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?

whatwereyouthinkinof Tue 01-Jan-13 23:49:51

ooops that last line should read "taking Rescue Remedy or Vallium to cope"

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Tue 01-Jan-13 23:51:09

hmmm there could be two sides to this, if he's such a "knight in shining armour" type he might actually like having someone a bit selfish around to say no on his behalf if he can't if that makes sense

I think there's a reason why people who are "too nice" pick stroppy partners.. the partners sometimes do their dirty work for them IYKWIM

Absolutely not.

You might not like her but he does.

All you will achieve is pushing your brother away and making your relationship really awkward with him. Its not like you telling him to see her for what she is will make him say 'Oh yes you are so right I won't marry her now'.

Why do you hate her so much?

aimingtobeaperfectionist Tue 01-Jan-13 23:52:21

Why is she so bad?
Can he not decide for himself who he marries?

whistlestopcafe Tue 01-Jan-13 23:53:39

I think you need to be the adult and keep your nose out of his business.

tribpot Tue 01-Jan-13 23:54:04

I think if they have a child together, the jig is up anyway. She is always going to be a part of your family whether they marry or not.

I'm afraid your mum needs to suck it up and attend the wedding. I very much doubt that telling him to choose between her and you will result in him calling the wedding off, it will probably just cause them to feel more united against the world.

I would take a look at the ONS' latest figures on divorce rates for some comfort smile

JustAHolyFool Tue 01-Jan-13 23:57:34

I think you have to let him get on with it, unless she's cheated on him/murdered someone.

Pancakeflipper Tue 01-Jan-13 23:59:17

They have a child - she will always be in his life and yours too to a certain degree.

I think you keep out of it. I am sure she knows you cannot stand her.

Blimey, she sounds identical to my brothers ex gf.

Unfortunatly though, it is not your desicion to make, and so you cannot tell him not to marry her.

You just need to be there for him.

treesindoors Wed 02-Jan-13 00:03:50

Unless you have proof positive of a specific 'crime' - like video of her shagging his best friend or hitting their child or something - then all you can do is buy yourself a nice outfit for the day and sit at the back with a big fake smile on your face. If she's that bad and he's still with her, well, what light are you going to shed on this??

Snazzynewyear Wed 02-Jan-13 00:06:00

No, too risky. You will very likely lose him if you do. Keep quiet so that you can be there for him if it goes pear shaped.

shrimponastick Wed 02-Jan-13 00:10:04

I hear you.

Not a lot you can do. He loves her, has a child with her and sounds like he plans to spend a long time with her.

More useful would be to be a good sis, and keep friendly with him /them.

My family rarely see my DB as his wife is in charge.

CelineMcBean Wed 02-Jan-13 00:26:32

What's she done?

Unless she's torturing puppies or something awful then you need to slap on a smile and be happy for them.

SIL used to hate me, possibly still does, but tbh she had issues about her brother and wasn't always very nice or reasonable. Dh was hurt but objective and we're still together.

ihearsounds Wed 02-Jan-13 00:30:15

He loves her. he has a child with her. He chose to be with her. Unless she held a gun to his head, he willingly had sex with her, and unless he is extremely naive he must know how babies are made.
You want to destroy his happiness because you don't like her? Leave well alone. He will resent you.

bluebiscuit Wed 02-Jan-13 00:39:20

Agree that it's too late. They already have a baby, that's for life and I can't see why the wedding is relevant. She is the mother of his child and if you or your dm say anything you will compromise your relationship with db and dn. There isn't anything to be done - go to the wedding and say nothing. Be there if/when it goes bad.

expatinscotland Wed 02-Jan-13 00:50:16

You need to keep schtum.

whatwereyouthinkinof Wed 02-Jan-13 01:15:42

Actually Pancakeflipper...I'm not sure she does know I cannot stand her, she thinks that telling me that I'm a much better cook than my my mothers presence after my mother has provided a weekly Sunday dinner for her and her brood for 18 months...puts me on 'her' side.

Whistlestop-I have spent the last 18 holding my tongue and her plenty of rope to hang herself over and over again but he just smiles wearily.

MissMoo - We know that saying something outright will force him to choose and we know we cant 'win' but keeping quiet when all you can see is disaster ahead is very very difficult.

