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If and how I should tell my brother...

(178 Posts)
LHReturns Mon 08-Feb-16 21:30:21

Here are the headlines:

My brother and I were always incredibly close. In our 20s he was married to a lovely girl and the three of us spent lots of time together (or four is us when I had a boyfriend).

About 5 years ago my brother and his wife split up which was very sad for everyone as she was very much part of our family. Fairly soon after he met a new girl - who was very young, vacuous, girly and silly. But she clearly gave my brother lots of things he hadn't had before - namely a great sex life and the chance to be frivolous and young again. So far absolutely fine.

He became totally infatuated with her so, after about a year of dating, when she announced she wanted to move to the USA, he quit his job, and went with her (he bought a business out there so they could both get work Visas etc). He paid all their expenses to move there, and has worked his butt off to try to build his business and keep them afloat. She doesn't make any money as she is a struggling entertainer, so things are tough for them. I have tried to help e.g I have loaned him money and paid for his travel home on a few occasions.

Back when announced the planned move to the US I made it very clear that I felt he was making a rash decision and that he didn't know her that well, she is very young etc etc. At the time she was 22 and he was 32. I probably was quite direct about my feelings (partly because she is a completely ridiculous Instagram-Reality-TV-obsessed bimbo, partly because he had a brilliant career here, but mainly because I was distraught that my brother was leaving the UK). He didn't like this feedback and understandably accused me of hating his new GF, and wanting to ruin his fun, and that I showed no respect for his decisions. Basically told me to FXXK OFF.

I accepted all that, we have grown to be close again now, and I have worked hard since he has lived out there to support him in any way possible. I have been to visit them three times, and paid for him and his GF to fly home to see us all over Christmas. I always include her in any plans.

As a couple they seem fairly happy. But my brother always has a slight defensiveness with me about her since the early falling out.

Over Christmas, by pure chance, I met someone that also knew her - and heard that categorically she is having an affair. She spoke openly about it to someone that she doesn't know that I know. It has been going on about 4 months back where she and my brother live in the US.

This is getting boring so I will stop. I have sat on this knowledge since Christmas as I don't know how to tell my brother without seriously damaging our relationship again. They have just moved into a new apartment with a year long contract,and he and I are very close again, and he (with her) is coming to my wedding later this year - again, at my cost.

I know she is cheating on him. Maybe he suspects, maybe he doesn't - I have no clue. Their relationship is much bumpier than it was when they first met. But I fear that if I tell him it is likely he will accuse me of always hating her, and we will back to where we were a few years back.

I guess I must tell him (and fast as 5 weeks have already passed since I found out). But HOW do I tell him in a way that makes him feel the least judged?

Any constructive ideas seriously welcome!

Concerned97 Mon 08-Feb-16 21:36:50

Say nothing"..........let nature takes its course

7to25 Mon 08-Feb-16 21:37:41

When they are at the wedding say to her, in front of him, "I believe we have a mutual friend" and watch the reaction (of them both)

ElsaAintAsColdAsMe Mon 08-Feb-16 21:39:08

If you tell your brother he won't believe you. His GF might already know you know and be primed for damage limitation on her side.

I think I would try and pass it off like you don't believe it.

'I bumped into X person, can you believe the first thing they told me was that your GF is having an affair for goodness sake'

That might be enough to plant a seed of doubt in his mind, but looks like you aren't accusing her.

It is a very tricky situation for you to be in, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

goddessofsmallthings Mon 08-Feb-16 22:14:22

But my brother always has a slight defensiveness with me about her since the early falling out

This is the reason why you shouldn't tell him what you've learned about his gf and why you have to keep quiet until he finds out for himself that she's got an om, which he will inevitably do because if the current object of Miss Bimbo's affections doesn't offer her the opportunity to launch her wannabe celeb career the next one, or the one after that, will do and she'll leave your db without a backward glance.

When he makes the discovery you'll be able to say that you'd heard she was playing away but couldn't tell him because you were a) desperately hoping that it wasn't true and b) were fearful that telling him such unwelcome news would result in further estrangement between the pair of you.

It's not easy being a knowledgeable bystander especially when asking how long you may have to keep schtum is like asking how long is a piece of string but, given the circumstances, I don't see that you have any choice if you want to fully repair the residual damage caused by your former outspokenness.

