DEAR DEIDRE: MY ex, the father of my youngest child, is in a relationship with my 20-year-old daughter and they are having a baby – my grandchild.
I feel humiliated and upset. I miss my daughter but feel so let down by her. She knew how much I loved my ex.
Ele é 48 and I’m 46. I have three children — my daughter and 15-year-old son from my first marriage and my other son, who is five, by my ex.
The whole neighbourhood knows about this sorry mess. Every time I go out, I see people sniggering as I walk by.
My ex and I were together for seven years. To begin with our relationship was great and he was generous with my kids.
We loved weekends away in our little caravan by the coast and life was good.
But as with any relationship, the passionate side of things calmed and soon we were going months without having sex.
When the pandemic hit, he became sullen and withdrawn. To be honest when he announced last May he thought it was better if he moved out, a big part of me was relieved.
The kids still wanted to see him so I agreed. I noticed my daughter would often engineer a visit on her own but I brushed away any unsettling thoughts.
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It wasn’t until she started avoiding my eyes and became snappy with me that I knew something was up.
I asked her outright one night but she denied everything — though her reaction made it clear I was spot on.
A week later I found a letter from her pushed under my bedroom door, admitting she was with my ex, and the real shock — she was pregnant.
She had already packed and left and won’t answer my calls or messages. My elder son is so angry but I’ve managed to keep the truth from my youngest.
How do I explain that his dad is now also his “brother-in-law”?
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DEIDRE DIZ: As hurtful as this is, try to focus on your children’s welfare.
It sounds as if you had accepted your relationship had run its natural course. Naturally, discovering he has started a relationship with your own daughter is very upsetting.
Write her a letter and explain that although you are hurt by her actions, your relationship with her comes first. You will always be her mum.
If she is going to be a mum herself, she will need you more than ever. She is still very young and may well live to regret this relationship.
You would no doubt benefit from a counsellor’s impartial advice. See the BACP website (bacp.co.uk, 01455 883300) to find accredited practitioners near you. A family therapist would be helpful to start healing you and your children.