I was wondering how people handled family titles such as grandpa, aunt, etc. following a divorce in the family. My husband grew up in a split family. His mom remarried I believe when he was nine. His mom and stepdad recently got divorced, and I'm confused about what my two young boys (ages 1 and almost 3) should call him. My husband and I haven't ever agreed on his role in the boys lives. My husband calls him by his first name, but he says he sees him as having some fatherly role in his life. Although I wasn't 100% comfortable, he became "grandpa" to my oldest. Now that they are divorced, I am even more uncomfortable with the title of grandpa. I'm not sure that we should force that title on our children when he is technically not related to us anymore, but I don't want to force a strange separation. My husband thinks he should stay "grandpa". We have seen him for special occasions and you can tell that people are unsure of what he should be called. Does anyone have any thoughts, advice, or experience they could share?
I'm not sure what to tell you, but I'm in a similar situation. My FIL is getting remarried in June after dating this woman less than a year. She is perfectly nice, but he has been calling her "grandma" to my boys since before Christmas, and I don't feel comfortable with that, either. There have been many divorces and remarriages on my hubby's side, and I just don't want to confuse my kids, 4 and 2.
As for your situation, if they just recently got divorced, in reality how much are you going to do family-wise with the ex-stepdad? Your kids are young, and don't need to grow super attached to a person who may slowly make his way out of your lives. You don't need to worry about explaining where "grandpa" is. But if that's not the case, then he should stay grandpa. You'll just have to see how the situation is going to play out for you. Good luck, and hang in there!
Since he has custody of my husband's two half-brothers, I'm sure we'll continue to see him from time to time, atleast until they are out of high school. Even though we live close by, we haven't seen him more than a handful of times since last summer, and only for special occasions. I definately agree that I don't want to be answering questions like "what happened to grandpa" if things continue to drift further apart. As for my oldest, he thinks of his two biological grandparents, one of which just recently came into the picture, when you say refer to grandpa. Just the other day, when he someone told him to give grandpa a hug goodbye, he went and sat back on my dad's lap instead of saying goodbye to the ex-step-grandpa. Can we say awkward!?! My mom suggested following grandpa with his first name, but I'm not sure I'm much more comfortable with that. It is even harder that my husband doesn't really see anything wrong with it. I don't want to make a big deal out of nothing...
MBM-what does your hubby think about it? Will she have a big role in your kids' lives? For me, one of my grandpas has been married three times. He was divorced from my biological grandma before I was born, but she was always grandma, of course. I've only called his other wives by their first names. Maybe that is why this seems out of place for me, though.
It's really hard to get anything out of my husband on this issue, too. I think that they are probably just as uncomfortable as we are, but they don't know what to do about it either. They don't want to hurt anybody's feelings, you know? I just hope to God that my FIL doesn't get divorced again (It would be 3). It is frustrating to me b/c I haven't had to deal with any divorces growing up. So, I just try to have some compassion for my hubby, thinking it can't be easy for him either. But wouldn't it be nice if they could talk to us about it?
my MIL's hubby is grandpa Johnny, though I have a few choice names for him....that's a different story.
My FIL is remarried as well, we refer to her as nana. All but Johnny & my dad have special names. MIL is nonna (italian), FIL is abuello (spanish) & my mom is grumpy grandma lol.
I call my grandpa "poppi" (just fit him even though he's german). Have u thought of an alternative word for ur ex-FIL? It may seem odd to you but grandpa _(name)__ is fine & can avoid confusion. Plus I think that as the kids get older they will realize the difference & interput the distance of relativity it puts between them. Considering ur ex-FIL has custody of your BIL's he will always in some form be part of your lives.
I'm going through the same thing right now too. My dad recently remarried this woman that I've only met once and that was at their wedding, so it's a bit awkward. Luckily she suggested that our son just calls her B (her name is Brooke), that way they're not forced to give her the Grandma title, but it's not like they're calling her by her first name either, so I thought that was a pretty good compromise. My mom is actually the one who's making a big deal about who gets called what. She's always telling me that she's the only one who gets called Nana, my MIL can pick something else to be called. Also, my FIL is actually my husband's stepdad and my husband just calls him by his first name, but he's been married to my MIL for 14 years and my husband's real dad died about 7 years ago, so we call him Grandpa.
well i kinda have a situation like that one going on but my mil and step fil are still married but my mil has a b/f which is kinda weird! but my step fil isnt around very much we only see him on the holidays so it makes it nicer, but we have a nickname for him so there isnt the "grandpa" issue we just call him pooba its kinda weird but it will be nice for when my son gets older so he will just know him as pooba. so that can be an idea just have your older son make up a nickname for him (you might have to help) then when your younger son will always know him by the nickname and there wont be any of those awkward moments. hopefully you get it worked out. good luck.....
I do like the idea of using a nickname- something other than his first name without calling him Grandpa. I really have no idea what we would use, but I'm sure we have a little while to decide on something (assuming my hubby agrees to the idea). My husband is "Papa" to our kids instead of "Dad", so I'd really like to stay away from anything close to that like Pa or Pops. Once we decide on something, how do we break it to everyone that he's to be referred to as a nickname instead of grandpa now? And without the conversation feeling completely awkward or hurting someone's feelings? It was family who continued to use "grandpa" after the divorce. What adds to the drama is that I'm not 100% sure that there is no chance of them ever getting back together. Grandpa to nickname back to grandpa maybe??? I don't know- maybe just using a nickname would solve that.
don't discuss it just use the nickname. If anything just let ur kid initate it by being the 1st to use it. When I started calling my grandpa Poppi it just took & my siblings copied me.
Side note: I was thinking about this the other day. Should step parents be called grandparents? Think about it, I called my stepmom Mercy, if i had called her mother my mom would have thrown a fit. So why is it okay to call her grandmother? If I got divorced & my hubby remarried I wouldn't want her to be called grandma & I'm sure he'd feel the same if i remarried.
I was never 100% with step-FIL ever being called grandpa, which my husband knows. We've talked about what to do- my husband sees my point and is okay with using some sort of nickname, but he would also be fine with still calling him grandpa. I wish my son was a little older (he won't be 3 until August) so that he could understand the situation and come up with a nickname to use. I do like the idea of just using whatever we decide on instead of explaining the situation. I don't want it to be awkward, but it really isn't their decision. Also, with my oldest not really calling him grandpa, it should be an easier transition. I just want my boys to decide on what place he has in their lives, instead of anyone forcing "grandpa" on them. Thanks for everyone's thoughts. I know that there are a lot of split families, but I didn't realize how many people had to play the name game for all the step and ex family members! Now we just need a nickname...