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AIBU to think this is rude?

(37 Posts)
BumpBundle Tue 02-Jun-20 07:40:55

My brother and SIL (not married) have been together for about four years and moved abroad just over a year and a half ago (to where she's from). We know that she uses his social media and sometimes messages us from his account as if it's him.
We've always been a bit concerned about how controlling she is of him. For example, he's only allowed to eat two biscuits per day and no other snacks and she bought a cat even though he's allergic to them and they both just insist he's no longer allergic (but we can see his eyes and nose streaming on FaceTime). We know that there is violence in their relationship and when I called him when my son was born we could hear her screaming and swearing at him in the background (in fact, the whole hospital ward could hear) when she didn't know he was on a call.
My sister and her partner split for a while around the time my brother and his partner got together but they're back together now. A couple of days ago, he showed my sister a picture of my brother that SIL had posted on Facebook - but my sister couldn't see it on her Facebook. It appears that she's blocked me, my sister, my mum, my husband, my stepdad and my brother from seeing anything she posts about my brother - for their entire relationship. Because he's tagged in them, it means that we've been blocked from his account too. But, we can see some of the things that she's posted so she's changing these settings regularly (so she didn't just set it once and forget about it, she's reblocking us).
There's never been any animosity between the family and her, although we are concerned that she's controlling, we also know that my brother is an adult and that he can make his own decisions. We make sure we're there if he needs us and to just keep an eye but also know that no relationship is perfect and that it's his choice.
My other brother and his girlfriend broke up around six months ago, and since then, SIL has "liked" every post she's posted, every profile photo change and every cover photo change - she didn't like any before they broke up. They live in different countries and have never met in person.
AIBU to think it's strange, odd and rude to block us from seeing posts about our brother (especially when we can see all her posts that aren't about our brother)? AIBU to be pretty sure she's blocked us from his account too because we know she's frequently on his account and posts/messages as if she's him - and he almost never uses Facebook himself so it's unlikely he would notice.
What should I do? Should I bring it up or not? Given that he lives so far away, it would be nice to see what he gets up to like that...

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HeyDuggeesCakeBadge Tue 02-Jun-20 07:49:05

Oh OP that sounds so difficult. It's sounds really worrying for you - do you get chance to speak to him alone? Could you mention that you worry for him? Or alternatively, just say you miss him and are always here to talk - it maybe like a lot of DV victims that he feels ashamed and embarassed, yoy don't want to push him further away. To be honest, you may have to just wait it out and know you are always there for him and hope he leaves at some point. Just don't allow her to drive a wedge between you.

BumpBundle Tue 02-Jun-20 09:47:05

@HeyDuggeesCakeBadge None of us have spoken to him alone since he moved abroad which is a bit concerning. We called him once when he was at work and she was also there (she doesn't work there so thought that was odd) but we obviously don't make a habit of calling him at work.
It's tough because I don't want to jump to conclusions but I feel like her behaviour has no other alternatives. I feel like bringing it up could cause animosity but also that not mentioning anything is creating tension. I have no idea what's right here.
As this has been happening since the start of their relationship, I feel like it can't be something we've done personally. She blocked us from seeing every post she's ever posted about him.

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OnlyJudyCanJudgeMe Tue 02-Jun-20 09:50:55

No it’s not rude. It’s her Facebook and she can block you all if she chooses to.
HOWEVER that relationship is far from normal (as you’re well aware). All you can do is try and be there for your brother as much as you can considering the distance.
I’m sorry this is all happening.

HollowTalk Tue 02-Jun-20 09:53:05

Do you have a work email address for him? I'd be tempted to write to him that way, though not if he's working from home right now.

BumpBundle Tue 02-Jun-20 09:54:44

@OnlyJudyCanJudgeMe First of all, I love your name - big JJ fan here! Also, I mainly think it's rude if she's blocked us on his settings. If we were only blocked on hers then we could still see things he's tagged in. It means I can still see all her posts about Trump and the wildfires and her film reviews but nothing on my brother. She also blocked me from seeing her birthday fundraising thing but didn't block my husband - and my mum actually donated...very weird that you'd block people from seeing a fundraising post!

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BumpBundle Tue 02-Jun-20 09:55:53

@HollowTalk I doubt that he even has a work email address to be honest - but good suggestion.

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MustGetOutofBed Tue 02-Jun-20 09:59:02

It's more than rude, it's very worrying - your poor brother. It's hard for anyone, especially men, to admit they're in an abusive relationship, all you can do right now is let him know you're there for him whenever he needs you.

HeyDuggeesCakeBadge Tue 02-Jun-20 10:00:42

I would be tempted to send a postcard, letter maybe, keep texting (obviously not in a harassing way) but just so he knows he's not alone and you are there. I honestly think if you raised the issue of Facebook its going to look petty and he'll pull away further. Just try and let him know you are here for him.

Nymeriastark1 Tue 02-Jun-20 10:03:42

I'd be more worried about the domestic abuse than the Facebook stuff. You seem more concerned about the Facebook stuff. That's how it's coming across anyway. Try and contact your brother another way by letter maybe ? Ask if he's ok and if he needs help. I don't know what else you can do since he lives in another country.

BumpBundle Tue 02-Jun-20 10:09:54

@Nymeriastark1 It's definitely not that I'm more concerned about Facebook, it's just that we've made clear to him that we love him and support him, we're in regular contact and he knows we'd do anything he needs. There's not much more we can reasonably do without the risk of pushing him away or making things worse.
I only mentioned the control issues because I think it's relevant to her blocking us on Facebook. To be clear that it's not because of anything we've previously posted or anything (because she's blocked us from the start). I know it's only Facebook but I feel like it says something more about what's going on.

