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Brother is a WS

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Essdubyaohdee posted 7/27/2014 18:52 PM

Hi SI friends,

I wanted to throw this out there and see if anyone else has or had a similar experience and how you handled it. I'll try and make this as brief as possible:

My STBXWW and I were on vacation with my brother and his wife a few years ago - BEFORE my DDay. One night while there, me and my bro went out for beers alone and he confessed that he had slept with another woman back in his hometown. We live in different cities far from each other. I recall telling him that I loved him no matter, but kept any judgement or opinion to myself - I didn't approve (obviously) but didn't "judge" him either. That was literally the last time we've ever discussed the issue.

Fast forward six months, and I have my first, of a few, DDays. I don't need to say all know.....I was shattered. The one love of my life betrayed me, and I'll never be the same again.

Fast forward again a couple of years. We tried to R, but ultimately, here we are in the divorce process. It's almost over.

My brother knows the facts of what happened with my STBXWW, but we've never discussed it in any meaningful way. Since my DDay and through my failed R, my relationship with my brother has withered to almost nothing. Neither of us reaches out to the other. Sometimes we share an email, but usually it's a "group" family email that also includes other family members. Never anything just to each other. We used to be terribly close - similar interest in sports, music, same sense of humor, lots of love between us. Now, it's like we barely exist to each other.

I feel like my brother's A has effected my relationship with him, how I feel about him (not that I don't have love for him, but respect(?)), and I'm not sure what to do or how to resolve this in my head.

I need some advice. Has anyone had a similar experience? How'd you handle it? Especially the BS's, what did you do when you found out someone has been a WS, especially if they are a good friend or even more if they are family that you love?


brkn_heartd posted 7/27/2014 21:09 PM

First, do you want to rekindle your relationship with your brother? You have to look keep inside and decide. If you do, I would suggest making some quiet uninterupted time to sit down and talk it through. I believe some WS understand in the end the pain they have caused. Your brother may have realized by watching you. Now he also doesn't know how to discuss. At least if you talk about it you both will know where each of you stand.

My Father had an A and married the OW after we were all grown and married. Some bad stuff happened, and I didn't talk to him for years. WE talk now, I visit him some. I will never have the same feelings for him that I did before (lots of bad stuff happened) but I have reestablished a relationship with him. I know now he is remorseful for his A. He also regrets marrying OW...but Karma bit him and he is stuck. Long story short, I am glad I reached out to him and have redeveloped a relationship I can live with.

You might give it a try with your brother.

jo2love posted 7/27/2014 21:21 PM

I have a close relative that was an OP/WS. I knew about the person's A's years before I was betrayed. I expressed my feelings about the A's and made my opinion clear. After Dday, they saw what I went through. I'm thankful they had already stopped the A's, worked on themselves, and haven't had once since. It wasn't easy for me though. I had to separate the person from their action. One did not define the other.

You love your brother. Why not sit down with him to talk about how you feel? Has he worked on himself (told his wife about the A, gone to ic, mc)? He may be working on fixing what is broken and become someone you can respect. Maybe talking to you might be the catalyst for him to start. He needs to want to work on himself.

[This message edited by SI Staff at 9:27 PM, July 27th (Sunday)]

BtraydWife posted 7/27/2014 22:44 PM

I'm sorry you are in this situation. I don't have any advise but I understand how you feel in a way. I knew of people who had cheated before I faced infidelity and while I looked at them with less admiration it didn't have the same nauseous crazed reaction I have now. I just know I couldn't remain close to any cheater so it being your brother must make it all the more difficult.

I hope you can find a way to make peace within yourself and with whatever relationship with your brother you decide is best.

wontdefineme posted 7/27/2014 23:26 PM

Right before I found out for sure that my xh cheated, my sister told she almost left her husband for another man. She was infatuated with a coworker but because of his Hinduism there was no way he would have been involved in an affair so she made plans to move out. Somewhere she stopped and stayed. She said if her husband ever found out he would be devastated. She was trying to explain being bored with marriage etc. I don't even try to stay in contact. She cheated on her first husband and would have with number two.

She has put distance between the family before and I felt like if I want a relationship I had to keep in touch. Like my xh, if they are toxic I want nothing to do with them, even if they are family.

