I don't like my boyfriend's brother


#1

My bf and I have been together for around a year and a half now. It's a serious relationship, and we spend a fair amount of time together and with each other's families. For the most part we all get along great. He loves my family; they love him. His family gets on great with me, and I adore all of them; except one of his brothers.

Lately, it is to a point where I don't even want to see him or be around him at all. The thing is, I haven't said anything about it to my boyfriend. I feel as though I am entitled to my opinions and feelings, but at the same time I would never want my boyfriend to feel like I am asking him to feel the same way I do.

I don't want him to spend less time with his brother, and I would never refuse to go to a family function or anything like that just because his brother will be there.

BUT, I really don't want to visit with him at his apartment, because he and his brother live together, and I really don't want to invite his brother along when we have cook-outs and things at my place, or do things with my family.

I realize this isn't the most charitable attitude, but I'm really not sure how to change how I feel. I have been praying over this, but am still at a loss. Should I discuss this with my boyfriend? How would I even approach the conversation in a way that would be appropriate?

Or am I just completely selfish?


#2

I think it depends upon what the brother has done to incur your dislike.


#3

if it is just a personal aversion, live with it when you have to. If he is doing something specific to make you uncomfortable--the way he acts, talks, inappropriately for instance, then you have a right to speak up


#4

[quote="1ke, post:2, topic:242849"]
I think it depends upon what the brother has done to incur your dislike.

[/quote]

I can over look many, many of the things that are just nuisances. He is a "recovering" alcoholic and drug addict, deciding his own definitions of what sobriety really is. He is dishonest, disrespectful, and a thief. And I certainly don't care for his unsolicited parenting advice, especially considering he has absolutely nothing to do with his own children. Those things I have been overlooking this entire time; granted it would be easier if he were actually trying to better himself or seemed to feel any sort of remorse.

The things that bother me most however are things that just make me feel outright uncomfortable around him. There have been times that he has hit on me, and once that he touched me inappropriately when his brother was out of the room.

My SO has also confided in me that his brother had a history of inappropriate contact with much younger siblings, but assures me it is all in the past. That just compounds my uncomfortable feelings, especially because of the family situation I grew up in. Aside from that bringing back horrible memories, I also have my own children to consider.

I don't want to be judgmental, and I don't want to cause problems. I just don't really want anything to do with him.


#5

Understand that if you go into a serious relationship with your boyfriend, this man will be a part of your life. Also if you marry, he will be a permanent part of your life. You must decide whether this is a “deal-killer” because you will not be able to change this man. He may in fact be a child molester and yes, if you married this guy and had children, it is likely that his brother would have at least some access unless you forbade it which would likely cause an uproar within the family. If they have tolerated his behavior they probably won’t welcome an “outsider” setting that kind of boundary.

What does your boyfriend have to say about his brother? Since they live together, it is important to know how your boyfriend views the situation. Have you told him that his brother was hitting on you and made a physical pass at you? Or are you trying not to rock the boat?

Are you discerning marriage with this man? Better be 100% eyes wide open to the reality.


#6

My boyfriend and I have spoken about marriage, but at this point are still not sure if that is what we are meant to do. We are taking our time, but it is a serious relationship.

My boyfriend talks to me about his brother all of the time. Mostly venting. And I know that in spite of all he says that he is his brother and he loves him, but he has been very aggravated with him. His brother has stolen from him, lies to him constantly, expects him to give him rides everywhere, and lives with him for free.

And I did speak to him about the pass he made at me, and he got angry that it happened, but also said that it was most likely because that was while he was still drinking and doing heavy drugs and that he was not using his good judgment. That may very well be the case, but I definitely will not be alone with him in a room again, for any reason. My boyfriend knows this and respects that decision.

As for his family, most of them have forgiven him. One of the younger sisters that he behaved inappropriately with however, will not be around him. So if he goes to a family function, she leaves. The rest of the family accepts this as just being the way things are, and just enjoy the company of whomever they are with.

As far as marriage and the possibility of future children with my boyfriend, even if we are married, we most likely will not have any children, as my tubes are tied. If it were to happen, which I would see as a blessing because I always did want more children, then it wouldn't be a situation where I would say we couldn't go to family functions because his brother was there. I just don't want him in my home, now or in the future.

I haven't discussed that part with my boyfriend, because I don't know if doing so would be out of line. He has a brother-in-law that does nothing but complain about his family members, and it hurts him, and aggravates him. I don't want to come off the same way.


#7

Your boyfriend is a doormat. And, you will be the wife of the family doormat if you continue in this relationship.


#8

[quote="1ke, post:7, topic:242849"]
Your boyfriend is a doormat. And, you will be the wife of the family doormat if you continue in this relationship.