Aiming- He has a track record of 'bunny boilers' and this one takes the biscuit. Our first introduction was at the Comedy store, she was draped round his neck, I went up to greet my brother, she didnt move, so I couldnt give my usual peck on the cheek, so I just grinned and said Hi, I was introduced, she looked over her shoulder, looked me up and down, ignored my proffered hand and said 'hmmm, hello" and turned her back on me...Not a great introduction. I hasnt improved and believe me I tried to find things to like about her.
Why dont I like her. She is downright rude and disrespectful to our mother and actually encourages her older children to be rude to her and defy the rules of her house too. She walks into our home without greeting, talks incessantly, with a loud and overbearing manner, wont listen to anyone elses point of view (it is like white noise after a while)..she cant bear it when we talk about anything that happened before she came on the scene (like mentioning my late father) or about anything she doesnt have any knowledge about and changes the subject rudely and abruptly..She eats our food and then tells that she hates cooking but comments on how well or not you did it (she never invites us to my brothers house, in fact makes us feel most unwelcome when we go) She tells me how to lose weight, how to dress and how badly my dog smells. She never says thank you for any meal, or for any birthday or christmas gifts for her or her children.
She has just got out of one 'violent' marriage, telling us how she had to sleep downstairs with her children when babies to stop their crying from rousing her exs temper...yet she still went ahead and married him when they were 6 and 4 .... and recently told me that my brother has a 'dreadful temper' when he certainly didnt have in all the years before her, and when I said so she told me I didnt "know" him !!!!
She spent her 18k divorce settlement in 3 months on Botox and shoes, and then told my brother he had to buy a bigger house because his is too small now 'they' have 3 kids!
She thinks it ok for her children to swear and physically fight in my home in front of my 4yr old and their baby and not ok for me to stop them and send them to different rooms!
She thinks it is the schools job to make her children behave, not hers!
She thought it great when my brother got made redundant because they could claim x,yand z on the 'social' if they hid the money (he didnt)!
She insisted my brother did half the night shift with the non sleeping baby, napping downstairs on the sofa so they didnt disturb the older children, when she was on maternity leave and he had a 20 mile rush hour drive and an 8 hour work shift to do...only to come home to find the house in chaos. the older kids fighting while the baby lay on the play mat under their feet and she was chatting on facebook!...
Oh and one classic was when the baby was discovered to have a cleft palate and severely impaired hearing we were discussing babysign classes, she said "Oh I dont have time for that rubbish! Besides you should see the size of his willy, he wont have anything to worry about when he grows up!"

The list could go on and on

Ilovesalad - sadly I think you may have hit the nail on the head but equally I feel I cant stand by and watch my poor mother being so insulted by the bitch and heartbroken seeing her precious son being so used...only today as the little one was fighting being put in his car seat and Db was struggling a little..the GF said "oh poor baby!! Is nasty daddy fastening you down? What a horrible Daddy doing that to you!" She may have though it amusing but she is undermining him all the time!

The though of having to socialise with her for the rest of my life fills me with dread.

juniperdewdrop Wed 02-Jan-13 01:21:41

Eeek she sounds like Americans would call trailer trash.

You'll have to let him get on with it sadly. He won't listen. He may even like being the martyr? some do.

piprabbit Wed 02-Jan-13 01:32:04

I think you and your DMum need to establish some boundaries about acceptable behaviour in your homes, rather than trying to get your DB to end the relationship.

And if she is undermining your DB and his parenting, then try to find ways to support him in his choices. Don't leave him even more isolated and dependant on her than he is.

pictish Wed 02-Jan-13 01:38:20

Look...there is nothing you can say that win your brother over. He will choose her, so don't isolate him by letting rip about his harridan of a gf.

Somehow I don't think this will last. She will chew him up and spit him out in bubbles.

You just have to be there to pick up the pieces sadly.

I do sympathise with you though.

ChippingInLovesChristmasLights Wed 02-Jan-13 01:39:13

I feel for you sad

Not sure what you can do though sad Except maybe say to your brother that it would be wise to wait a while and see how things go because once they are married she'd be entitled to half his house if they divorce.

That, and as someone else suggested, look at divorce rates and pray!

Shit isn't it. My SIL is a twat too - but they have 4 kids now, so I grin & try to bear it for their sake.

Booyhoo Wed 02-Jan-13 01:41:33

sorry but your brother has a baby with her and has been seeing her 2 years. he knows what she's like. you keep your beak out. if he's making a mistake (and tbh he's already made a far bigger commitment to her than marriage by having a child with her) then it's his mistake and he has to make the decision. do you honestly think if you tell him not to marry her he will say "oh wow, i never thought of that option, thanks sis"? hmm

if you dont like her, dont have her in your home.

whatwereyouthinkinof Wed 02-Jan-13 08:27:24

Thank you to all you sympathetic ladies for your understanding responses... and sympathies in return for those of you in similar situations.

I knew the answer before I wrote the question last night, after all I have been 'sucking it up' "being an adult"and tolerating her to the best of my ability for over 2 years now... but when that "we are going to get married" blow finally fell last night and I was laying in bed unable to get it out of my head...well, you start looking anywhere and everywhere for straws to grasp to try to stop the impending disaster.