Essdubyaohdee posted 7/28/2014 00:18 AM

Thanks for the comments folks.
I guess first thing first, when in doubt, communicate. So obvious but sometimes I need to be reminded. I'm thick that way. I need to have that sit down and see where things went with his A. I am really curious if he ever disclosed, went to MC, or if he's sorry it happened. Those answers will determine if we can reconnect or not.
If he's not fixed things or himself or is not remorseful, then yep,toxic is toxic. That will be sad.

brokeninfl posted 7/28/2014 12:41 PM

If he's not fixed things or himself or is not remorseful, then yep,toxic is toxic.

Yes, I think this is the big factor.

My sister was the single OW to a MM for 5 years or so. She's 7 years older then me - I was probably 19 - 24 when this was all going on. Our relationship really fell apart during this time, in part because I didn't agree with what she was doing and refused to meet/interact with MM. She ended up breaking it off and went NC with him after.

Around that time I got married, and we grew closer again.

After my DD (6 ish years after her relationship with MM was over) I went through a period of intense guilt for not having said anything to MMs BS. I also had a hard time talking to my sister about what I was going through. Interestingly enough, I think a lot of her healing actually came from sharing my experiences with her. She had internalized that the relationship had been bad for her and that she deserved more etc. and that was her reason for not ever getting into that kind of situation again.

After my experience, she internalized a lot more about boundaries, why she let herself get into the situation to begin with etc. She kind of healed along with me.

That all culminated about a year ago when MM went fishing again (sent her flowers for her birthday, tried to contact her through FB, was working on getting a job at her place of employment) and she actually confessed to the BS. Told her everything. It was a hallmark moment for her - and us. It was a traumatic time for her, and by extension me. Trigger city. We are extremely close at this point in our lives.

So, I definitely think that you can have a good relationship with your brother - if he's in the right place. I think it can bring up triggers and issues, but it can also be very worth it.

Unagie posted 7/28/2014 13:49 PM

Years ago and long before my A and subsequent MH status my brother had a RA. At the time I thought nothing of it, you cheated on my brother and then he cheated on you. My only worry was for my brother and his health. After all the info on my A and xSO's A came out I tried talking to my brother and he was telling me how xSO should never have done that to me and how he was hurting, how we needed to move past it. All I could remember was his RA and realized as awesome as I think my brother is and as much as I love him he doesn't get it because he rugswept it. We had many convos and I explained how I felt and what I thought of A's whether they be A, PA, EA, or RA. I had to separate my brother from his past actions because I didn't want this to effect us. It worked because he listened and I spoke honestly.

tryingagain74 posted 7/30/2014 08:15 AM

Hey there. My family and I went through this years ago with my brother (long before cheating entered my life and destroyed my marriage). Although we were not very close to my brother's first wife (there was animosity between our families for reasons unrelated to their relationship), we were disgusted with him when we learned through the first wife, who reached out to us in despair, that he had taken up with a completely toxic co-worker. My parents tried to give him a set of brains about what he was doing, and he completely denied everything, but we hated her and hated what he had become.

I'm sorry to say that, shortly after he married the AP (although NOTHING was going on; they just magically fell in love after his D, of course), we stopped talking to him. She was obnoxious and cast a pall over every family get-together; he acted like a pathetic sycophant around her and did whatever she said. Since we didn't lovingly embrace his disgusting AP choice of a spouse, he backed away from our family, and we let him. It wasn't until years later that we re-established a relationship with him. He came crawling back because... SURPRISE!... the Owife was cheating on him! He has since remarried someone else who is a doll, and if he ever cheats on her, she'll be invited to the family holiday get-togethers, and he'll be invited to stay home and eat a frozen dinner. I am also happy to say that my brother's first wife moved on with her life and got married to a decent guy and had kids with him. I will always be happy that she got away from my brother when she was still young and ended up in a good place.

Unfortunately, when you have boundaries-- I have never tolerated cheating and have stepped away from friendships when I learned the person was cheating-- the relationship with a cheater is either going to be non-existent or strained. I guess you have to ask yourself if you are willing to have him back in your life despite what he's done and how you feel about it, or if it's best for him to keep his distance because what he's done would just be too toxic to be around and a painful reminder of how a WS callously treats a BS.

[This message edited by tryingagain74 at 8:19 AM, July 30th (Wednesday)]

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