Should I tell DB that he shouldn't marry his girlfriend?

(99 Posts)
whatwereyouthinkinof Tue 01-Jan-13 23:47:41

My very lovely 'knight in shining armour' type brother has just announced today that he and hisbitchofa girlfriend are going to get married.

This girlfriend is selfish, self aggrandising, appallingly (aggressively) rude, profligate, demanding, manipulative, and loudmouthed opinionated ... I will not bore you by going into detail, (unless you want me to) but I am not using any of those words lightly.

My brother may not be a young lad but is quite naive where relationships are concerned and it breaks my heart to see him being used as he is by her...he has aged 10 years in the last 24 months...I dont believe he has actually 'asked' her, but as she has been telling him for months that he needs to set a date and I think he has finally caved because they have a baby together.

Our poor Mum is in despair...she cannot abide the woman...and is already in a state about how to tell her son that she cannot in all concience attend his wedding.

I love my DB and DN and don't want to lose them...Should I tell him to throw off his rose coloured spectacles and see her for what she is?.... or keep biting my tongue and dreading family gatherings (and taking to cope) for the rest of my life?

HeyHoHereWeGo Wed 02-Jan-13 18:28:00

Oh OP I feel so sorry for you I really do. Our hearts broke when this happened in our family.
Do say something to him - of the We love you so much and want the best for you type...
And be kind to your mother, her heart will break.
And do voluntarily reduce contact with them - if you are aiming to still have weekly dinners, call in any time, mind each others children - type closeness, this will not happen and there will be a tug of war until there is a break and you will hardly see him.
So if you reduce it to monthly dinners, phone call before a visit and never ever comment on their children or their life or their way of doing things, then their will be less pressure on him to break off with his family.
I am so sorry, this is not rare, and it is heartbreaking.
xxx (dont know how to do flowers..)

juniperdewdrop Wed 02-Jan-13 17:13:59

Thisisaeuphemism I did wonder grin

Good luck with the chat OP.

First marriage I meant. Doh!

If he mentions it, please say something though.

Just before his marriage, DH said to his best friend, "I can't go through with it," but his best friend said, "Oh you've got to, mate."

But...now your bro and her have a baby together, she is involved in his life for the next 20 years - marriage or not, there is no getting away from this...

whatwereyouthinkinof Wed 02-Jan-13 14:57:09

Yes littlewhitewolf, balloonslayer is absolutely right if I am going to say something....
Consensus, when you take away the vitriol I seem to have aroused..is to keep quiet as I have done so far for what seems a long time....but those who have gone through the same thing think I will regret it if I dont. I was asked by 2 different members of my family if I was sure I knew what I was doing when I married and Dhs father asked him "what did you do that for?" on the day we got engaged!...we havent held it against them in any way...just saw it as an expression of loving concern and understood why (Dh and I are chalk and cheese and it has been, very occasionally, a bit heavy going, but that is love and life as we know it, and we have a foundation of mutual respect and good manners to fall back on when love might feel a little thin on the ground) ..
If I was not obessed with subject before, all this turmoil has certainly got me on the slippery slope to it now
Many thanks to all the lovely ladies who proffered genuine balanced opinions, they have all been gratefully received and considered. Extra thanks to those who dont even know me and yet kindly defended me...and yes, it is amazing how if the sexes had been reverse the red flags would have been waving wildly...strange that just because a bloke is 6ft 4" and 16 stone he is expected to be as strong on the inside as he looks to the eye. And I'm so angry with myself for not realising that his calm considered demeanour still harbours that poor sickly 5yr old with zero self esteem either sad So an extra special thank you to Snorbs for letting me see why he is allowing all this to happen to him...(though I have to say it has made me cry)... but at least I understand..
I won't be telling my mother...I think it would destroy her sad

I think all you can really say is 'are you happy?' or 'she seem to give you a hard time' at an appropriate quiet moment. If he wants to talk about it more then go with it but remember he is the only one who can make descisions about his life. Remember, you will be speaking ill of the woman he loves so don't overstep the mark.

