"If only I can fight just a little longer, I know it's gonna make me stronger" Jamie Grace-Holding on.
Welcome to SI. I'm thankful you found us. This new information will take time to digest. In the meantime, make self-care your top priority. ((((hugs))))
"The dark does not destroy the light; it defines it." - Brene Brown
In the I Can Relate Forum there is a thread on Double Betrayal. You can find support there too. Unfortunately you're not the first member of SI whose brother did that.
In England, there's an expression I've found quite handy: "You've just gotta laugh.". (Pronounced more like "Ya jest gorra laf!"). Basically it's that life is just so awful there's nothing else to do...
Strength to you!
I do believe I will give him one chance and one chance only to out himself to his wife and the rest of family.
first i want to tell you how terribly, terribly sorry i am for your horribly painful situation. I felt the knife in my own gut when i read your post.
Second, the thing with your brother is very, very complicated, no wonder you can't get your head around it! I'm so so so sorry!!!
One of the best pieces advice i've been given is:
If you don't know what to do, wait. (especially if the consequences could be serious)
It can be very difficult not to act when our emotions are so overwhelming. But acting OUT OF emotions can be also be destructive, even to ourselves later, when we might regret what we did in the pain of emotion.
I don't know anything about your brother, your family, his wife and whoever else might be involved, as well as your relationship with your brother up to this point and overall family dynamics and your family culture. All of these things might have an impact on your decision on what to do next.
It's been 4 weeks since you found out about your brother and you're wondering what to do. None of us can tell you. Have you found yourself a counselor? If not, I would do so first thing! This crap is difficult and if you're 4 weeks in to THIS part of it, i can imagine you're likely horribly conflicted.
Do any of your friends or other family members know what you are going through?
I hope you can find a good IC that you feel comfortable with.
here's the thing about infidelity.... it's NOT fair. It's so NOT fair in SO many ways and there is often NO justice.
Remember when our parents told us that life wasn't fair: well this stuff is about the best evidence for that.
If you are scared that this could result in losing your family, just wait. This is volatile stuff and it would sad if you lost more.
I know it's almost more difficult that we can take. I'm really sorry.
[This message edited by gonnabe2016 at 9:16 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)]
In my effort to be *concise*, I often come off as blunt and harsh. Sorry, don't mean to be offensive.
Either way I am sorry that you are here.
[This message edited by hummingbird8 at 9:18 PM, December 4th (Wednesday)]
"this shit is toxic and I don't want to carry it. It's not mine, never wanted it, but it could keep me from healing so what do you do with it?"
I don't want to carry it either. Never wanted it. Don't know what to do with it.
It's better than it was; i'm about 8 months in. It's the feelings I don't know what to do with. They can feel so overwhelming, sad, physically painful. I want them to go away but can't snap my fingers and nothing I DO will make them go away. So i have to feel them and deal with them. It can be a struggle to cope.
I'm trying to learn from this experience and I
don't yet know what I will learn.
Thing is, there is no easy answer. I wish I had one for you. I wish i had one for myself.
What do you want to do? What are you afraid might happen?
I'm so with you: you said There is no good answer to those questions. That's why infidelity sucks like almost nothing else!! And affairs are soooooo common. It blows my mind. People really suck!!
Work, here is my situation. I hope you don't mind the long story....I'm writing this as much for my own clarification as to help you out, if i can. Our situations are different and yet both deal with shitty, and unknown, consequences.
My WS's xAP is married. She has four children, around 20, 18, 13 and 10. I believe she got caught up in something she never thought she'd do. I think my WS and she met and the combination of physical attraction and whatever was missing from each of their lives combined to create the perfect storm. Then it fed on itself, as affairs do, and on and on it went.
I am not excusing her. I have desperately wanted to destroy her. Now I feel just slightly more sorry for her than wishing upon her evil things, most of the time. The tide has turned.
I am conflicted, but I have not told her BS (please no hate mail!!!). Why?
This has been so extraordinarily painful for me, i almost don't wish it on my worst enemy.
If I tell her BS, no matter what, he will suffer horribly. As far as I know, he's a good man. I'm almost sure the affair is over. As far as I know she's not a serial cheater. He might very well live a reasonably happy life until the end of his days, or at least will suffer other of life hardships but not the horrendously devastating shitstorm that this is.
More to the point, if I tell him and unleash the tsunami in his life, in her life, in her children's lives, what does that do for me, for my pain? I might feel some victory, like I got her to eat her own sandwich. I might feel like i did the "right thing" by letting him know the truth. But what if...
What if her BS would've been happier if he'd never known? I think about amount of pain.
Let's say my cup has 100 ounces of pain. If I tell BS, his cup, which now has, maybe 10 ounces of pain, will have at least 100 ounces of pain, just like me, or maybe more pain than me. I don't know about his ability to tolerate pain.
And then what about me and my cup. How much pain does my cup have now? Maybe 95 ounces, I got rid of some of the pain by dumping it on him. But now the world has at least twice as much pain, plus whatever pain to her children and all her extended family. Now we have 5x more pain, or more.
Now i know i didn't create the storm, but i can flip the switch and let it loose. And that matters. I didn't ask for the switch and I'm plenty pissed off that my finger is on it, but that's the way it is. Now what do I do with it?
So I'm pissed off that I'm still carrying her secret. I pissed off and feel like I'm complicit in the betrayal by not telling BS. I wonder if the "principle" of his "right" to know is more important than the misery that will descend upon him and never, ever be unforgotten. Is it my job to tell him or should I let karma do it's thing. Or am I his karma?
The point is if I tell and let the secret out, more suffering will ensue. And what kind of suffering I don't know. There could be all kinds of consequences; i don't know what i would unleash. And these consequences might come back to haunt me in ways I cannot imagine. These consequences might wind up causing me MORE pain.
I hope this makes sense. If you out your brother to his wife, your family, how much pain? His wife of 40 years, how will she feel? What are the consequences? Does it help your pain or could it cause you more pain?
Anyway, Work, I hope it's not too much information, but like you said, there are no good answers. I still don't know if I will, or won't, disclose the affair. New information may become available that helps me decide one way or the other. I don't know what the kindest thing to do is, what is and what is not my responsibility and so I wait, hoping for clarity.
I think we will both one day know what to do. For now, we have to be as comfortable as possible with uncertainty as we figure it out. It sucks.