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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?

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.

LittleWhiteWolf Wed 02-Jan-13 10:03:23

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.

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