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How should we deal with my brother?

(16 Posts)
KittySnow86 Tue 07-Jun-16 09:27:07

My brother has gone headfirst in to a relationship. They got together in October, moved in together a few weeks later and then engaged and pregnant by March. Everything started to unravel. The fiancé insisted on disappearing to her parents every weekend, picked arguments all the time she was home, eventually moved back in with her mum, and they have now decided to have a break but not break up. This has been all consuming for my brother and by default are family. There's too much to go into but essentially his last relationship he was a victim of horrendous domestic violence and his ex then fled abroad with their child to evade police. The new now ex has purposefully used this to hurt him by pretending to be secretive, disappearing, and telling him her family are her priority and he will never come first.

He's now clinging on to the idea this is something she'll snap out of. However, her family are now becoming aggressive with my parents whenever we say anything, however innocent. They clearly don't like us, are furious my parents wouldn't give them £5000 to find a wedding we were told my brothers family wouldn't be invited to because we're snobs. We aren't. We have tried to be friends and it's been rejected every time. My brother is totally broken and I can completely see why he desperately wants to gold on to this. I've talked extensively with him and listened to him but the minute the ex does something controlling he goes running.

I completely understand that victims of abuse often can't recognise a situation is repeating but I do desperately want to protect him.

If they were to turn things around we would 100% support them. But in four months there has been no effort on her part to acknowledge her behaviour while my brother is working hard to build a life. I know he isn't perfect but I can also see how hard he is hitting his head on a brick wall.

What would you do?

Isetan Tue 07-Jun-16 12:44:55

Yes, this woman has behaved badly but your brother has been incredibly reckless and is now paying the price. Emotionally, is he not able to see the consequences of his actions? All you can do is encourage him to talk to a professional about his experiences but ultimately, he is an adult and you can not help him if he refuses to help himself.

MariaSklodowska Tue 07-Jun-16 12:50:34

Do you think you are over-invested in your brother's life?

Not sure that there is anything for you 'to do' except be there for him if necessary.

MariaSklodowska Tue 07-Jun-16 12:51:45

actually the thread title is a bit 'chilling' in itself. Why does your brother need 'dealing with'? Your attitude to him is odd.

Northernparent68 Tue 07-Jun-16 12:58:45

I agree with the above poster, and I'd say the same about a woman victim.
For what ever reason, Your brother has let this happen,may be he's addicted to the drama, or has a white knight complex.
all you can do is encourage him to get help, maybe from the victims specialising in male victims.
Please do nt let your brothers problems consume your life, it really won't help

KittySnow86 Tue 07-Jun-16 13:03:55

That's just a bad choice of words. I I mean cope with or approach.

We are being incredibly supportive and he is actively seeking help from professionals. I totally support him in that and am hopeful he will make strides forward independently of anything else.

My instinct is to protect him but it has begun to affect our entire family's emotional well being too. We don't bring it up, it has been a constant barrage from him with little to no escape.

The over investment comes from him wanting to involve us. I am also über protective because of what he has already been through and also because I feel very responsible for not being there to take my Dsis to hospital a year ago - if she'd rung it would have saved her life. I don't want to lose another sibling.

Northernparent68 Tue 07-Jun-16 14:08:24

trying to protect him might be part of the problem. He can and should protect himself.

it may be worth examing the family dynamic, is he used to women telling him what to do ? Did your mother dominate him ?

Try changing the subject when he brings it up or even telling him you'd like to discuss something different. If that's too harsh just distance yourself.

KittySnow86 Tue 07-Jun-16 14:12:27

No mother not dominating at all. We are a family of strong, kind people rather than strong women.

He's a big boy, he's seeking help. I just wish it hadn't happened to him again.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Tue 07-Jun-16 14:14:06

Obviously he has been crazy reckless with this relationship, but having just escaped DV and lost a sibling, it's easy to see how it happened.

Can you talk to him about the Freedom programme - it's available online iirc.

In terms of what you can do though, you need to set some boundaries. You are rushing in to protect him and of course I understand why, but he needs to also protect himself. If you focus on that 'how can I help him help himself' rather than 'how can I fix this' you may be able to get a little bit of distance, protect your own family and - ultimately - be more successful.

KittySnow86 Tue 07-Jun-16 14:16:57

Thank you. I completely agree. He just rang and has made some positive steps today so feeling much better about stepping back now and being a bit stronger in changing the conversation if he brings it up.

RunRabbitRunRabbit Tue 07-Jun-16 15:54:33

It is so hard to stand back. So very hard.

"What are you going to do about that?" "What's your plan?" "What do you think will happen next?" "Are you happy with how you are handling it?" "What's your decision?" Try a little boredom: "yeah, same old same old then"

Your DB sounds like a people pleaser.

In my experience, the extreme people-pleasers can't abide the thought of a situation where there will be an argument, we will not agree, we will not compromise, at the end of it we will each think the other one is wrong and we will walk away from the situation, leaving it broken. That's their worst nightmare. It keeps them awake at night.

They'll tie themselves up into the most gawd awful situations with extreme self-pleasers (or just normal people) because saying "This is wrong. It cannot be fixed. I am outta here" then everyone leaves while still pissed off with each other and perhaps remain pissed off with each other forever, is unthinkable. They must have "closure" bangs head

I have a DB who, I can tell, gets a physical headache and feels sick at the thought of such situations. He could barely sack a bad workman at his house. He literally stayed awake for hours trying to think of ways to not sack the person. Who really really needed sacking. Who was definitely going to be an arse about it. When DB finally accepted the person needed sacking, he spent hours trying to think of nice amicable ways to sack them. Hours, days of real pain because he couldn't have a short confrontation that would leave everyone feeling pissed off but no real damage done, in fact real damage averted more head bang

OrianaBanana Tue 07-Jun-16 15:58:00

Why are her and your parents in touch with each other and why are they saying anything at all to each other? I think the less involvement between the families the better to be honest.

LilySnape Tue 07-Jun-16 16:07:14

I feel sorry for the baby in all this, she sounds like an immature little user that just wanted to trap him with pregnancy and use it as an excuse not to do f all in the relationship or contribute. Id cut ties with it all if i were him and go through the courts to gain custody of the child on the grounds his "fiancè" is too immature and reckless to mother a child.

KittySnow86 Tue 07-Jun-16 16:31:20

My mum just wants things between the families to be friendly. I feel sorry for the baby too. Ive been quite strong in saying that needs to be his priority not the relationship. I think it's better to be parents apart but friends instead of parents together miserable.

LilySnape Tue 07-Jun-16 17:55:33

But from what you said she is a trouble maker and sounds like a money grabber so getting joint custody wont be easy

pocketsaviour Tue 07-Jun-16 18:17:37

My mum just wants things between the families to be friendly.

Why would she want to be friends with this kind of batshittery?

The problem with being a nice kind family is that it's hard to deal with the dysfunctional abusive families out there, because you judge everyone by your own yardstick of reasonableness. So you keep sticking your hand in the fire, get burned, and say "Maybe if I approached the fire in a different way", or "If I could just explain to the fire that it's a bit too burny, I know I can make it see that it should become cold."

You can't. Stop trying. All you can do is to protect yourselves. Stop engaging, and accept that you will probably not have a relationship with this child. If you can't cope with your brother's need for talking things through, then tell him so: "I'm sorry, I want to support you but talking these things over with you is having a serious impact on my own mental health. I need to protect that. I love you, but you need to talk to a professional about this, not me."

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