him, and the rest of our family, too.

I understand that she’s angry, but we feel we’re being unfairly punished because we don’t get to see our grandchildren and we really miss them. None of this is our fault, but she seems to be blaming us as well.

I’ve asked my son if he’ll intervene to ask her if we can see the children regularly, but he just says he doesn’t want to talk to her.

He does see the kids occasionally, but his ex is always there, too. This is a horrible situation and all we want to do is see the kids.

Can you advise?

What would you tell this reader to do? Have your say in the comment section

Coleen Nolan is the Mirror’s resident agony aunt

Coleen says

I would write a lovely letter to your partner’s ex, telling her that you understand why she left and that your son let her down, but you love the children and really miss them.

Ask her if she’d agree to you seeing the kids, even if it means you going to hers to see them.

I think the way forward is to acknowledge her situation, but to try to help her see that by stopping the kids from seeing you, she’s punishing them and they haven’t done anything wrong.

It might be that she just needs a bit of time to let the dust settle and to stop feeling so angry.

At the moment, it sounds as if she just wants to get away from it all for a while – from your son and anyone connected to him.

However, it’s never right to use the children to punish people because you’re also hurting them, and in this situation it’s important their lives are disrupted as little as possible. That includes seeing their grandparents and other people who love them.

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