Post # 1
I am increasingly concerned about my brother. He has met a girl and intends to marry her next year (apparently they have a date set, we’re just not being told about it). The main concerns are as follows:
- They’ve been together since Christmas, 5 minutes, they made the decision to marry around that time too
- She is insular – that’s putting it politely – not very switched on and completely ignorant to very simple things
- My brother isn’t excited about getting married and isn’t even telling anyone – they are starting church prep in September
- She is religious on a cult level and my brother is being sucked in, he is at church almost everyday (I have no problem with religion but this “obsession” isn’t normal, I used to attend church groups 4 times a week at one point but I had other interests too)
- My brother is not in much contact with our family, never comes over and literally spends no more than a few minutes on the phone and only if instigated by us, this is extremely out of character; he, however spends almost every weekend with her family (according to FB)
- She says she doesn’t like my brother when he is around our family
- My brother hasn’t spoken to his friends in months, one even called my mum to check he was ok, he has always been very good at keeping in touch up before and now he only ever spends time with her friends
- She is outrageously judgemental of people she doesn’t know – I found this offensive as someone I’ve known most of my life was being slated by someone I’d only met that day
- My brother has lost all his drive and passion for life – this time last year he wanted to spend 6 months in Australia, and drive across the US, and start his own business – now he wants to stay in the tiny town where his girlfriend lives
- Since meeting her my brother has run up debts of £3000!!! and rising – this is one of my biggest concerns
My other brother (B2) is very upset, they are twins and he feels he is losing his brother. It will be their 21st in August and my brother wants to spend it with his girlfriend (fine) but not with his twin brother B2. Heartbreaking! B2 doesn’t feel like he can support their marriage, he’s always said he doesn’t think anyone will be good enough but it had always been assumed that he would be best man, something B2 cannot stomach no matter how much he would love to support him.
My mum feels her son is being stolen away. Our immediate and extended family has always been super close so this is horrible.
Similarities have been drawn between her and my ex who was emotionally abusive and manipulative (“no one will ever love you other than me” “your parents don’t understand you like I do” etc). I was at an impressionable age when we met but it wasn’t until 3 years into our 6 year relationship that things turned sour and I believe it was due to insecurities around that time as my ex went through an extremely traumatic experience (not trying to make excuses, just rationalising). I can just hear her saying “they don’t support you” (which is entirely untrue, my mother is a saint and would always support us, just as she did with my ex even though it ended terribly)
I know that confronting my brother will only push them closer together (as I say, I’ve been there). The thing is, I was 12 when I met my ex, we couldn’t get married as much as we claimed we wanted to. My brother is (almost) 21 and perfectly old enough to make that decision. I am concerned that he will enter into a marriage that is wrong for him and be brainwashed into staying. I can picture him waking up in twenty years and thinking “what have I done with my life?” or worse, he never will and will never achieve the great things we know he is capable of.
I know he is an adult able of making his own choices but he’s also my little brother and I want to protect him. Any similar stories? Anything I can do? Ultimately I guess I will have to let it run it’s course, but I hope it’s short!
I want to reach out to him. I want him to be happy again. I want him to share his joy of getting married because I want him to be marrying the right girl, not miss-right-now.
Post # 3
I’m so sorry you’re going through this! it really does sound like a cult, with the debt piling up and isolation. my DH’s friend got sucked away like this, only it wasn’t a religious-cult, it was a pyramid-scheme-cult. he used to be such a happy NORMAL lad, but then his new gf turned him into some weird zombie whose only motivation to interact with us was to turn us on to the scheme too. sigh.
I hope he smartens up! DH’s friend has been lost for a year now, luckily not married or even close. cults are terrible. I actually did go to one of their meetings since he invited us, under guise of a “business talk” (lol…). it was like some sort of show, everyone was given glowsticks and people kept giving speeches about how awesome the business was. the WORST was that they kept repeating, “don’t listen to your friends or family, who might not like you doing this. they will keep you from success, you just have to tune them out. we are your new family” etc ugggh shiver!!!! legitimate business/non-cult religions would NEVER try to isolate you.