To those who say 'they already have the biggest commitment'...yes...four months of 'dating' and saying how glad she was that her childbearing duties were over and how stupid women who have a baby later in life are (I had my son a lot later than average) and the second my brother mentions that he would like a child of his own one day, she 'forgets' her pill! moves her family from her (social security) rented house into my brothers home which she has contributed not a penny (so atm she has no claim on anything at the moment)... and now she wants a new house (with her name on the mortgage) and a marriage certificate...It is just so obvious that she wants to bleed my dh of everything she can when things go wrong...she freely admits that she stayed in her former marriage far too long (apparently she and the children were in serious danger from her drug taking ex) because she was "holding out for the house" sad

Booyhoo- I dont like her in my house but I DO want to see my brother and nephew and it is almost impossible to manage to see them for our usual Sunday family dinners without her ...though her children have recently chosen to stay with a neighbour rather than join us because of our ridiculous rules about not swearing and fighting and the effrontery of expecting them to sit at the table to eat...[thanking heavens for small mercies]

As to attending the wedding ...well that is a moral dilemma I will face when and if I get invited...In faith will not be able to promise 'to support them in their marriage' when asked to in church.

And yes, to those lovely ladies who suggested I look at the divorce statistics and take hope smile...thanks, I will.

Oh, and as to being there for him when the pieces need picking up...I have had the spare room prepared for him (and the baby) since the day DN was born.

EleanorGiftbasket Wed 02-Jan-13 08:51:11

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Inertia Wed 02-Jan-13 08:53:10

Erm ... you do know that you brother is a grown up?

Do sisters actually get to give their approval in the marriage ceremony by the way? Or are you thinking of the speak now or forever hold your piece bit ? Because objecting there is just going to mark you down as a spiteful attention seeker - if you don't approve, don't go.

Given that they have a child together, wouldn't it be kinder to hope that your brother helps his wife-to-be and stepchildren to learn appropriate social behaviour, rather than hoping a family goes through another divorce?

I agree that her behaviour sounds rude , thoughtless, and often down right irresponsible. I don't think it's fair for you to minimise the effects of DV when you don't know the full story - wanting to avoid making her children homeless is understandable. The behaviour of the children sounds appalling and you are right to insist on no swearing or fighting in your home.

Your brother made a permanent link with this woman when he had a child with her. Any man having sex has to face up to the reality that a child may result from that. He was equally responsible for contraception, and for understanding that no contraception is 100% effective. His girlfriend left secure social housing to be with him, and she has his baby to care for - it's understandable that she needs security.

You clearly don't like this woman. But these are choices your brother has made.

Croccy1979 Wed 02-Jan-13 08:53:27

Do you think your bro is really that happy with her? Sounds to me like she trapped him by getting pregnant and because your bro is a decent guy (but also a bit of a doormat) he won't leave her. He probably might know that marrying her is not a great idea but is not strong enough to dig himself out of the hole he is in ..........

If that is the case (so assuming he's not actually totally in love with the woman) I'm going to go against the grain here and say talk to him (depending on what relationship you have with him). I would say that you respect his decision as an adult to marry her but you feel it's your duty to be honest about your feelings. Say you cannot attend the wedding. If your Mum talks to him too it backs up what you are saying (if it's just you it might just look like you are being spiteful).

Be prepared for your brother to fall out with you though if you do take this course of action. I know I couldn't say nothing in this situation, but that's just me.

Good luck whatever you decide.

NonnoMum Wed 02-Jan-13 09:00:32

Your brother can hardly be a knight in shining armour if he got some poor girl pregnant and brought a child into the world without the stability of a family life for that child.
(and don't give me any crap about contraception fail - we all know how it works).
HE should have married her months ago.

Croccy1979 Wed 02-Jan-13 09:05:43

I would want my family to show me the respect of being honest with me. Whether I chose to listen would be up to me.

I have made bad decisions in the past and my parents were quick to say "we always knew that wouldn't work out" when it all went wrong. So why didn't they bloody well tell me at the time!!!!

ChristabelChristmas Wed 02-Jan-13 09:10:10

She sounds horrific and I wouldn't want her in my family either. Very tricky situation as I think you probably have a point but it would get a lot worse before it got better if you told your brother your feelings.

roughtyping Wed 02-Jan-13 09:16:39

Totally agree with Eleanor. Well put.

Kahlua4me Wed 02-Jan-13 09:19:56

Have you asked him if he is happy? How does he seem? Perhaps he loves her and is happy with her behaviour.

I think you need to keep close with him and keep chatting so that he knows he can confide in you if need be. Knows that you will support him and be there for him, but don't make it obvious that you don't like her.

A friend of mine was getting married to a girl who was totally wrong for him In many ways. We tried to get him to cancel or delay the wedding, even his Dad tried the night before the wedding, but he was not listening. So we just stayed close and supported him. It ended within a year and his family were there to pick up the pieces.

