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Sibling’s death and aftermath

(35 Posts)
TerracottaDream Thu 21-Feb-19 13:51:18

My brother left my sister-in-law and two children for another woman and within 18 months had died.
It was just devastating.
I tried to maintain a relationship with my sister-in-law with whom I had been close but she just withdrew we see her only occasionally now as her son is in the same club.
I see my other brother and get on well but he tends to leave arrangements to his wife. By sheer coincidence I bumped into him at a leisure centre thing and we went for coffee.
He refuses to see my sister-in-law and has not invited our niece to his daughter’s party as it upsets him ... ok I get that but then he said he feels that to have a relationship with our sister-in-law is a betrayal of our brother because he left her.
He and his wife do however have an ongoing relationship with the other woman.
Who they have a relationship with is obviously none of my business but am I unreasonable to be so upset? I am as bad this week as when he died.

Namechangeforthiscancershit Thu 21-Feb-19 13:53:10

Obviously you are not being U to be grieving your brother. That is a terrible thing to go through. flowers

I wouldn’t get involved in who your other brother does and doesn’t see. You do what is right for you and don’t give it any thought.

Onceuponacheesecake Thu 21-Feb-19 14:00:38

Oh of course YANBU. I think it's a strange way for him to view it, it's his nieces mother. She is family, no matter what now. It's a awful time for all of you, it would be nice to think you could all support eachother. Sorry for your loss opflowers

Lizzie48 Thu 21-Feb-19 14:09:10

Firstly, I'm really sorry about the loss of your brother, that really is tragic. thanks

It's lovely that you want to stay in touch with your former SIL, her DD is your brother's DD as well, and it would be really sad if she were to lose touch with her dad's family.

But you can't push your other brother into seeing things the same way as you. I suspect it's just too painful for him right now, but he might come round once he comes to terms with the loss of his brother.

TerracottaDream Thu 21-Feb-19 14:11:26

The thing is I feel like some narcissist. I just can’t imagine anyone especially my brother should have a view that is so different from mine and I hate myself for feeling this way.
He praised the other woman for her ‘transparency ‘ in her dealings with my brother’s estate. I wanted to explode. I know it’s none of my business but this is how I feel.

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Thu 21-Feb-19 14:11:56

What happened to your DBs new partner? (Out of curiosity, sorry, I freely admit I'm nosey) Did she and DB have children together?

You say other DB & SIL maintain a relationship with the new partner, and I'll be shot for the temerity to suggest all was not well in DB&SILS realtionship, thats why he left her. Perhaps the two DBs had a close relationship nd DB knows the back story , this is why he wants nothing to do with ex SIL ??

Does ex SIL still want to have a relationship with her ex-inlaws? thats the pivotal question.

Some people really just dont have close sibling relationships - did you see DB x2 and their partners before DB passed away? was it normal to invite all nephews and nieces to parties?

If you want to keep familial links open, thats your prerogative, but also it will depend on SIL won't it? But you cant force remaining DB to do so.

Sorry you are going through this, it must be hellish

TerracottaDream Thu 21-Feb-19 14:21:29

I absolutely know that this is none of my business. My brother married the first woman he went out with. Both lovely people who loved their kids but they were too young but in stead of ending the marriage ‘honourably’ he began an affair which had been going on for a good couple of years before he told sister-in-law.
He had no children with his second partner.
It was common certainly to invite the near in age cousins to parties.
I know it’s silly but I can’t come to terms with how he can keep in touch with her who knowingly slept with a married man... I know it’s my late brother’s fault as well.
What I am finding hard is my ‘unreasonable’ and illogical feelings.

WhiteCat1704 Thu 21-Feb-19 14:21:41

Well it all depends on why did your brother leave your (ex?)SIL and how bad their relationship truly was.
I assume the new women become his wife if she was dealing with his estate?

I think I'm with your brother regarding loyalty to the deceased brother. It's shit for the children but if there is conflict/bad feeling with their mother I understand why your brother doesn't pursue the relationship.

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Thu 21-Feb-19 14:26:03

I know it’s silly but I can’t come to terms with how he can keep in touch with her who knowingly slept with a married man... I know it’s my late brother’s fault as well You're judging. She obviously made your DB very happy in his last months. And your remaining DB wants to hang on to that.

There must have been something deeply wrong in his marriage, happy people dont stray. You werent living his life, and none of us know what goes on behind closed doors. See enough of it on here, threats to withhold access, to commit suicide, to take every penny etc etc. Im guessing your other brother probably has a little more insight into the breakdown of the marriage.

Shame about the niece and nephew, are they very old?

cjt110 Thu 21-Feb-19 14:27:09

Have you had any form of grief counselling @TerracottaDream. It may help you to get these feelings out of your head, have a sot through - release some, keep some and work it through.

The little experience I have of bereavement is that it turns even the most functional people into dysfunctional ones whilst they all work through their feelings.

I know 14 years on that it affected me so much so that I shut down and lock people out. Make it feel almost as though it didn't happen - was a fairytale. My Mum still cries, openly.

We all deal with grief in such a variety of ways. Deal with your own. Do not let your brother's feelings for his brother impact on you and yours. You can still love and care about them all without needing them to reciprocate to one another.

Be kind to yourself flowers.

diddl Thu 21-Feb-19 14:28:16

"but then he said he feels that to have a relationship with our sister-in-law is a betrayal of our brother because he left her. "

But didn't your brother continue to have some sort of relationship with her because of his kids?

So they have lost their father & now an uncle is cutting them out?

