Full Disclosure - Is it Necessary?


#1

My cousin has begun seeing my brother-in-law. The relationship makes me uncomfortable on a few levels, but mainly because she seeks my advice about him and it puts me in a difficult position because he is my husband's brother. She has picked up on some of his negative and often harsh ways of speaking to and relating to women (this is a trend in my in-laws family). However, she keeps probing me as to whether or not she should be dating him and has told me that she trusts me to tell her if I don't think they should be together. I would like to tell her all the reasons why she should "save herself" from a future of misery with this man, but I don't want to put myself in a bad position with my husband and his family. Should I offer full disclosure and be honest with her? It's a moral dilemma, but I'm afraid to tell her the truth. My marriage is already on thin ice and I don't want to make it thinner. :confused:


#2

This is my PERSONAL opinion. And what I WOULD do... you're really gonna have to decide for yourself. But if you know this man to be abusive in talk or physically, and knowing him you wouldn't consider him for yourself I'd tell your cousin the following...

What I'm about to say I will deny if you blab off at the mouth. I'd be outside, no recording devises, no e-mails, no witnesses, not over the phone, NOTHING!... "RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!" and I'd refuse to give examples. And if she dumps him and says because of what you said, I'd just deny it. I'd say she's making up excuses because she didn't know how to dump him. Then I'd know never to trust her again. And if she hooks up with an abuser in the future... so be it. Seriously, can she be trusted? Does she ACTUALLY value your opinion? I'd also delete the link to this website.

Or you could just say... You know what? My marriage is on the rocks... here's why. Give the reasons that see her dealing with. And say, sometimes I wish I had been given the advise to run the other way... it's a major battle.... give her a wink, and then follow with.. and that's all I have to say on the subject. I can't advise you any further...


#3

[quote="newmommy72, post:1, topic:244143"]
. I would like to tell her all the reasons why she should "save herself" from a future of misery with this man, but I don't want to put myself in a bad position with my husband and his family. Should I offer full disclosure and be honest with her?

[/quote]

tell her the whole real truth:
I am placed in a very uncomfortable position when you ask me for advice on this relationship, I don't like these personality discussions, so I would rather drop the entire topic. then change the subject.


#4

[quote="newmommy72, post:1, topic:244143"]
My cousin has begun seeing my brother-in-law. The relationship makes me uncomfortable on a few levels, but mainly because she seeks my advice about him and it puts me in a difficult position because he is my husband's brother. She has picked up on some of his negative and often harsh ways of speaking to and relating to women (this is a trend in my in-laws family). However, she keeps probing me as to whether or not she should be dating him and has told me that she trusts me to tell her if I don't think they should be together. I would like to tell her all the reasons why she should "save herself" from a future of misery with this man, but I don't want to put myself in a bad position with my husband and his family. Should I offer full disclosure and be honest with her? It's a moral dilemma, but I'm afraid to tell her the truth. My marriage is already on thin ice and I don't want to make it thinner. :confused:

[/quote]

tell her the truth.tell her you don;t want toget involve because he's your brother in law and it might disrupt family relations.If you do give advice your going against your better judgement.


#5

In my personal opinion, if you choose to address the issue at all besides saying "I'm uncomfortable about getting in the middle of this as it could hurt my marriage," it seems a good approach would be to tell your cousin what it is about your brother-in-law that concerns you, but don't tell her that she should leave him because of that. Insist that it is entirely her choice whether to stay with him or not, but there are these factors she should be aware of in making that choice.

This way she gets whatever warnings you want to give her but no one can say you told her to break up with him. I don't think this would be considered slander if what you are telling her is really material a woman in a romantic relationship with this man has a right to know. Again though, the best thing may in fact be to stay out of it entirely.