I can see how you would want to stop it but cannot see how you can. Perhaps try to get him to delay it for a while. Meantime keep talking to him and try to get on with her, as that may open his eyes a little clearer too.

Kahlua4me Wed 02-Jan-13 09:22:12

Also, as croccy says, I would want my family to be honest with me and feel you should say something to him

usualsuspect3 Wed 02-Jan-13 09:23:48

What Eleanor said.

MikeOxardInTheSnow Wed 02-Jan-13 09:26:54

I agree with Eleanor too. I think there are probably two very different sides to this story.

Fairylea Wed 02-Jan-13 09:28:36

Suck it up.

She's not your kind of person. Fair enough. But your brother loves her. He has a child with her. It is none of your business.

Arithmeticulous Wed 02-Jan-13 09:29:58

You need to understand that you are not a member of the selection committee, but of the welcoming party.

Your brother has made his choice when he had a baby with her.

Whatever you say will do no good in your relationship with your brother.

All you can do is set boundaries - you don't like her walking into your house, you lock the door. Etc.

TheNebulousBoojum Wed 02-Jan-13 09:33:12

Some knights in shining armour need a partner to take care of and love and support. It sounds as if he knows her faults and flaws and loves her anyway.
Other people's relationships are odd, I have friends and relatives in combinations that would send me screaming for the hills, but they work for them. I'm sure they look at my relationship and think WTF?
Be his sister, love him and look out for him and want the best for him. Even if it isn't what you would choose.

strumpetpumpkin Wed 02-Jan-13 09:37:48

she sounds emotionally abusive. i wonder if there are any websites or booklets or ways to help him ? she sounds like a narcissist

purrpurr Wed 02-Jan-13 09:38:39

Totally agree with Eleanor, too. My SIL could have written this post. She is absolutely vile. SO two faced. Hates the ground I walk on. I inhabit Britain in 2013, not in 1950, so I'm opinionated. My DH will have to contribute to childcare whether he's at work or not because being a parent is a 24 job. Oh dear. I actually feel sorry for the "bitch". Please tell DB he shouldn't marry her so he knows exactly what the situation is.

Onezerozero Wed 02-Jan-13 09:48:20

She just sounds like she rubs you up the wrong way. Doesn't mean she is a terrible choice for your DB to have as a wife, especially if they already have a baby. You won't have to live with the woman. Mind your own business.

You sound like a very close family, you, your mum and brother. Is he younger than you? You are babying him somewhat by wanting to "help" him make the "right" choice with his fiancee. He is a grown man (right?) and has fathered a child, I think he deserves the right to make his own mind up. If the marriage is a disaster its down to them and you can still be there for him if it fails.

I was thinking a lot of what Eleanor said. You have your opinion and so does your mum, but its your brothers choice.

And I can't help but add this bit: if your brother wanted to responsibily prevent pregnancy within the relationship of 4 months, he should have taken responsibility and worn a condom.

WeAreEternal Wed 02-Jan-13 10:05:58

You have to say something to him before he buys a house with her name on the mortgage or marries her.

I didn't and it was the biggest mistake I ever made.

My DBRO is married to the biggest user i have ever met.
She seems like a nice person on the surface, she is friendly and nice to talk to, but she spends my dbros money like it is going out of fashion, she quit her job very early on to be a 'housewife' except she doesn't do anything as they have a cleaner and DBRO does all of the cooking because she won't can't cook.
DBRO has a DC from a previous relationship (who lives with him) his wife pays no attention to the child and if DB has to go away for work she either insists that she and DN go with him or has DN stay with friends/family.
She Is a massive leach.
I wish I had stopped him marrying her, she was lovely and independant before he married her.

Don't make the mistake I did, once he marries her and gives her a claim to the house that he will no doubt be paying for she will deffinitely get 100 times worse.

QuickLookBusy Wed 02-Jan-13 10:07:46

Does your db seem happy?

MrsMushroom Wed 02-Jan-13 10:08:06

They already have a baby together...he's done the most major commitment thing that you can do with someone....leave them alone.

larrygrylls Wed 02-Jan-13 10:12:12

She sounds rude, insensitive and entitled to me.

I will go against the majority and say that you should at least provide your brother an opportunity to express any reservations about his relationship and proposed marriage. This may take the form of asking him if he has any reservations about getting married or asking him if there is anything he would like to speak to you about. I feel that everyone biting their tongue, and even inviting her around to family lunches where she is rude about the cooking, encourages your brother to believe that she has been fully accepted by the family and to put his own reservations (of which he may have many) to one side. It would be unfair on him to allow him to go forward and get married without at least mentioning that both you and your mother have some reservations.

