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  #1  
Old Feb 19, '08, 6:32 am
deb1 deb1 is offline
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Default How to emotionally deal with my selfish brother?

I've posted about my brother before but I really need to vent.

Years ago when my brother met his now wife, they both cheated on other people to be with one another. MY brother with his girlfriend, my SIL on her then husband.

When their relationship has been stable my brother has called me and told me that he didn't know if he loved his wife and wanted a divorce. I urged him into counseling. He said no, he didn't have time.

He and his wife cheated on one another numerous time. Once the cheating began, my brother suddenly was in love with his wife again.

There has been physical violence against him by his wife but thankfully he hasn't reciprocated.

They are now separated and I have begged him to stay away from her. Their relationship sounds potentially dangerous.

My brother says that he can't help who he loves and gets mad at me for suggesting that he could eventually fall out of love with her.

Both my brother and SIL are seeing each other, making one another miserable and having relationships with other people.

Recently, my brother called me. He had talked to my husband first and said that he had the flu. WHen I asked though what was wrong with my brother he got petulant and said in a very whiny, angry voice, "I MISS MY WIFE."

He then proceeded to tell me how his wife had come to his home and ruined his date with his new girlfriend.

I don't talk to my brother often, but when I do, I get sick to my stomach with worry.

My younger son asked me if his uncle was a socipath. I told him no because my brother can be a generous, kind person. It is just that my brother's needs come first in any relationship.

This is just a vent, but if you all can give me advice on how not to worry about my brother's melodramatic life, I would love to know.

My life is so stable and I hate this sort of self made drama that follows my brother around.
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  #2  
Old Feb 19, '08, 6:42 am
deb1 deb1 is offline
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Default Re: How to emotionally deal with my selfish brother?

To add a little more to the above story...my mother was very melodramatic. Everything in life was about her. There was no stability growing up with her.

She never stayed in a relationship past the initial romantic stage unless there was extreme melodrama going on, like the man was married or insane. It was a horrible, horrible way to grow up.

My brother is a lot like my mother.
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  #3  
Old Feb 19, '08, 6:55 am
1ke 1ke is offline
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Default Re: How to emotionally deal with my selfish brother?

I don't know how you would stop worrying, unless you made it an act of the will to distance yourself from him and let him lie in the bed he made.

I have a crazy step-brother, a true narssicist. I just ignore it all. I don't cultivate a relationship with him, I just ignore anything he says as half of what he says is a lie anyway. I make pleasant chit-chat talk when I have to be around him. I don't ask about any of his drama and if he makes any drama statements I just say, "oh really" and change the subject. "Hey how about those Packers..."

But, since he's my step-brother it's a little easier for me (plus he lives in another state so I don't see or talk to him much).

He's been nutty since we were young (our parents married when I was off at college and he was in high school so I never developed any real relationship with him).

If you and your brother are close it will take effort to distance yourself from him. But, if your kids are asking if he's a sociopath-- I think you need to do it. Your kids don't need to be exposed to this stuff.
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  #4  
Old Feb 19, '08, 7:02 am
deb1 deb1 is offline
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Default Re: How to emotionally deal with my selfish brother?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1ke View Post
I don't know how you would stop worrying, unless you made it an act of the will to distance yourself from him and let him lie in the bed he made.

I have a crazy step-brother, a true narssicist. I just ignore it all. I don't cultivate a relationship with him, I just ignore anything he says as half of what he says is a lie anyway. I make pleasant chit-chat talk when I have to be around him. I don't ask about any of his drama and if he makes any drama statements I just say, "oh really" and change the subject. "Hey how about those Packers..."

But, since he's my step-brother it's a little easier for me (plus he lives in another state so I don't see or talk to him much).

He's been nutty since we were young (our parents married when I was off at college and he was in high school so I never developed any real relationship with him).

If you and your brother are close it will take effort to distance yourself from him. But, if your kids are asking if he's a sociopath-- I think you need to do it. Your kids don't need to be exposed to this stuff.

About the socipath comment, I think that my youngest son was confused about what a socipath is. His reasoning was that his uncle bases everything on what 'he' feels would make him happy at the moment. So, his uncle doesn't take other people's wants and desires into consideration. I told my son that my brother was selfish and self centered but not a socipath.