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Nottherealslimshady Tue 02-Jun-20 10:13:24

I'd be very worried about your brother. Fi shes blocked you all from his facebook then he also wouldn't see anything from any of you and may even think you've blocked him. I'd call him at work tbh and ask him about it and remind him you're there for him

DurhamDurham Tue 02-Jun-20 10:16:57

I think I'd be much more worried about the controlling behaviour and violence rather than what she's doing with her FB account. Try to keep the lines of communication open for your brother so that he knows that his family are there for him and can provide support when he needs it. Forget about FB, it's not important.

BumpBundle Tue 02-Jun-20 10:25:41

@Nottherealslimshady She hasn't blocked our accounts, she's just set her privacy settings on posts so that we can't see them - but she only seems to do this on posts about our brother, not on everything. You know how you can set to "public" or "just friends", there's an option to exclude specific people and she's set that so we can't see. We can still message, she can still see all our posts, we can see everything except the posts she's actively blocked us from seeing.
@DurhamDurham We speak almost daily on our group chat but it's sometimes difficult to know whether it's him or her - and sometimes it's very obvious that it's her. We don't really get an option to speak to him without her there because it's not as if we can ask her to go away without being very rude.

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justanotherneighinparadise Tue 02-Jun-20 10:30:18

How about Facetiming him?

Artartart Tue 02-Jun-20 10:35:47

The Facebook stuff itself is just odd. People do strange stuff on social media. But the other stuff sounds controlling if not abusive. You need to have a conversation with your brother. (without her in the background)

Artartart Tue 02-Jun-20 10:36:50

Perhaps say it's something personal about you and you need to video call him.

BumpBundle Tue 02-Jun-20 10:37:53

@justanotherneighinparadise We do FaceTime but she's always there.
@Artartart I don't know how we could talk to him without her there...they live together, she's always there. If we ask her to go away then it's obviously rude and will cause more problems.

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KelpHelper Tue 02-Jun-20 10:50:02

Is there a possibility you're over-reading the situation as abuse? How do you know about the 'no snacks' (but two biscuits) policy? And isn't it just possible you caught them in the middle of a huge row when you phoned after your baby was born? -- I feel sure a significant number of people may occasionally shout and swear in rows without being in abusive relationships.

I don't see the FB situation as at all concerning. If I used FB, I certainly wouldn't have my ILs on it.

Is it not possible that your SIL simply doesn't like you or your family and doesn't want you beyond a certain level on her social media?

OnlyJudyCanJudgeMe Tue 02-Jun-20 11:18:00

Ohhhh I see!
Weirdo.
Definitely rude! Clearly she knows she’s in the wrong and is hiding it from you all.

BumpBundle Tue 02-Jun-20 11:28:04

@KelpHelper Firstly, I never used the word "abuse" so I'm not sure why you're trying to accuse me there?
She told us about the biscuit policy. He's allowed two snacks per day, usually they're biscuits and she said she'll "confiscate" anything else he buys. She told it as a funny story, but he's not overweight and has a physical job. Aside from that, I wouldn't dream of telling another adult what they can and can't eat in their own house when it's bought with their own money.
After my son was born we FaceTimed my brother and he was walking from work to a bar to meet her. When he arrived at the bar, he said to the bar tender, "I usually have non-alcoholic beer but tonight I'll have a [I can't remember the name of the beer] because I'm an uncle". At that point we heard her scream his name across the bar followed by "what the fuck are you doing? Can't you see I'm sat here all on my fucking own and you don't even say hello to me before every fucking stranger gets spoken to?". I have no idea how they'd left things before he went to work but that's what happened there.
She has us on Facebook, we are friends on Facebook. She actually added me on Facebook before I'd met her in person. She has blocked us from seeing posts about my brother. We can see all her other posts. I can see her posts about travelling, about her sister etc, it's only the posts about my brother that I cannot see.
Of course it's possible that she doesn't like us but 1. That doesn't give her the right to use my brother's social media and manipulate HIS settings and 2. She had these settings before she'd met us. How can deciding that you don't like people that you've never met be considered rational?
Not sure what you're projecting here but you're creating your own story. I never said she was abusive, I said she was controlling. I consider it controlling to prevent adults eating food they bought in their own home.

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KelpHelper Tue 02-Jun-20 11:50:12

What a strange post, OP. I'm not 'accusing' you of anything or 'projecting'. No, you didn't use the term 'abuse', but you say this woman is controlling your brother's food intake and his social media, and you also say 'we know there is violence in their relationship'. I think you're strongly implying it's an abusive relationship.

StatementKnickers Tue 02-Jun-20 12:34:50

Your brother is in an abusive relationship. If he were female and being treated like this by a male partner what would you do?

Personally, once restrictions are lifted I would get on a plane for a surprise visit.

BumpBundle Tue 02-Jun-20 12:36:40

@KelpHelper I don't think you realise how little sense you're making. You read the facts that I stated. You, from those facts, concluded that I'm calling her abusive, even though I never said that. You said I'm "over-reading the situation as abuse" even though I never said anything about "abuse".
How can you argue that 1. I'm calling her abusive because I've stated those facts and 2. She's not abusive based on those facts? Both of those things can't be true.

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portocristo Tue 02-Jun-20 13:27:31

On a lighter note FaceTime them and tell them as you never get to talk to him the whole family is coming to stay for a month !! See what her reaction is, she sounds well weird to me op

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