Of course, it will be a tough conversation. However, if handled sensitively, it need not push him into making a choice between her and his birth family. You may well find it is just the opportunity he needs to make a break that he is too frightened to make for himself. As for the "abuse" angle, it sounds as if he is being emotionally abused and has lost confidence in standing up for what he believes in. As for her being an "abuse survivor"; well maybe. There are a lot of people very happy to make up whatever story will get them the most favourable attention. And if she is saying the mild mannered brother you know suddenly has a temper, there may be a good reason for it.

So, try to bring it up sensitively, and if he still insists on going ahead, then you will have to suck it up and bite your tongue.

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Wed 02-Jan-13 10:21:16

You really sound like a piece of work.

You sound possessive of your brother, and it seems you have never liked any of his girlfriends.

You see him as weak and vulnerable to predatory women.

With an overbearing sister who thinks she gets to run his life, I'm not surprised.

Snazzynewyear Wed 02-Jan-13 10:24:03

OP, you've said 'He has a track record of 'bunny boilers' and this one takes the biscuit' - so your brother clearly gets something out of relationships like this. Not to say they are totally healthy but then that's often the point - sometimes people still choose options that aren't great for them in some ways because there is some other psychological 'payback' for them. It takes two to tango and your brother is choosing to be in this situation.

You have to let him make his own choices. Where you do have a say is in how their behaviour affects you directly - ie the kids' behaviour at your house, the way you respond to what happens at your mother's house. As Arithmeticulous has said, set your boundaries there. But you have to let your brother set his own.

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Wed 02-Jan-13 10:29:18

"OP, you've said 'He has a track record of 'bunny boilers' and this one takes the biscuit' - so your brother clearly gets something out of relationships like this."

Or maybe the problem is with the person who perceives all her brother's girlfriends to be "bunny boilers" (nasty, misogynist phrase).

larrygrylls Wed 02-Jan-13 10:34:36


I don't know why you are hammering the OP. She is clearly NOT an overbearing sister. She has accepted all her brother's girlfriends to date and has not even said anything about her reservations about the current one so far. She cooks for them and has them to her house. I don't think that could be further from an overbearing sister.

She is clearly concerned her younger brother is making a big mistake and, even now, is canvassing others' opinions on whether she should broach the subject.

Some nice guys are vulnerable to predatory women just the same as some women are vulnerable to predatory men (just look at the threads on MN where people go from one abuser to the next). It is true that some co-dependent relationships have a very unhealthy dynamic and maybe are not amenable to being influenced externally. On the other hand, it is perfectly reasonable for a loving sibling to want to protect someone from a big mistake.

I really cannot see anything wrong with sensitively broaching the subject. If she then gets knocked back, she will have to leave it. But, not to try at all, and to discover years later that he just needed a nudge to call it a day, would be devastating for someone who loved their brother.

RumbleGreen Wed 02-Jan-13 10:53:28

I would ask if he is happy in his relationship, if yes then I would keep quiet if no the I would say something.

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Wed 02-Jan-13 10:54:25

As far as I can see, if this poor bastard is in an emotionally abusive relationship it is because that is what he was modelled at home.

Thinking all your brother's girlfriends are evil bitches he needs to protected from says a lot about your desire to dominate him, even if you (claim you) said nothing.

Read the bit about their introduction, and how she was "draped" over her boyfriend and didn't stand aside so his sister could give her customary kiss.

It reads like the OP needed to mark her territory.

How was a new girlfriend supposed to know there was a "customary" kiss that she needed to stand aside for?

And the list of complaints seems to include a lot of stuff that are just sexist nit picking - how they split chores, including night waking is a matter for them and no indication of abuse.

The inverted commas around "violent" to describe her previously abusive relationship is really fucking horrible.

FlojoHoHoHo Wed 02-Jan-13 10:57:14

So to balance this what is your DB like? "knight in shining armour" sounds very 'rose coloured glasses' to me.
As others have said, she has 3 DCs to think of, I don't blame her for wanting the security of marriage and a home in her name. She gave up her council house, that was very brave, a huge commitment to your DB, as was having another baby, probably a decision she didn't take lightly. What sacrifices has your brother made? He hasn't had to move, still goes to work etc etc.
Yes she sounds a bit rough but your DB obviously likes that in a woman. It's hardly a hanging offense.

strumpetpumpkin Wed 02-Jan-13 10:57:57

if the sexes were reversed, everyone would be screaming RED FLAGS

larrygrylls Wed 02-Jan-13 11:01:41

"It reads like the OP needed to mark her territory."

Quite the reverse. When a new partner meets a family member for the first time, it is customary to make space for the family member. Staying draped over a new bf/gf is EXACTLY like marking one's territory. It is saying (in this case) "stay away, I own him now". Anyone with grace or manners separates from their new partner to greet a member of his/her birth family and defers to the original and still far more important relationship.