#6

I'd tell her to grow up. I am assuming she is an adult. In high school we ask our friends 'Should I go out with him' but she is too old for that. To be honest, the mere fact she is asking makes me think she isn't too confident

CM


#7

What I'm about to say I will deny if you blab off at the mouth. xamples. And if she dumps him and says because of what you said, I'd just deny it. I'd say she's making up excuses because she didn't know how to dump him..
...

please dont tell her to lie cause denying something you said is lieing


#8

[quote="faithfully, post:2, topic:244143"]

What I'm about to say I will deny if you blab off at the mouth. I'd be outside, no recording devises, no e-mails, no witnesses, not over the phone, NOTHING!... "RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!" and I'd refuse to give examples. And if she dumps him and says because of what you said, I'd just deny it. I'd say she's making up excuses because she didn't know how to dump him.
...

[/quote]

please dont tell her to lie its a sin to deny something U say


#9

No, it’s gossip. She should make up her own mind. You said nothing about abuse, just that he has a “harsh manner.” Well, she can find out what she wants to do about it. Tell her you don’t spread gossip.


#10

[quote="CountrySteve, post:8, topic:244143"]
please dont tell her to lie its a sin to deny something U say

[/quote]

You know... I absolutely get what you're saying... However, the OP seems to have an inside track on what bad news this guy is... So, I don't know if she's right or wrong about that. And in the way I might call the cops on a neighbor without identifying myself to my neighbors as the one that ratted them out for illegal or poor behavior so as not to endure additional behavior, I would probably be inclined to rat out a rat to someone I love... That's me... At the same time, I don't risk my relationship with my spouse as it stands. I'd be a bit concerned if my spouse felt compelled to protect his abusive sounding brother, and me not to protect my flesh and blood. And granted this would be if one was asking.

However, I happen to be very close with my cousins. They could easily be sisters. And we love each other. If I found that I was trying to save my marriage that was in some sort of shambles... I'm ASSUMING because my husband would be similar in his disrespect to women (as it runs in the family as explained).... Well, I don't find myself there... It's easier for me to say, I'd tell my cousin to run, and run fast. I love her, and I wouldn't want her to endure something that I perceive to be bad.... and that I'm personally enduring... I'm assuming on actual observed behavior...

Perhaps the OP should speak to her priest. If she KNOWS this guy is abusive in nature, then I think she has an obligation to her family member to say what she KNOWS... not what she's rumored to understand... But what she herself has witnessed... If I asked my sister or cousin what they new of a person, and they just left info out for fear of an angry husband, then I'd try to be prayful about their situation that they'd leave out something important...

Make it a bigger issue. If you knew a man to be a rapist, would you let your little sister find out for herself? Or would you risk his brother/your husband being mad at you for telling her to run for the hills... might you deny it so as not to endure his wrath?

Perhaps I read more into this than there is... Maybe the guy is just a random jerk and the OP having probs with her DH 'cause she's tired and hormonal, and he'll be mad for judging his sweet brother who treats women like a princess...


#11

[quote="faithfully, post:10, topic:244143"]
You know... I absolutely get what you're saying... However, the OP seems to have an inside track on what bad news this guy is... So, I don't know if she's right or wrong about that. And in the way I might call the cops on a neighbor without identifying myself to my neighbors as the one that ratted them out for illegal or poor behavior so as not to endure additional behavior, I would probably be inclined to rat out a rat to someone I love... That's me... At the same time, I don't risk my relationship with my spouse as it stands. I'd be a bit concerned if my spouse felt compelled to protect his abusive sounding brother, and me not to protect my flesh and blood. And granted this would be if one was asking.

However, I happen to be very close with my cousins. They could easily be sisters. And we love each other. If I found that I was trying to save my marriage that was in some sort of shambles... I'm ASSUMING because my husband would be similar in his disrespect to women (as it runs in the family as explained).... Well, I don't find myself there... It's easier for me to say, I'd tell my cousin to run, and run fast. I love her, and I wouldn't want her to endure something that I perceive to be bad.... and that I'm personally enduring... I'm assuming on actual observed behavior...