Post # 4
Your brother is an adult. It his choice to be with this girl, if it’s a mistake, it is his mistake to make.
I can assure you however, if you raise your concerns with your brother, he will shun you even more. She will use your words to her advantage.
The only way you’re going to get a positive in this is if you and your family support your brother 100%. If you stand by him, he will know he can count on your for support. If he loves her, he will choose her over you. I’m sorry but it’s the truth.
Post # 5
@ladyartichoke: How does your family act around her? Is there anything you can do to make her like you guys more?
It sounds like you’re stuck with her and the best way to deal with it is be as supportive as possible. If/when it falls apart you have supported him and he will come to you for help.
Post # 6
@sharontobemarried: Don’t be sorry, I think I knew that would be the consensus. As I say, I’ve been there, I was just lucky that I wasn’t an adult. It’s just increasingly heartbreaking to watch my other brother and the rest of my family in so much pain. We are supporting him all we can, and no one has raised their concerns about her with him (yet). But he is withdrawing from us and it’s difficult to support him when he ceases contact.
@patchy: Thank you for your support, heres hoping he gets his enthusiasm back soon!
Post # 7
@ms-valentine: My family are sweet as pie and treat her the same as my partner, part of the family. When she visited I tried to include her in family things and asked her opinions on this and that. I invited her to hang out with a girlfriend and I. But zip.
Post # 8
@ladyartichoke: 🙁 You poor thing. But he’s an adult, and if you tell him that she’s wrong for him he’s just going to believe whatever she tells him about your family.
One of my male friends had a girlfriend like this, they’re getting married middle of next year…the only thing I can do it be supportive and wait for it to fall apart. It sounds awful but it’s the best thing to do in a sucky situation.
Post # 9
@ladyartichoke: >>>She is outrageously judgemental of people she doesn’t know – I found this offensive as someone I’ve known most of my life was being slated by someone I’d only met that day<<<
She’s not the only one. Your brother is a big boy. Let him live his life. He doesn’t need his family’s approval.
Post # 10
I’m sure this situation has been quite painful for you and your family, and I’m sorry you are all feeling the loss of this relationship. Although, if your brother really is going to marry this young lady, it would be his responsibility to choose his wife over his family of origin if there is a conflict between the two, that doesn’t necessarily mean that this relationship that he has chosen is good or healthy for him.
I would like to have a better understanding of this young woman’s specific faith before I comment further on that part of what you’ve written. Do you know the type or denomination of her church or group?
Post # 11
He sleeps with her, he loves her, he’s isnt going to listen to you. When/If he’s ready to leave, he will do so on his own time.
Post # 12
Think about it this way
How would you feel/react if your family did this to you? If your family hated your partner that you loved?
Even if you haven’t said anything verbally I can almost guarntee that you and your families body language has conveyed your true feelings and she and your brother have probably picked up on this.
As long as your brother is happy then you should be happy for him. If it turns out to be an abusive relationship then be there to help him leave and start over.
Post # 13
I was kind of with you until you said “My mum feels her son is being stolen away.”
Post # 14
@Brielle: I honestly don’t know the specifics. It’s non-dom and I know it has a “known” name but I don’t know much more. Only that it’s taking up all of his time.
@j_jaye: It’s unfair to say I hate her. But you’re right, and I’ve been there. And I went and moved in with the guy and didn’t speak to my family for 4 months, so I know how it’s going to go. I was just younger when it happened to me.
@JLR1982: Melodramatic eh? I said the same to her.
Post # 15
Post # 16
Everyone is right in saying that my brother is an adult. I need to let him go. And support him when he lets me. Maybe one day we will be able to have our 5am conversations again and laugh like we used to. He is such a special person.