"Jack" and "Shirley" raised three girls, investing as much love and support in their family as any parents could.
But thanks to a man who came into the life of one of their kids, they are now spending their twilight years in constant fear and worry for their daughter and her own three children.
From the moment this "bully" got involved with her, it has been a never-ending nightmare of intimidation.
"He's just a nasty man," Jack said, while apologising for occasionally losing his train of thought as the emotion caused him to break down in tears again.
"The first time I saw this man - and I'm a very good judge of people - the alarm bells rang straight away.
"He just looked weird and distant. I'm not an interfering grandparent, I'm a good grandparent. He's been bullying her all the time."
But seeing their daughter suffer has hit them both hard, having to be put on medication to deal with the deterioration in their health that has set in over the years as a result.
He's just a nasty man. I'm not an interfering grandparent, I'm a good grandparent. He's been bullying her all the time"Jack" on his former son-in'-law's controlling behaviour
She got divorced a couple of years ago, but the Wodonga retiree said this did not end the suffering endured by his daughter.
"It was intimidation, verbal intimidation. And he's just struck her lightly a couple of times and he's actually got away with it."
The courts placed the man on a control order that required him to do an anger management course after a bout of swearing at her led to him smashing a hole in a door at their home before "throwing things at her".
Eventually this was breached, which "Cheryl" reported to the police but to her father's frustration, nothing concrete was done as a result.
But when she physically lashed out from "sheer frustration" because "this man was hounding her repeatedly" he immediately reported her to the police. Cheryl was charged.
And it meant that ultimately, he was awarded majority custody of their young children.
Control was one of the many aspects of domestic and family violence that many did not realise, one expert highlighted.
Centre Against Violence chief executive Kerry Burns said women and the wider community were "still learning" about the definition of family violence, "which includes so many areas of their life".
"Financial abuse, psycho-social and emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse. The traditional associations of family violence is the black eye and it might not include being pushed into a doorway," she said.
"A woman who is pushed or shoved into a wall might not think she's been hit. A woman who's told there's no way you're going to see your family at Christmas might not realise she's being socially isolated.
"A woman who has been told 'you're not touching the bank account' might perceive she's not a good financial manager."
Jack's own frustration at knowing exactly what he could say about his family's dilemma was centred on him simply "trying to do everything I possibly can to solve this. Most people I talk to I don't think they'd even believe half of this, but it's all true."
The couple constantly worry for their daughter but also know they can do little more than support her and show their grandchildren a positive way forward, reinforced with love and guidance.
The pattern was set early, he said, when his daughter was told by her husband she could only have a small stretch of hanging space in the wardrobe for her clothes. They had only recently married.
"That was just his controlling."
It continued when he constantly bullied her for months over their as-yet unborn third child when there was doubt over a health prognosis, which was soon enough allayed.
Jack said it was while his son-in-law was under this control order, before No.3 came along, that everything became especially unpleasant for Cheryl and the first two kids.
His emotions crack again as he remembers "the trauma for this little boy".
"He was messing his pants at school."
Jack and Shirley decided to take in the family for a while, the trio sleeping in their lounge room.
"It was difficult for us but we loved the children and (Cheryl) and this is why we wanted to help them," he said.
"After just three months, that little boy turned it right around. He loved going to school - sorry, I'm breaking up a bit. It was because of the love and care and support that we gave the kids."
What led to Jack speaking out is not knowing where they can possibly turn to next, again pointing to the frustration they have felt at Cheryl being cast as the perpetrator and her ex-husband as the victim.
Jack said the police intervention that resulted in Cheryl being charged showed-up the man's "obvious" willingness to lie.
"(Child Protection) and the police looked upon (Cheryl) as the bad person."
What especially rankles though is a frustration at being "powerless. I felt useless to be honest. I tried so hard. The amount of time that my wife and I have put in with the kids, they love us. And he owns them, and that's the difference."
The boy, he said, "he's turned into a beautiful boy. They're just lovely, lovely kids. The kids are well-adjusted, (but) it's not because of him, it's because of (Cheryl) and my wife and myself. We've put in the hard yards."
Many others were likely to be in the same predicament.
"This is why I'm trying to speak out. I'm not just thinking of my kids and my grandkids. I care about everyone's kids."
- Names have been changed to protect identity
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