Perhaps the OP should speak to her priest. If she KNOWS this guy is abusive in nature, then I think she has an obligation to her family member to say what she KNOWS... not what she's rumored to understand... But what she herself has witnessed... If I asked my sister or cousin what they new of a person, and they just left info out for fear of an angry husband, then I'd try to be prayful about their situation that they'd leave out something important...

Make it a bigger issue. If you knew a man to be a rapist, would you let your little sister find out for herself? Or would you risk his brother/your husband being mad at you for telling her to run for the hills... might you deny it so as not to endure his wrath?

Perhaps I read more into this than there is... Maybe the guy is just a random jerk and the OP having probs with her DH 'cause she's tired and hormonal, and he'll be mad for judging his sweet brother who treats women like a princess...

[/quote]

Faithfully, the OP said nothing about abuse. I think we are reading a lot into her post that wasn't there. A "harsh manner" doesn't necessarily mean abuse. If there is not abuse, I maintain that talking about her BIL is gossip.


#12

[quote="faithfully, post:10, topic:244143"]
You know... I absolutely get what you're saying... However, the OP seems to have an inside track on what bad news this guy is... So, I don't know if she's right or wrong about that. And in the way I might call the cops on a neighbor without identifying myself to my neighbors as the one that ratted them out for illegal or poor behavior so as not to endure additional behavior, I would probably be inclined to rat out a rat to someone I love... That's me... At the same time, I don't risk my relationship with my spouse as it stands. I'd be a bit concerned if my spouse felt compelled to protect his abusive sounding brother, and me not to protect my flesh and blood. And granted this would be if one was asking.

However, I happen to be very close with my cousins. They could easily be sisters. And we love each other. If I found that I was trying to save my marriage that was in some sort of shambles... I'm ASSUMING because my husband would be similar in his disrespect to women (as it runs in the family as explained).... Well, I don't find myself there... It's easier for me to say, I'd tell my cousin to run, and run fast. I love her, and I wouldn't want her to endure something that I perceive to be bad.... and that I'm personally enduring... I'm assuming on actual observed behavior...

Perhaps the OP should speak to her priest. If she KNOWS this guy is abusive in nature, then I think she has an obligation to her family member to say what she KNOWS... not what she's rumored to understand... But what she herself has witnessed... If I asked my sister or cousin what they new of a person, and they just left info out for fear of an angry husband, then I'd try to be prayful about their situation that they'd leave out something important...

Make it a bigger issue. If you knew a man to be a rapist, would you let your little sister find out for herself? Or would you risk his brother/your husband being mad at you for telling her to run for the hills... might you deny it so as not to endure his wrath?

Perhaps I read more into this than there is... Maybe the guy is just a random jerk and the OP having probs with her DH 'cause she's tired and hormonal, and he'll be mad for judging his sweet brother who treats women like a princess...

[/quote]

i totally get were your coming from but i still wouldn't lie and yea i agree she should talk to her priest about this issue and about the little sis think no i would tell my sis and i would endure his wrath, cause didn't Jesus say its better to suffer for righteousness than for unrighteousness or to prosper from a sin. and this may sound stupid but whats op?


#13

[quote="TheRealJuliane, post:11, topic:244143"]
Faithfully, the OP said nothing about abuse. I think we are reading a lot into her post that wasn't there. A "harsh manner" doesn't necessarily mean abuse. If there is not abuse, I maintain that talking about her BIL is gossip.

[/quote]

Yeah... I'm not sure what a "harsh manner"... I read abusive. But you could be entirely right... and it doesn't mean anything serious.

To me gossip is something that is rumor. The OP will have to decide for herself and what she knows to be a truth. Not something she HEARD...