If it does go pear shaped, the most valuable thing to him will be lines of communication (with you, your mum, friends, helplines, etc) and to know that you don't/ won't judge him. Don't be angry if he makes descisions you don't agree with, just let him know you're there for him if he ever needs you.

I say this as a caring big sister of someone for whom it really did go pear shaped. It's sometimes hard to stand back but there's only so much you can do / say, and it's very frustrating seeing someone staying in or returning to an awful situation. Also, as pictish and others have said, it can be very emotionally draining on you so look after yourself and step back when you need to.

I really hope that's not going to happen with your brother. But if it does, if you see more red flags, Mankind and Men's Advice Line offer good advice for relatives and friends, as well as abused men. I do hope though that it doesn't turn out like that for him.

Your bro has a baby with her, I'm sure he knows what she's like. He prob knows, from what you've said, that an amicable separation from her would be virtually impossible. I imagine he's just in it for a quiet life. Nothing you say will make a difference. Poor fella.

Seems to me you spend too much time with them.

She must be sick to her stomach of all the meals at your mums house. Is your adult brother expected to eat dinner with his mum every flippin Sunday?

I guess she is just trying to get you guys to Back the F off from them a little, while your brother is spineless and nods and smiles wearily next to you.
Must they see you so much?

I guess she is hoping you will stop asking/inviting them so much.

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Wed 02-Jan-13 14:22:58

I think before you talk to him (if you do) that you need to separate out the overbearing big sister parts from the genuine worries part.

There is a tendency for big sisters and mothers to be over-protective and possessive of younger brothers and sons.

I say this as an overbearing big sister.

I have a lovely SIL, but if I wanted to character assassinate her and come up with a list of reasons she wasn't good enough, I could do it.

The impulse to criticise and blame is there, although acknowledged. DSis and I check each other in this.

Your SIL does sound like a bit of a nightmare, but a lot of your criticisms sound petty and like you are looking to find fault with everything she does.

I suspect your brother (who has chosen her, whatever his motivation) will hear what I'm hearing.

What are the things that can't be explained away when you remove "not good enough for my baby brother" from the equation?

If you really want to bring it up then BalloonSlayer has written what I think is the only thing you can say.

whatwereyouthinkinof Wed 02-Jan-13 13:59:00

Thesego- I'm glad that you proved your Mil wrong.

Sleigh...I do see your point... but there is the matter of "Tone" ...my Mil would say such things too without me even noticing... but writing here I am not eloquent enough to convey the tone in which it was said..and in the light of what Snorbs has just posted I am more convinced that she is already undermining Dhs position as parent?

whatwereyouthinkinof Wed 02-Jan-13 13:14:10

OH Snorbs!!!!... I hate to say it but I think that is the nail hit fair and square on the head sad ... he had school phobia as a kid and I remember my parents working hard with the ed.psych. people to build up his self esteem ...it seemed to work, he has always seemed so 'centred'...Until I read your post I had completely forgotten the 5yr old who used to have massive asthma attacks on the way to school sad....

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Wed 02-Jan-13 13:08:37

"she is already doing it with DN with her "Nasty Daddy" comments..."

Is she? Or is she just making a harmless joke?

My (ridiculously soft and kind) mother might say something like that if one of my babies was crying as I put her in a car seat.

The point is that the baby doesn't understand the kindness of what is being done - so they don't like sitting in a car seat, but their parent is doing the right thing by insisting.

I think Snorbs is spot on.

Snazzynewyear Wed 02-Jan-13 13:04:51

I think even after that conversation, though, there is the risk that he will spill all this to his partner, and then she will declare open war on the rest of the family. Men like this can't keep stuff from their partners even when it would be more sensible to do so. Then it will all get worse. I would word anything you say very, very carefully, OP, and do it in terms of questions to him rather than saying 'Don't feel bad about this, you don't have to do this...'

The fact is, you feel you are on 'his side', but he will be on 'her side' against you the minute any of this is voiced, I would bet on it. And you will end up being the bad guy.