[/quote]

sigh He is a doormat. And so am I.

I actually used that exact word to describe him not two hours ago in another forum posting the same question.


#9

Ug. I’d be inclined to side with the sister and leave too.

Seriously, this gives off the warning signs of being a messed up family. It’s not just the brother–it’s the whole group. It’s one thing to forgive him, but it’s a whole other thing to continually expose a victum to the person who molested her.


#10

I tend to be on that particular sister’s side as far as her feelings toward the whole situation. I haven’t said as much, because I don’t feel it is my place.

I think the main reason that the family is allowing him to join in family events again (this is a recent development), is because he is “trying” to change his life around. Of course, they are believing this because this is what he is telling them, however, I see on a daily basis the way he lives, and I’m not sure how much trying he is really doing.

There has been improvement though, so I don’t want to be completely discouraging. Maybe I just don’t understand how difficult it is for him.

But since he has been making some sort of an effort, and because two of the three sisters he victimized forgave him and have agreed it is fine for him to be around, they are all basically taking a clean slate approach.

Well, maybe not clean slate. No one is really allowing their children around him (and rightfully so, in my opinion!), and I can tell it’s a little awkward for some of them, but they all seem to be attempting to be civil and courteous.


#11

Oh, and I will also add that part of the reason they “continually expose her” to him is that for years now she hasn’t left if he has shown up for something. Only recently has she decided that she doesn’t want to be around him.

Either way, I think that it is her choice whether she wants to or not. And I would even go so far as to say, in my opinion, if she doesn’t want to be around him, he should have to be the one to leave, not her. But I’m not completely sure if I feel that way because she was the victim, or because of my own biases, or a little of both.


#12

[quote="bdjohnbg, post:8, topic:242849"]
sigh He is a doormat. And so am I.

I actually used that exact word to describe him not two hours ago in another forum posting the same question.

[/quote]

Nothing in this situation seems like a good idea. Sounds like you and your boyfriend need time apart to learn to grow spines. If you aren't willing to break up with him, at least explain to him clearly what your ground rules are now. Let him decide if it is something he can live with.


#13

Woops, sorry I didn't look at your religion, thought you were Catholic!

Boy I'd be careful about this. This family sounds like they have some problems.


#14

:bigyikes: He victimized THREE of his SISTERS!!! And yet he is still living with his brother?? And the family still has something to do with him? Think about this for a while.


#15

If your boyfriend was angry that he hit on you and agrees that you are not to be left alone with his brother, then he’s not a total doormat. There really isn’t any reason you should enjoy this fellow’s company, and this brother has personally given you plenty of fairly-earned reasons to want to avoid it. It is nothing against you if you want to keep your contact with him to the bare minimum. It sounds as if your boyfriend understands that. His willingness to enable his brother’s avoidance of his responsibilities is problematic, but unless getting this fellow out of the house is a condition for seeing him anymore, that is not your row to hoe until this young man proposes marriage. At that point, putting a stop to the enabling *is *your duty, and you will be duty-bound to insist that the brother only be rendered help that is in the best interest of his eternal soul. No enabling.

You might ask your boyfriend what is being done to support the sister who may be ready to forgive, but is not ready to reconcile. The family ought to ask her how they can support her. They’ve decided to have some contact with the offender, which is their perogative. They ought to as how can they do that without making her feel marginalized in the process. As you have said, though, there is a limit to what you can do, because you need to stay within boundaries that your boyfriend is comfortable with. You might ask your BF, though, if it would be a help to the family if you were to socialize with your brother’s sister during events when the two of you don’t want to be present. She might feel more “included” and you might be doing the family a favor, in terms of having them feel you are doing your part to include everyone in the greater social circle to the extent that it is possible.

After all, you are talking about three different things here:

  1. forgiveness (letting go of the desire for vengeance or demands for payment)
  2. reconciliation (re-opening the door for relationship and social contact) – which only some of the victims in the family are ready to do –
    and
  3. re-establishment of trust (where the person again earns a position of trust) – which everyone rightly believes to be a possibility that is far from accomplished.

The offending brother can only hope to accomplish #3 in an impartial way, just based on the nature of his offenses. No one is going to allow him near a child or give him access to alcohol again, no matter how “reformed” he seems to be.


#16

Yeah. I just found all of this out this week, because I thought my bf's sister left the Memorial Day thing we were at because of me, because they are Catholic, and I know that my bf and I do not live our lives the way they expect us to, so I just assumed she left because our relationship offended her. But I asked later that evening, and he told me the real reason she left.