I think "bunny boilerish" is a great description of this kind of person. There is nothing misogynist about it. It refers to someone who cannot respect boundaries and thinks that having sex with someone gives you ownership rights. Its general use is, sadly, sexist as there are plenty of "bunny boilers" of both sexes.

Hi OP, I've been in your shoes and would say something, but in a supportive are-you-happy kind of way rather than all guns blazing 'you shouldn't marry her'. My battery is about to go but I'll be back on later. You have my sympathy, it's a difficult situation to be in.

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Wed 02-Jan-13 11:04:05

you sound HORRIBLE now OP!

during the mat leave most men frequently come home to a "house in chaos" and that includes families of 3!

I think you missed my original point too, I meant that maybe you and your DM are dominant and "own" him and he might actually quite enjoy bringing someone round that speaks up to you both a bit! especially if he is your doormat "knight in shining armour"-- hmm

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Wed 02-Jan-13 11:05:01

If the sexes were reversed and a woman's brother was posting about how he and her father never liked any of her partners and that she needed them to protect her from marrying the man she loved, yes people would be talking about red flags.

pictish Wed 02-Jan-13 11:06:49

I agree larry

My bil (dh's brother) was sucked in, chewed up and spat out by his first wife.
He is vulnerable in many ways. He's a sucker for a sob story, and has all the common sense of a toddler. He has a long history of making stupid choices and getting burned, then suffering crashing depression.

Anyway, he picked up this horror online, and brought her over here from the States to marry her. An hour in her company and every alarm bell was clanging. She was quite clearly a total fantasist, and he just sat there with eyes like saucers lapping up every drop of bullshit as the gospel truth. The lies were incredible.

What with one thing and another she went back to the states, and he sent her money...lots and lots of money. He visited frequently but was not allowed to stay with his wife, as her parents did not approve of him. So he stayed in a hotel.

I could type for an hour about the sly, manipulative fabrications she pedalled out to keep the money coming in.

Eventually he was broke, and couldn't do any more. She divorced him.

Right at the beginning we tried to talk him out of the marriage, as we could see her exactly for what she was...she wasn't very good at hiding it.
He dug his heels in, and didn't speak to dh or I for three years...the duration of his relationship with her.

He has now (about 5 years later) f=got another one on the go...from Argentina. However, though she is clearly an oddball, so is he and they make a nice couple. He's not giving her any money, and she comes over to stay with him, and he visits her too. It all seems kosher.

He still describes his first wife as "the most compelling and intelligent woman I have ever met" though.

She was neither of those things...she was a monster.

There is no helping some people. Very frustrating when it's someone you care about. Don't make the mistake we did, and try to intervene. He will choose her.

Just sit tight and hope she fucking fucks off asap.

whatwereyouthinkinof Wed 02-Jan-13 11:15:26

Eleanor...yes she is an abuse survivor and I tried very hard to have sympathy and understanding...but I know her exs previous gf and his current one have never seen any sign of aggression from him ... and if anyone should know the limits of a younger brothers temper it is a torment of an older sister.
I'm sorry but I would not keep my children in a potentially dangerous home no matter how much I wanted the house ... but finding nothing admirable in exposing them further to a violent man must mean I'm a coward as well as obviously a snob (ffs)..
She comes from a middleclass family actually (though that revelation was a shock to everyone!) .. She was so abusive and violent to her mother that her father kicked her out when she was 18...She brags about how she was a 'wild child' and tried 'everything'...(and thinks it acceptable that her children 'defiantely will too') . If she is 'common' it is by inclination, not upbringing...She moved in with her ex and had 2 children with him, and THEN married him despite knowing for 6 years how violent he was!...She chose to marry a man who had already exhibited violence towards her, it was not something that only occurred after she sanctified their union. She never speaks of him expressing fear... only aggression in equal measure. she claims that she finds the smacking of children abhorrent and was horrified that my mother had smacked me as a toddler (different era and she only did it dangerous situations) to the point of refusing my Mums offer to sit with baby (in their home) so she could get a few hours sleep...Yet she had to be restrained from attacking her older daughter with scissors!!
I do not believe I have ever been critical of anyone forced to claim benefits...I do NOT however approve of anyone even suggesting defrauding the system by hiding redundancy money in order to claim benefits intended for people genuinely in need.
As to expecting DB to help with his son...DB more than does his share of the parenting....but to expect anyone to sit up for 4 or 5 hours a night (not an exaggeration..the baby doesnt sleep for more than 20 mins at a time) when he has a 20mile busy m'way drive to do early in the morning and has no chance of catching cat nap when baby does during the day is irresponsible (and his falling asleep at his desk is probably the reason he was made redundant..just lucky it was only the desk he fell asleep at, not the wheel of the car!).... and I DO understand how hard it is as I had exactly the same problem with an unsleeping baby myself until 2 years ago, but as I was safe at home with my baby all day, and as my Dh had a long drive and a high concentration job too, I didnt think for one minute of asking him to do more than the occasional ebm night feed ... But perhaps I should have risked him having an accident so I could catch up on my sleep for the 2+ years my DS didnt sleep through...
Oh and as to being prepared to pick up the pieces? I'm sure Jesus would have wept if I had no room for him when she finally makes it impossible for him to live in his own home....or do you think that anticipating disaster is willing it?
I havent met you, so shouldnt judge...but as you have deemed me a Hyacinth Bucket on equal evidence I may not feel so guilty when saying that your response reads much very like you and my potential SIL (shudders) would get along very well.