BalloonSlayer Wed 02-Jan-13 12:54:32

I think all you can do is have a talk with him and say: "You know, just because you have a baby together, you don't HAVE to marry X. You don't always seem that happy . . . and you should be head-over-heels if you are planning to get married. No one would think badly of you if you don't stay together - so long as you continue being a good Dad to DN."

TheseGoToEleven Wed 02-Jan-13 12:50:26

DH's mother felt the need to have a 'chat' with him before we got married because she didn't approve (why he told me this I'll never know). We have been married for 14 years now (much longer than MIL was married btw!) and it is still made abundantly clear to me by both MIL and SIL that I am not considered part of the family and am just an annoyance that gets between them and their brother/son. It's bullshit, but as a result neither is particularly welcome in our life.

Tread carefully, OP.

Snorbs Wed 02-Jan-13 12:45:30

A few years back I read a piece about the "Knight in Shining Armour" personality type among men. It made the point that such men tend to suffer from very low self-esteem. They don't feel that they as people are enough to be deserving of an equal relationship so, instead, they try to make themselves appear more attractive by (for want of a better word) "rescuing" women. They can self-justify it as them simply trying to be helpful and honourable and reliable but, really, it comes more from a place of despair and self-loathing than from one of honesty and genuineness.

But just as women with very low self-esteem tend to be targets for cock-lodging and controlling men, so men with very low self-esteem tend to attract similarly exploitative personality types among women. And from the OP's descriptions, that sounds like her brother's life. Poor bloke.

whatwereyouthinkinof Wed 02-Jan-13 12:44:40

Juniper. Thankyou.

whatwereyouthinkinof Wed 02-Jan-13 12:37:35

Pictish..the room ready was a throw away comment...the spare room has always been ready for any family member or friend who needs it...we happened to move Dss cot in there when DN was born to save taking it down and putting it on the loft. The comment got jumped on and I bit back. I really need to learn to control my temper ;-)

I do understand that a partner dynamic is totally differnet to a sibling one...but I was always the over emotional, and tormenting child, he was always the easy going, incredibly hard to rile child...his long term school pals always refer to him as the rock..She is the only person I have ever heard say that he has a temper of any sort....Even the nut jobs he dated used to say how calm he was and how safe he made them feel...But the more I say on this thread, the more I defend my point of view the more I sound obsessed when in fact the only time I was actually obsessed was last night when it was going through my none sleeping mind.

HeHo Thanks :-) Actually my biggest worry is not that she will take all his money...she will one way or another and probably blow it all on Botox again..that doesnt matter.... but I just can see her alienating him from all his family and friends and then getting bored and taking DN (along with the money)from him ... She has done a fabulous job of making her older children hate and despise their father (obviously not difficult if he was violent) but she is already doing it with DN with her "Nasty Daddy" comments... sad I'm sorry you have suffered this too and thank you for your positive and balanced response

juniperdewdrop Wed 02-Jan-13 12:35:24

Sorry you're getting so much abuse on here OP, your replies have been very dignified, well done.

I hope you can find a tactful way to talk to you DB. Does he have many friends? I think as long as he knows you're there for him, which I'm sure he does, then he'll be in touch if it goes pear shaped. Sounds as if he should've had counselling or really looked into himself and why he chooses such partners?

Try to step back a bit for your own sanity. It must be very difficult but he's chosen his path and needs to walk it himself, you can just watch from the sidelines.

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Wed 02-Jan-13 12:32:12

"choosing to marry someone he doesn't love because he is attracted to her physique."

grin

CagneyNLacey Wed 02-Jan-13 12:20:20

Is this for real?

Onezerozero Wed 02-Jan-13 12:15:39

Your brother sounds like he has a lot of problems. Accidental pregnancy, stabbings, ABH, stalking, choosing to marry someone he doesn't love because he is attracted to her physique.

Maybe getting married will help him to grow up and he'll settle down with his new family and start to lead a more mature and peaceful life.

whatwereyouthinkinof Wed 02-Jan-13 12:12:09

Actually Recharge...no...we are not. Perhaps I read too many historical novels in my youth.

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