They were raised very, very differently from anyone I've ever known, and it all happened a little over 20 years ago. I of course don't think that makes it any less heinous, but I guess I looked at it as a situation where they think they are doing what is right according to the way they were raised.

I don't know. It is a very confusing situation for me. I think my best line of action will be to continue praying, and talk to my boyfriend about it tonight. I don't want to overstep my bounds, but there are just certain things I am incapable of accepting.


#17

[quote="bdjohnbg, post:4, topic:242849"]
I c

The things that bother me most however are things that just make me feel outright uncomfortable around him. There have been times that he has hit on me, and once that he touched me inappropriately when his brother was out of the room.

M.

[/quote]

that's what I am talking about. you must report those things to his brother immediately and make it entirely clear you will not tolerate it and he must insure you are not put into that environment. If he does not care enough about to do that, it is a relationship without a future. Unclear in your comment about unsolicited parenting advice if you have a child, if so under no circumstances should he be around the child. yes rereading I see these are your children. If your bf, knowing this man's background, allows him within 100 yard of other children he is really not anyone who you should be considering as a future father for your children. You simply cannot bring your children into the house when the brother is present or might be. If you bf does not support you it is over.


#18

There is very often more story than we can know with so few details.

You may be right that the offending brother is some kind of a sociopath or psychopath, someone with a certain amount of charm (maybe a huge amount of charm) and and an ability to manipulate who is nevertheless incapable of empathy: a self-centered lifelong predator and user of others, and not much else. A person with this type of personality is extremely unlikely to reform and should not remotely be put into a position of trust. A person like this will often have enduring character defects that may have been excused away for him, but that were more-or-less always there. The farther one can stay off of his radar, the better.

People who have victimized others, however, are not always sociopaths or psychopaths. Sometimes they have been victims themselves, resulting in mental issues that lead to addiction, extreme anger, and/or acting out that looks sociopathic from the outside. The family may realize that the offending brother has been made a victim in his own way, that his moral turpitude does not reflect a life-long emotional deficiency in empathy or trustworthiness, but that it is the result of damage done to him that a life of sobriety and a certain amount of outside support and interior work could possibly alleviate.

These are things worth considering. The OP could ask the boyfriend if he’s ever consulted a counsellor about whether his brother might be a sociopath, rather than a person with a hard life who became an addict. The answer to this question is very important in terms of whether or not continuing contact can be hoped to accomplish anything positive.

Whatever you do, OP, do not get onto this brother’s radar until you have satisfied yourself that he is not a sociopath. Avoid him as discretely as you can. Never never let him come to see you as any sort of obstacle to his manipulations of his brother. If he is sociopathic, the last thing you want is to have him notice or take an active dislike to you. That kind of person can be inexplicably spiteful, and in very vicious and even unfathomable ways. Don’t put yourself in the field of fire for something like that!


#19

[quote="bdjohnbg, post:6, topic:242849"]
My

My boyfriend talks to me about his brother all of the time. Mostly venting. And I know that in spite of all he says that he is his brother and he loves him, but he has been very aggravated with him. His brother has stolen from him, lies to him constantly, expects him to give him rides everywhere, and lives with him for free.

A.

[/quote]

your bf has not been able to control his own relationship with his brother and has a pattern of enabling, making excuses and denial. This is not going to somehow magically change if you get married. If the family tolerates his misbehavior it means they condone and support it. The way it is now when you are with this family is how it is going to be after your marriage. your choice.


#20

[quote="bdjohnbg, post:16, topic:242849"]
I don't know. It is a very confusing situation for me. I think my best line of action will be to continue praying, and talk to my boyfriend about it tonight. I don't want to overstep my bounds, but there are just certain things I am incapable of accepting.

[/quote]

If you're not a bit confused and knocked off balance when you come into contact with a family going through what you're describing, you're just not paying attention.

Also talk to someone outside the situation who has the background to understand what might be going on. If this is a family that orbits around a master manipulator with little chance of or desire to reform--and it may well be!!--then get far away from it, with as little drama as possible. Even if the family is "only" off-kilter because of a history of addictions, you will be helped greatly in following your own intuition about things that are "not quite right" if you have someone to talk to who is both out of the situation but also aware of how family dynamics like this play out.

IOW, I'm not saying that no one ought to get involved in a family where an addict has succeeded in doing real damage. Addicts do this damage by manipulation and by willfully violating serious social taboos. I'm saying that sociopaths and psychopaths, who are also manipulators who spit on taboo, are dangerous people who will not wind up in prison 80% of the time, but who are capable of causing incredible misery and who practically never change. I don't mean they don't change until they hit bottom. I mean they don't change. OP, you will be guilty of no lack of charity if you keep yourself light years from a lifetime in a family centered on someone like that.


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