You're right, I do need to distance myself from my brother. He isn't good for my kids. WHen he is around them he is the best uncle in the world, attentive and funny. As soon as he is away from them he forgets them and any promises that he made to them. That really hurts my children.

I went through this with my mom, I hate having to go through this with my brother.
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  #5  
Old Feb 19, '08, 7:09 am
lovesMary lovesMary is offline
 
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Default Re: How to emotionally deal with my selfish brother?

It sounds as if your family has some problems. Probably the best option would be to pray both for your family and for your own emotional well being. It's good that you don't talk to your brother often. When you do talk to him, I suggest that you discuss the weather and stay off of the topic of his crazy life.

It sounds as if you are talking and thinking about your brother's problems too much, judging from your son's comments. I suggest that you stop doing that and concecentrate on the healthy relationships in your life.

Don't try to give your brother advise when you talk to him. Talk about the news, politics, positives about your children, etc, but sidestep the subject of his personal life. When he gives you news, say "oh" and then change the subject.
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  #6  
Old Feb 19, '08, 7:10 am
diosa25 diosa25 is offline
 
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Default Re: How to emotionally deal with my selfish brother?

I don't have any family members like this so I can't relate exactly but I agree with 1ke. You should distance yourself especially for your kids. Just don't talk bad about your brother to them and try to keep his drama from their knowledge. And just remember to pray pray pray. God can change the people that we can't. I will keep both you and him in my prayers! God bless!
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  #7  
Old Feb 19, '08, 9:39 am
deb1 deb1 is offline
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Default Re: How to emotionally deal with my selfish brother?

Quote:
Originally Posted by diosa25 View Post
I don't have any family members like this so I can't relate exactly but I agree with 1ke. You should distance yourself especially for your kids. Just don't talk bad about your brother to them and try to keep his drama from their knowledge. And just remember to pray pray pray. God can change the people that we can't. I will keep both you and him in my prayers! God bless!

I used to be very careful not to talk bad about my brother. Not anymore. My family seems to have some sort of emotional disorder running through it. There are many individuals in my family who do self destructive things and then get pity from my family. In order to prevent my children from following in their footsteps, I have to explain why their actions are wrong.

Besides, I have to counter some of my brother's actions with my kids, like not keeping promises to see them etc.

You have to understand my brother's personality. When a person first meets him, he can seem larger then life. He is very charming, funny and personable. It would be so easy for my children to want to be like my brother.
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  #8  
Old Feb 19, '08, 9:46 am
deb1 deb1 is offline
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Default Re: How to emotionally deal with my selfish brother?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lovesMary View Post
It sounds as if your family has some problems. Probably the best option would be to pray both for your family and for your own emotional well being. It's good that you don't talk to your brother often. When you do talk to him, I suggest that you discuss the weather and stay off of the topic of his crazy life.

It sounds as if you are talking and thinking about your brother's problems too much, judging from your son's comments. I suggest that you stop doing that and concecentrate on the healthy relationships in your life.

Don't try to give your brother advise when you talk to him. Talk about the news, politics, positives about your children, etc, but sidestep the subject of his personal life. When he gives you news, say "oh" and then change the subject.

I think that I will have to simply change the subject when my brother talks about his personal life. THere is nothing that I can say to make him change his life and become a more moral person.

Part of the reason that I stopped talking to my mom was because she kept pulling me into her melodramatic life. Yet, I am letting my brother do the same thing to me.
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  #9  
Old Feb 19, '08, 10:15 am
dulcissima dulcissima is offline
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Default Re: How to emotionally deal with my selfish brother?

My advice is to *not* deal with your brother emotionally. Don't get sucked in. Learn to say things like "Oh, really?" Or "That's too bad" or "I am sorry it's like that."

People can get messed up for life from a bad childhood. In one way it is their choice...you chose not to let what happened to you as a child stop you from having a good life. For some reason, which I have not been able to figure out, not everyone seems able of doing this. Whether or not it truly is a choice for those who seem permanently damaged, only God knows.

I guess just keep your distance emotionally, but still keep your brother in yours prayers.
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  #10  
Old Feb 19, '08, 12:03 pm
deb1 deb1 is offline
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Default Re: How to emotionally deal with my selfish brother?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dulcissima View Post
My advice is to *not* deal with your brother emotionally. Don't get sucked in. Learn to say things like "Oh, really?" Or "That's too bad" or "I am sorry it's like that."