Inertia- In our church the congragation are asked to support the couple in their marriage and we are expected to respond 'yes'...I would have difficulty in saying that. Yes, he is a grown up... a meticulous, hard worker, a gentleman with a strong sense of responsibility and honour but a sucker for a sob story and has something of the martyr complex someone mentioned earlier on the thread and I freely admit I have never got out of the 'watching out for him' big sister mode.... It is part of "being family" as far as my family are concerned.

Croccy- No, I dont think he loves her...he was attracted by her physique, her neediness and to a certain extent her forthright attititude (Mum is quite forthright... but has always tempered it with impeccable manners and a good dose of plain old common sense) Thank you for having the courage to say you would speak up ...I am so tempted...If it was just me who would lose out I am certain I would go against all the sage advice of the more lovely ladies on here but my Ds adores his uncle and cousin and my Dh gets on really well with him.... Seeing my poor Mum torn apart with anguish over the situation and biting her own forthright tongue until it bleeds is awful to watch...but if we fall out who will be there to catch him when it all goes horribly wrong? But it is wonderful for me to read your response and know that someone else understands. Thank you.

NonoMum- Honestly????? You TRULY believe that having an 'accident' (HER words, not his or mine!) very early in a relationship, taking financial responsibility not only for the baby, but taking her and her violent rude children all into his home and supporting, (feeding & clothing them all as their father refuses to pay maintainance) being a hands on father to his child (even though he isnt 'allowed' to criticise or dicipline her older two) and having his relationship with his blood relations severely curtailed because she hates the fact that we are a close family, and hers' isn't, is NOT enough???? You think he should marry her, commit to her before God and serve a life sentence ????? You think she should hold his son over him to make him bow to her every command 'until death' ??? REALLY???? Big fan of hanging drawing and quartering too?

ILoveSaladReallyIDo Wed 02-Jan-13 11:18:47

"..but I know her exs previous gf and his current one have never seen any sign of aggression from him .."

FFS angry, have you never heard the term "street angel house devil"???
do you expect abusers to be easy to spot from the outside? do they walk around with food stained wife-beater vests and dirty stubble???? WTF OP???

you sound viler with every post OP, with the first one I thought, hmm could go either way, but not now.

Snorbs Wed 02-Jan-13 11:20:05

She sounds like the female equivalent of a cock-lodger.

pictish Wed 02-Jan-13 11:22:29

I understand OP. I do.

Like us at the time of bil's mad adventure, we fumed over every incident of her awfulness...of which there were many.

I am telling you now, with hindsight - you are too involved. He will choose her.

Remove yourself from the intricacies of their relationship. It is only going to eat you up. They will carry on regardless.

pictish Wed 02-Jan-13 11:23:58

I agree that the OP has a closed opinin when it comes to her brother...but I do not think she is anything approaching vile.
There is no need for that.

FlojoHoHoHo Wed 02-Jan-13 11:30:05

Having his relationship with his blood relatives curtailed. In other words she's told him now he has a baby he needs to spend more time at home not hanging around his mums house?

SaskiaRembrandtVampireHunter Wed 02-Jan-13 11:36:11

I agree OP, you aren't vile, but you do sound to be far too involved in your brother's life. He's an adult so should be capable of making his own choices without the involvement of his mother and sister. He chose to get involved with this woman, he chose to have a child with her, he chose to move her and her older children into his house, and now he's choosing to marry her. It really is none of your business.

You say he doesn't love her, but really that's incredibly presumptuous. You've also been critical of his previous girlfriends, so this isn't a one-off. How would you feel if your brother suddenly revealed similarly negative feelings about your DH?

Stay out of their relationship. Maybe it won't work out, and he'll end up in your spare room (it is odd that you've been keeping that ready for him), or maybe they'll happily grow old together. Either way, it's up to him.

SleighbellsRingInYourLife Wed 02-Jan-13 11:37:32

"if anyone should know the limits of a younger brothers temper it is a torment of an older sister."