When the bomb goes off try to resist the temptation to disparage her any more than is necessary to soothe his hurt feelings as he's going to feel all kinds of fool for having been taken for a ride by an airhead opportunist who's only out for herself.

Fwiw, even if you were in possession of proof positive of her deceitfulness in the form of film/tapes/emails/text messages etc, I reckon your db would still be inclined to shoot the messenger which is all the more reason why you should avoid being the bearer of bad tidings.

I've got my fingers crossed that he finds out before your big day

PrincessBooBoo Mon 08-Feb-16 22:30:04

God how bloody awful for you. I would stay quiet and hope she drops herself in it - they normally do


LHReturns Mon 08-Feb-16 22:32:51

Thank you so much. I thought I may be mad to consider keeping quiet but Goddess you have articulated so well why that is probably my only option (and why I have done nothing for 5 weeks). Indeed, he won't see her for dust when she finds her Big Opportunity.

Elsa, your approach was the ONLY way I could imagine sharing it if I ever did need to. But the casualness of it makes me feel sick after everything he has done for her.

IsItIorAreTheOthersCrazy Mon 08-Feb-16 22:34:50

I think Elsa's idea could be a good one.

Going against the grain here I don't think you should keep quiet. You're worried about making things awkward between you and your brother, but can you imagine if he finds out in a year and then realised that you knew all this time?

duckyneedsaclean Mon 08-Feb-16 22:37:38

How awful. I can understand why you wouldn't want to tell him, and risk ruining your relationship. But I couldn't let my brother stay in the dark about something like that.

He might be pissed off at you first, but that will wear off.

Lovepancakes Mon 08-Feb-16 22:39:00

Can you ask the person who knows to tell him? I think he deserves to know as much better than the deceitfulness of being kept in the dark but I think his girlfriend needs to tell him or if she won't someone else (other than you)

TokenGinger Mon 08-Feb-16 22:39:08

I'm thinking of this from my own point of view and my own relationship with my own brother.

We're close. He'd hate it if I hated his girlfriend and probably be defensive too, but because we are close, he'd probably know I'm only doing it out of love for him.

I would never prolong my brother's pain. I'd tell him straight away, regardless of the back story. He knows I'm not malicious or a story teller; I'd only be telling him out of love. Imagine if she gets pregnant and you'll forever have it in your head wondering if it's your brother's or not. And even if it is, imagine being tied to her for life.

I'm afraid I'm going against the grain here and saying I'd tell him immediately. There's just no way I could let somebody continue to hurt somebody so precious to me.

Lovelydiscusfish Mon 08-Feb-16 22:42:19

I understand how concerned you are for your brother. However:
Firstly, you can't know for sure it's true (can you?); people spread all kinds of lies about each other.
Secondly, I do struggle with the fact that you describe her as a "bimbo". Which I would see as quite a hateful, sexist term. I get the fact that you don't like the woman, and that she may be cheating on your db, but she is still a human being - this term seems to me to seek to reduce women to meaningless trash.
Sorry, probably not very helpful. I do hope you work it out, and that your db is ok.

LHReturns Mon 08-Feb-16 22:59:43

Arrrrrgh this is awful. I was hoping for a unanimous opinion - but instead I agree with ALL your posts!


She told a mutual friend that she was having an affair and gave a LOT of specific detail. This mutual friend has no reason not to tell me the precise truth. GF has no idea that I know this mutual friend.

Point taken re use of bimbo - I didn't mean anything sexist. But she is a very silly vacuous person. She thinks the Kardashians are amazing.

WorraLiberty Mon 08-Feb-16 23:13:36

You don't actually know anything really, only what you've been told.

I'm guessing the person who told you felt comfortable enough to do so, because they picked up on your dislike of her.

Now this is where you need to be careful because that dislike is clearly shared by the mutual 'friend'.

I say careful because this person is clearly no friend of hers if they're willing to tell you something that they know is likely to end her relationship.

They may or may not have their own agenda (again something you may not be privvy to), but unless you're willing to name that person to your brother, there's no way he's going to believe you imo.

I'd stay out of it unless you're willing to say, "I was told by XXX that she's having an affair".

TheExMotherInLaw Mon 08-Feb-16 23:17:34

Get the person who told you to tell him - tell the bimbo herself that you know.