Armadillostoes Thu 21-Feb-19 14:31:44

Plainspeaking-YOU appear to be the one judging here! And if the IP is judging, why shouldn't she? Lots of people believe that both parties to adultery deserve to be judged for it. You might not, but it is a legitimate point of view to hold all the same.

OP YANBU for your feelings. It is lovely of you to care so much about your SIL and niece. Your brother is being odd, but grief can do that.

WhiteCat1704 Thu 21-Feb-19 14:39:20

It is lovely of you to care so much about your SIL and niece. Your brother is being odd, but grief can do that.

It's not lovely if the SIL was abusive, toxic and made her brother miserable. The other brother might know much more about the situation rather than grief making him act "odd".

pallisers Thu 21-Feb-19 14:42:13

There must have been something deeply wrong in his marriage, happy people dont stray.

You are remarkably naive.

And no idea where you posted all the fictional shit about the first wife. The OP explained exactly why the marriage ended.

OP, if I were you I would try to stay in touch with your SIL without overwhelming her - especially for the sake of her and your children. you can't do anything about your other brother's attitude. I suspect your upset at him is wrapped up in your grief (and maybe his reaction is part of the same)

pallisers Thu 21-Feb-19 14:43:56

It's not lovely if the SIL was abusive, toxic and made her brother miserable. The other brother might know much more about the situation rather than grief making him act "odd".

Why don't you just read what the OP posts?

I wonder why posters are anxious to excuse a man having an affair by saying the woman he cheated on must have been abusive, toxic etc. strange really

madroid Thu 21-Feb-19 14:44:48

Don't be so hard on yourself OP. Let your feelings come and go. Don't judge them or repress them. Just let them wash through you.

When you are ready they will clarify into something you feel ok about.

Take care of yourself.

CripsSandwiches Thu 21-Feb-19 14:50:33

Of course YANBU. I would just leave your other brother to it. I don't think you'll change his mind. Of course it would be lovely if you could have a close relationship with your late brother's ex and your DNs. I hope it all works out in that respect.

In terms of how you feel yes I think it's normal grief ca. Hit you really hard during certain times then other times you can feel really positive and manage really well.

ALadyofLetters Thu 21-Feb-19 14:52:58

I think you should do what feels right to you and not concern yourself too much with what your other brother does.

My brother died and it is complex when you loved someone but really disliked some things they did. A person dying young doesn’t suddenly make them perfect people.

If you want to pursue a relationship with your neice and former sil then do. It isn’t a betrayal of your brother in any way.

Shelbybear Thu 21-Feb-19 14:53:46

So sad because he isn't think about that little girl, his niece. Who has been left without a dad. Would be nice if he spent more time with her.

I totally get where your coming from. I think it's a bit strange how your brother is behaving. Yes he may no like his ex sister in law, for whatever reasons. He shouldn't punish his niece for it.

MarieIVanArkleStinks Thu 21-Feb-19 14:54:50

Condolences on the death of your brother. What a devastating situation for you all xxx

BreakYourselfAgainstMyStones Thu 21-Feb-19 14:57:59

If you SIL basically cut you out, she likely did the same to him.

He is probably clinging onto their realtionship with the woman he left your SIL for to feel closer to your brother.

Grief is a very odd and very individual thing, you and your DB are reacting differently, and there's no right or wrong with what either of you are doing really.

Is there possibly an element of you believing your brother would still be here if he hadn't been with the other woman as well?

I'm sorry that you have to miss him flowers be gentle on yourself, it's a long road that lasts a lifetime, there's no hurry to process your feelings at all.

ImNotKitten Thu 21-Feb-19 15:01:27

That is beyond awful. I can’t believe your surviving brother has turned his back on his niece and nephew at a time when they need family more than ever. The fact they do want a relationship with the OW is another bizarre twist. You can’t make them socialise with your SIL but that would really upset me too.

NoCauseRebel Thu 21-Feb-19 15:06:35

Did your brother have a relationship with xsil prior to your brother’s death? Because if not this would go some way towards explaining how he is acting now.

Regardless of the rights and wrongs of how they got together, your brother was in a relationship with someone else at the time of his death. She was your brother’s partner and not your SIL. Whatever the reasons they were together, the fact is they were together and he and your sil weren’t. As such your brother clearly feels that he would like to maintain a relationship with her and not your SIL.

And clearly your sil feels that she doesn’t want to maintain a relationship with you all and didn’t even before your brother died? Sadly this isn’t unusual even when the couple are still together at the time of death.

There is no right or wrong in this situation. Your brother’s feelings are what they are and so are yours. He’s not wrong to maintain a relationship with your brother’s partner and you’re not wrong to want to maintain a relationship with his ex. You just need to both do things in a way which works for you as individuals.

downcasteyes Thu 21-Feb-19 15:14:11

You aren't being unreasonable to be upset, and personally I agree with you that it's weird to say that you can't have a relationship with your SIL because it is a betrayal of your brother. If nothing else, she's the mother of his kids, who are still part of the family.

However, everyone needs to negotiate their own way through a difficult and complex emotional situation like this. Your brother has his solution, but yours doesn't have to be the same. As an adult, you can make your own relationship with the SIL, which doesn't need to depend on anyone else's views (except hers, obviously).

flowers for your loss. Remember that grief is really complicated and can often involve a whole mix of really difficult emotions, including anger, confusion and hurt. Be gentle to yourself.

MadMum101 Thu 21-Feb-19 15:18:09

Your poor SIL and her children. I hope you try to keep them in your life unlike your horrible brother. YANBU to be unsettled by your family's stance on this. Those DC have lost their Dad. They should be offering as much support as possible not ostracising them whilst being pally with the person 50% responsible for breaking up their family!

Were his wife and children left anything in your brothers estate that his OW executed?

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