"She moved in with her ex and had 2 children with him, and THEN married him despite knowing for 6 years how violent he was!...She chose to marry a man who had already exhibited violence towards her, it was not something that only occurred after she sanctified their union."

So it was really all her fault that he hit her.

"I freely admit I have never got out of the 'watching out for him' big sister mode.... It is part of "being family" as far as my family are concerned."

As far as your abusive-sounding family dynamic goes, that might be normal.

But in happier families we let our little brothers grow up and support them in their life choices.

You seem to have an opinion on every little thing they do and have an astonishing level of knowledge of how they organise their time.

JustFabulous Wed 02-Jan-13 11:52:14

Maybe she married her ex after the violence so she would get something?

Maybe she is marrying your brother so she can divorce him and take half?

Maybe she is marrying him because she loves him?

I would say, you have difficulty saying congratulations as you feel she treats him badly but if it is what he really wants then you will be there for him.

whatwereyouthinkinof Wed 02-Jan-13 11:57:55

Hmmm..well the thread fairly moved on apace while I was typing and playing with my DS.
Thank you for the fabulous understanding responses Christabel et all... for all those who tried to give support in either direction of the 'to speak or not to speak' question...interesting that those who say 'speak' have mostly been in the same situation themselves.
For those jumping on the character assasination bandwagon, thank you for reminding me why I stopped using Mumsnet as a sounding board at midnight when I couldnt sleep for worry....and why I probably won't bother again...I mean, come on! criticise our family dynamic because we CARE! I genuinely hope you don't have to face such a situation in 20-30 years time with your childrens choices !!!
For the record I said my DB had a history of chosing bunny boilers...not that they were ALL bunny boilers...the one that stabbed his best friend was a bit of one... and the one one that had injunctions out on 3 neighbours, 2 cases of workplace bullying/constructive dismissal pending and caused her neighbour to commit ABH on my brother while they were together and then stalked him for 2 years after they split was quite bad...but whether you believe me or not I NEVER said a word against either of them! I even invited one of them to my wedding and spent more time helping her choose her dress than I did mine!.... He actually also had some rather nice GFs who I also didnt say anything for or against (despite hoping that one in particular was 'the one' for him because she was great fun) but who were probably not needy enough for him.

rechargemybatteries Wed 02-Jan-13 11:59:18

What sort of church do you belong to? And the phrase "sanctified their union" sounds odd in this day and age, would you and your family be fairly evangenical/full-on Christians?

pictish Wed 02-Jan-13 11:59:20

OP - I have to say...your role of big sister certainly does not make you the authority on how your brother conducts himself as a partner. The dynamic is completely different.
Lots of abusive people are able to convince their loved ones that they are as pure as the driven snow.

I'm nopt saying your brother is secretly abusive...I don't think he is. I just think your watertight opinions about him and his gf are foolhardy. You think you know the score...but you may not.

You are too involved. The room ready for him at yours is inappropriate.

usualsuspect3 Wed 02-Jan-13 12:00:42

I think you need to step back from your brothers relationships TBH.

You sound a bit obsessed to me.

HeyHoHereWeGo Wed 02-Jan-13 12:06:10

Oh I was just logging in to talk to you,
I cannot understand why people have jumped on you, bored people who only use AIBU and just pile on board with the "majority" view of any thread perhaps?
I feel for you OP, I would say something to your DP.
I have been in this situation.
Worse case is not that she takes him for all his money and leaves him.
Worse case is they stay together but she takes all his money, totally alienates him from his friends and family, and leaves him a broken man who is convinced that she is wonderful/ stressed/just misunderstood and that his family are out to get him.

So I would talk to him. Try not to directly criticise her in any way that he could quote back at you.
But try to say that the relationship seems hard work, and does he feel he gets the love and companionship and respect and fun that he should get etc etc
State that even good men and devoted fathers separate from the mothers.
If he feels that he is better able to protect the children if he is in the same house as her, help him to see that the child would be better off having at least one fully functional happy and warm house hold.

You may as welll, as if he marries her you will barely see him in a few years time so in actual fact you have very little to lose.

Good luck OP.

Snazzynewyear Wed 02-Jan-13 12:09:18

HeyHoHereWeGo It' a very tricky thing to get right though. If the OP says too much or steps over the line now she will lose her brother straight away. As people have said here already he will choose his partner if pushed. It's what happens in these situations.

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

Actually are not. Perhaps I read too many historical novels in my youth.

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.

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

Is this for real?

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

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


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.

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

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

Juniper. Thankyou.

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.

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.

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."

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.

I think Snorbs is spot on.

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.

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 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....

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" 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?

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

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?

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.

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.

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.

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 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

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." 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...

First marriage I meant. Doh!

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

Thisisaeuphemism I did wonder grin

Good luck with the chat OP.

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..)

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