People can get messed up for life from a bad childhood. In one way it is their choice...you chose not to let what happened to you as a child stop you from having a good life. For some reason, which I have not been able to figure out, not everyone seems able of doing this. Whether or not it truly is a choice for those who seem permanently damaged, only God knows.

I guess just keep your distance emotionally, but still keep your brother in yours prayers.

Thank you. You all make a lot of sense to me. I know on an intellectual level that I can't get sucked in but sometimes I forget to guard myself.

I will keep my brother in my prayers. Thank you again.
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  #11  
Old Feb 19, '08, 2:49 pm
BlestOne BlestOne is offline
 
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Default Re: How to emotionally deal with my selfish brother?

Deb... Are you sure we aren't sisters? My mom is a narcissist and one of my brothers and one of my sisters has become just like her. I had to distance myself and my children from them as much as possible.

Thankfully, I don't live close so it isn't an everyday thing for me, but my normal sister has had to do the same and is now being persecuted by the other 2 siblings for it. My brother too is a very charming and charismatic person, but has for the past couple of years fallen bback into a sinful life. I took alot of flack from my sick side of the family when I refused to attend his Protestant on the beach wedding. They seem to think that excuses like, "everybody hates you, and they always have" makes them right in their criticism of my life and parenting skills. I know it is tough to seperate from them, but when you are ready (having been hurt enough or fear for your childrens morals enough) you will come to the same conclusion... your family has to come first and you have to protect the children from their influence.

When I have to spend time with family, I tend to be very honest with my kids... telling them why we are not attending the wedding or why his actions are wrong and then spending my time with them at a minimum and never leaving the kids alone with them (learned through mistakes). As for family members sucking you in... just remember they can't do it if you don't allow it. The best thing you can do is to use these times as teachable moments for your kids. Admit to your own mistakes as far as letting people like this too close too... it helps.
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  #12  
Old Feb 20, '08, 7:19 am
deb1 deb1 is offline
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Default Re: How to emotionally deal with my selfish brother?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlestOne View Post
Deb... Are you sure we aren't sisters? My mom is a narcissist and one of my brothers and one of my sisters has become just like her. I had to distance myself and my children from them as much as possible.

Thankfully, I don't live close so it isn't an everyday thing for me, but my normal sister has had to do the same and is now being persecuted by the other 2 siblings for it. My brother too is a very charming and charismatic person, but has for the past couple of years fallen bback into a sinful life. I took alot of flack from my sick side of the family when I refused to attend his Protestant on the beach wedding. They seem to think that excuses like, "everybody hates you, and they always have" makes them right in their criticism of my life and parenting skills. I know it is tough to seperate from them, but when you are ready (having been hurt enough or fear for your childrens morals enough) you will come to the same conclusion... your family has to come first and you have to protect the children from their influence.

When I have to spend time with family, I tend to be very honest with my kids... telling them why we are not attending the wedding or why his actions are wrong and then spending my time with them at a minimum and never leaving the kids alone with them (learned through mistakes). As for family members sucking you in... just remember they can't do it if you don't allow it. The best thing you can do is to use these times as teachable moments for your kids. Admit to your own mistakes as far as letting people like this too close too... it helps.
Thank you. Maybe we are distant relatives.

I think that I have to work on how I respond to my family. Being the oldest child I think makes me feel responsible for fixing the other two. But I can't do that.
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  #13  
Old Feb 20, '08, 9:31 am
lovesMary lovesMary is offline
 
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Default Re: How to emotionally deal with my selfish brother?

Quote:
Originally Posted by deb1 View Post
Thank you. Maybe we are distant relatives.

I think that I have to work on how I respond to my family. Being the oldest child I think makes me feel responsible for fixing the other two. But I can't do that.
I think it was Dr Laura who said that the best way to heal ourselves from bad parenting and/or family situation is to be the best parent we can for our own children. I so agree with this advise! I think you should try to forgive and forget the past, and learn to emotionally detach yourself from your parents and siblings. Meanwhile, focus on making it different and better for your own children. Turn your focus on your present life with them, and creating a positive future!

You will never have the healthy family that you long for in your family of origin, but you can make it different for your own children. One thing that will help that to occur is to disengage from the melodrama that your family of origin likes to create.
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