LHReturns Mon 08-Feb-16 23:25:12

Thank you.

If telling him was the right thing to do then I have no problem telling him who I heard it from - and it would be clear to him then that there is no reason for other person to have an agenda here. So I think he will blame me as other posters say above.

I can't get other person to tell him - she doesn't know my brother! This is how I found out because she was talking about the GF's situation and it slowly dawned on me who she was talking about. She had no clue that the poor cuckolded BF was my brother until I told her! She was mortified, as was I.

Such a mess isn't it?

HeddaGarbled Mon 08-Feb-16 23:26:03

I don't think you should say anything for all the reasons given above.

I also think you should stop giving/loaning him/them money.

He's a big boy now. Time for him to grow up and face the consequences of his decisions. I appreciate you don't like his current partner but he has been complicit in all this - splitting with his first wife, choosing a much younger partner, moving country, becoming self employed. She didn't kidnap him. He made choices.

Just be there for him if and when he has to face the fact that he has made some poor choices.

CockwombleJeff Mon 08-Feb-16 23:28:56

OP the kindest thing for you and him is to keep quiet - people always assume that telling the truth is the most noble thing to do.
This simply isn't true.

If your brother hears it from it will cause him greater confusion - when he finds out he will need you - he will need for his relationship with you to be uncomplicated by any involvement or knowledge you have of her selfishness.

MissyMaker Mon 08-Feb-16 23:35:34

For the sake of your relationship with your brother - which you clearly value very highly - you mustn't tell him. It will destroy your relationship and she's likely to turn it around to. Be you being jealous/vindictive.

And if/when he finds out, you must still remain quiet. Just be there to support him.

Amziix Mon 08-Feb-16 23:47:25

Probably going against the grain here but imho I would tell him the truth.

I wouldn't tell him she's cheating, but I would tell him about bumping into mutual friend and what she said- don't pass judgement and don't give your opinion, just tell him what you heard and say you don't want it to come between you but if it's not true and there are untrue rumours going around you want him and her to be aware of them.

That way it would look to him like you genuinely are looking out for his best interests and not just out to get his OH.

If it was me I would want to know, and I couldn't sit back if I found that out myself. Either way it's going to be shitty- you just have to find the least shitty option. Good luck thanks

Cabrinha Mon 08-Feb-16 23:58:52

I can't believe people are saying you shouldn't tell him!
He's your BROTHER.
Of course you should.

I would mail him and say "this is really hard to write. I am scared to write it because I know we have had trouble in the past, and I'm so very worried that it could destroy what we've rebuilt. But I love you and I could never keep this from you. I hope it's not true. I'm here for you if it is. I shan't mention it again. <describe factually what happened, who the person is, without any emotion or judgement>

Any then leave it with him.

Do you really think that your brother would believe that you made it up, to split them up?

springydaffs Tue 09-Feb-16 00:09:13

I'm with cabrinha et al here. He's your brother, you're close, tell him. It will be excruciating for him if he finds out you knew all along - THAT would kill your relationship stone dead right there.

Tell him the story of how you found out. The way you're told it here.

goddessofsmallthings Tue 09-Feb-16 00:09:20

By way of another fwiw, the world's biggest bakery is the Mexican Grupo Bimbo which operates in the US, Canada, Mexico, Spain and more recently Portugal.

Much hilarity can be had in Spain when seeing sliced white loaves in the distinctive Bimbo packaging and packets of Bonka, which is one of Nestle's range of coffees and is now available in capsules for the Dolce Gusto Espresso machines, on supermarket shelves.

Perhaps your db's gf will set foot on the Z list ladder of fame by becoming Miss Bimbo or Miss Bonka, OP. If she's fortunate enough to become the latter, she may be crowned by Gorgeous George and subsequently crowned by Amal if she makes a play for him grin

MissFlight Tue 09-Feb-16 00:24:12

Stop funding them asap, they're not your responsibility! I'd wager she'll soon bugger off once the financial tap stops.

goddessofsmallthings Tue 09-Feb-16 00:25:37

I'm sorely tempted by Cabrhina's letter but, 5 weeks after you learned of it, there's no guarantee that the gf's affair is ongoing and it would be all too easy for your db to chalk it up to your dislike of her if he can't find any evidence to support what you've said and that may risk a further period of estrangement before your wedding and thereafter.

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