Ask Rene: My Son Had An Affair, Now I’m Going To Be A Granny. How Do I Handle This?

Sad young woman against happiness couple

Ask Rene:
My Son Had An Affair, Now I’m Going To Be A Granny.
How Do I Handle This?

Okay, Rene, I know you’ve seen and heard it all, but I really need your advice. I don’t know how to feel or what I should do. My son—my only child—is married to “Ann.” They don’t have any children and, according to both of them, that is by choice. I was disappointed to find out that there would be no grandchildren, but I understood. But, as it turns out, I’m going to be a grandmother anyway; my son had an affair and the other woman is going to have a baby this winter. Ann is devastated, of course, and although she and my son are still married (but legally separated), I don’t know what they ultimately will do. I feel terrible about my son’s actions and I feel even worse for Ann. I love her dearly and I feel an allegiance to her, but at the same time, I’m very excited about my grandchild. I feel bad for feeling excited given the circumstances. How should I proceed?


Excited (But Confused)



Dear Exited (But Confused)

Oh. My.

Hmm, well the first thing I’ll say is what I tell myself when I’m in a sticky situation (though I can honestly say I’ve never been in one THIS sticky); this has happened before. The next thing I tell myself is that I will survive. You will too, thought there may be some very uncomfortable moments. I have never been in  your shoes so I can only imagine what you are going through but I can guess. So here’s what I would do if I were you.

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As difficult as this may be, it is where you have to start. Certainly I think your son owes it to you (and definitely Ann) to explain himself and his actions; it sounds as though he may have already done that judging by the fact that he and Ann are now living apart. But sure you have questions; whether he answers those remains to be seen. He may just tell you to mind your own business. But I would also make sure you talk to Ann. You say you love her, so tell her. Let her know that you are confused by the situation but that she is an important part of your life and would like her to remain so.

Read more: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly: An Unvarnished Look Inside A Real Marriage


Helping eachother

I think the best thing to do is follow Ann and your son’s lead on this and the easiest way to do that is to ask how you can help. They may not need or want it, for that matter, but you definitely offer. What that looks like, I’m not even sure. It may mean a chance to have a relationship with the baby (who is totally innocent in this situation) or something else. Be open and sensitive to their needs.

Read more: Ask Rene: Grabby Grammie?


Support Letters on beautiful blue backround

After all has been said and done, there’s nothing left for you to do except butt out. Let your son and Ann work out their marriage without interference. And there’s a lot of work to be done. Be supportive, but from afar.

Read more: The GEM Debate: How Supportive Of Your Work Should Your Partner Be?


In closing I would just offer a word of caution; I know you’re excited about being a grandmother, but there’s also quote a bit of pain involved in this situation. Make sure to temper your enthusiasm, at least around Ann. You can smile from ear-to-ear when you’re sure that won’t cause more pain than happiness.

Good luck!

Okay, that’s my advice; what say you GEMnation? What should she do?

Weigh in here or over on the Facebook page.

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Rene Syler is a wife, mother, breast cancer advocate and television personality whose burning desire to tell the truth about modern motherhood led her to create . When not spending time with her family or burning something for dinner, Rene travels the country as host of Sweet Retreats on The Live Well Network and Exhale on Aspire.


  1. Tambrlyn Neikirk

    November 7, 2013 at 10:36 am

    I agree with Rene and would like to add a little something. My now ex husband and I were apart and I was expecting. He got someone else pregnant before we were divorced. It was a very difficult situation as I knew her. To this day I still see my ex mother-in-law and take my kids to visit. My ex has never met or seen my son to this day. I love her to death. I understand that she was and is just as excited about all her grand kids. Be supportive to both as you don’t know if the one that is pregnant may disappear and you may not get the opportunity to know your grand child. I have always felt that it is important for a child to know all their relations and go the extra to try and do that. Not everyone on his side feels that way, but still make the effort to do the right thing. Most of all I hope that all involved understand the importance of never speaking ill of the others in front of the child (innocent one) so that they can come to their own feeling without influence from others (hard but so worth it). Hoping for the best for all involved. Good Luck.

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