And perhaps you can help me. If I see YOUR husband making out with a woman that is not you. Is telling you gossip? I think it's gossip if I go tell everyone but you. the person who is being betrayed. But if I tell you, it's a truth... a very painful truth. And perhaps you don't want to know. If you were my sister, I'd have to really discern this. Would your life be at risk if he sleeps with this woman? How would I know? I doubt I would. What if you asked me what I knew? How would you feel if I said, you know what? This puts me in an awkward situation. I just can't talk about it. Do I go with "what you don't know won't hurt you?"

I get what you're saying... And I'll concede that perhaps I read too much into the OP.

Ok... So OP... I'm a believer in looking out for family. I'm not a big believer in CYA when the life of others is at risk. But I do agree with others, that you shouldn't spread rumors. You shouldn't tell opinions... but rather truths that you know. Define "harsh" if you have to.

I'm sorry that you're in this position. It must be rough...


#14

I would advise her against the relationship. Have you ever been in a bad relationship and wished that someone would have told you the truth and been brave enough to offer you some sage advice.

I would tell her, “I can’t tell you what to do, you have to decide for yourself, BUT if it were me, I wouldn’t date him.”


#15

[quote="CountrySteve, post:12, topic:244143"]
i totally get were your coming from but i still wouldn't lie and yea i agree she should talk to her priest about this issue and about the little sis think no i would tell my sis and i would endure his wrath, cause didn't Jesus say its better to suffer for righteousness than for unrighteousness or to prosper from a sin. and this may sound stupid but whats op?

[/quote]

Doesn't sound stupid... OP = original post or poster...


#16

I had a similar, but different, situation where a man I knew from uni came in to my work to be interviewed for a job. He was lazy at uni and used to take other people’s work out of the teacher’s box and copy it before handing his own and the copied work back in. I spent some time wondering if I had a duty to inform my boss about this man’s dubious mentality. I asked a friend what I should do (and to be honest, I was just using the opportunity to gossip), and he told me it was none of my business, and to drop it.

I look back on that situation now and wonder what I was thinking. It was absolutely none of my business. I would have looked foolish if I had gone to my boss about him.

Similar situation here, I guess. Just tell her you’re not going to advise her because you’re not comfortable doing it, and if she persists, repeat that you’d like her to drop it. If she comes to you with a complaint about him or something specific to talk about, you can give her advice about how to handle it, or a shoulder to cry on. If she eventually accuses you of not stopping her from getting involved with someone who hurt her, you can say that you really didn’t know what was going to happen and it’s not your place to spread bad feeling about your BIL.


#17

I'd warn your cousin if I were you. She counts on you. She needs you now. Just stick to the truth, be moderate but straight to the point. But do it. We women have to help one another in these matters and advice each other sometimes.


#18

First, let me say that I AM NOT hormonal or tired in posting this request for help for my cousin and her new relationship. By "harsh" I mean that he (as with all of the men in the family) can be verbally abusive in the way they address women. They almost take pride in the fact that they are unhappy men. Over time, I've come to believe that because they are unhappy, they try to pass that trait on to others by the way they talk to them. It's a lonely place to be. CERTAINLY NOT the feelings of a woman who is merely tired or hormonal. I do not want to see my cousin enter the same situation without warning her. However, she is one of those people who needs to learn for herself because no matter how much advice is given to her, she almost always ignores it because she doesn't want to be alone with no man in her life. Therefore, I think I'll stay out of the situation and just drop subtle hints to her when the time is right. The best thing for her is prayer.

Thanks....


#19

Just tell her that you think she’s crazy and that maybe she should have asked your opinion before the first date. Personally, I have family I’d like to introduce to each other, but I never will because if things don’t go perfectly, it’s pretty darn messy to be in the middle (family parties are awkward, etc., I mean when baby is baptized and things went bad someone will either not go or there will be tension). But thats me.


#20

Really, if she is saying things like this to you, then she already has seen the red flags in this relationship. You already sense this though…tell her you love her and are praying for her and you don’t care to discuss it. She will probably keep probing you though but you already know this too. Please take care.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.