Post # 1
I’m a bit sad right now, because yesterday, I found out my brother and his partner of the past six years are splitting up. It’s not technically a divorce, because they never got married or had a domestic partnership, but my brother legally changed his name, and they had a modern-family set up where he was one of the legal guardians of his partner’s sister’s 5 and 9-year-old boys, and they all lived together, in a house that’s at least partially if not fully in my brother’s name. I live 400 miles away, and after my brother posted about it on Facebook saying they had split up and he didn’t want to talk about it, I sent him a text saying I love him and I’m there for him if he needs someone to talk to, and he replied thank you. So clearly he needs space right now, and I know nothing about the state of things. I don’t feel as though I’ll miss his partner or sister-in-law, but what about my nephews? They were supposed to be in our wedding. Will I ever see them again? Sure I’ve only known them for a few years and only see them a few times a year, but I’m heartbroken about what this might mean for my brother, my parents, and my little niece and nephew, my sister’s almost-step-kids. And there’s a part of me that feels bad that I’m getting married soon, my sister is getting married next summer, and he’s going through a break up.
So who else is dealing with or has had to deal with someone they’re close to going through a divorce or complicated break up?
Post # 3
My best friends’ parents are going through a complicated divorce. They’ve been married forever and we never thought they would split up! We actually don’t see them much but it has made our wedding guest list hard. We would have loved to have had the whole family there but apparently Mr. will not go if Mrs. is there becuase he is still in love with her and cannot be in the same room as her? Ugh.
It sucks when someone you know or love spilts up but sometimes it is for the best.
Post # 4
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@ladyamalthea: It sounds like it may be extremely complicated since they weren’t legally married. I myself went through a divorce a few years ago and it was the worst thing that has ever happened to me. Divorce is like dealing with a death in the family.
You’ve made yourself available to him but don’t be surprised if he doesn’t ask for help. Going through a divorce is embarassing. I thought everyone was judging me, even strangers in public! I didn’t want any help from anyone because I really didn’t want to deal with it. Keep checking on him from time to time so he knows you’re there for him but ultimately he is going to have to deal with it on his own.
I also had a stepdaughter but I haven’t seen her since the divorce because her parents won’t let me. I helped raise her for 6 years and then I was completely cut off. It sucks and hopefully as a legal guardian your brother will have some rights but if the legal guardian status was voluntarily signed over by the boys’ parents then it’s likely that they will void or dissolve the status as a result of the break up.
Post # 5
@ladyamalthea: I have dealt with a close friends divorce, a mere two years after she was married. Granted, it was an abusive situation (when he got drunk, which was more times than not, he got mean…), so the divorce was almost necessary, albeit still really difficult. At that time, there were was a lot of ‘new beginnings’ happening for other close friends in our circles, such as marriages, new relationships, kids, etc.
I would say that your role in this (if it were me, or what I did) would be to followed your brother’s lead 100%. Let him know you are there for him, you love him and support him, and when he is ready, he will open up or talk about it. It may take awhile though. You have a lot of valid ‘concerns’ about what this means for x, y, and z; unfortunately, he may not even know those answers, so I would wait to ask until it was absolutely necessary. And honestly, although they were not bonded in marriage, it seems that they had created a family/unity in other ways. Perhaps, or hopefully, in this split up, the children whom are so close to you and your family will not be affected. Meaning, they will set up an agreement to share time with those kids, etc.
This may be a long process for him, but with solid support and open ears, he will work thru it. I know my best friend did, and came out of if it better and stronger than ever before!!
Post # 6
My SIL got divorced, but it wasn’t very complicated from what I saw. She moved out to her parents house until the divorce was finalized and he moved out of their house. Then she moved back in… with her new bf…
Post # 7
@CarterLove: Oh gosh, at least I’m not worrying much about the guest list, that sucks. But your wedding is so soon, and I’m sure it’ll be wonderful!
@beachbride1216: Thank you very much for your perspective, and I’m so sorry you had to lose your stepdaughter like that. At least with how easy it is to find people nowadays, there’s the possibility that you’ll be able to see her again when she grows up. I think that’s better than nothing. But losing his kids is my biggest fear for my brother. Thank you for the tips on how to support him, I’ll keep that in mind.
@OUgal0004: Thank you for the advice and support. My brother may not have been legally married, but he had a family. He’s young so he’ll be able to start another one if he wishes, but I hope he doesn’t have to lose this one completely. Moving on and starting over won’t completely fill the hole in his heart this could leave.
Post # 8
@ladyamalthea: I am sorry I dont have much advice to offer other than to sit down and (after some time) and expalin to your brother that you love him and support him but would still like to keep in contact with your nephews, if that is OK with him.
Next step would be with his ex. Let her know you aren’t taking sides and her and her boys will always be family and you hope you can keep in contact.
I would like to say I wouldn’t see a problem, but some people can be so bitter about these kind of things. WHICH I NEVER UNDERSTOOD! it has always been in my family, once you are family – you are always family. Divorces mean that uncle x and aunty y aren’t together anymore, doesn’t mean he isn’t your uncle.
I have a bunch of aunts and uncles that are no longer involved with my real aunts or uncles. Even after my parents divorced my dads family is still pretty close with my mom and always include her in family stuff.
Post # 9
Well, lets see…
My parents got divorced when I was in my 20s, and it was horrific. One of the worst divorces I have seen in a long time. It was messy, complicated and my dad made it all so much harder (and expensive) that it had to be….all in an attempt to get “his” way.
My BIL separated from his wife 3 months after I got engaged, and finalized his divorce about 4 months after we got married. Their divorce was slightly messy as she has become very manipulative. This was a case of the woman behaving very badly, and a good guy getting screwed over. So sad.
My cousin’s wife just left him and filed for divorce. We’re hoping that it will be an easy process for him, as he’s pretty upset about it.
My really good friend separated from her husband right about the time I got engaged, and she is STILL trying to get him to sign the divorce papers.
Its tough when friends/family go through separations and divorces. I’ve tried to be there for these people as much as possible…or as much as they will allow. Everyone deals and grieves the loss of their marriage in their own way, the best thing I’ve been able to offer is love and support, and ear for them if they need to vent.
Post # 10
All you can do is be there for your brother and let him take the lead on how to handle things.
My brother and SIL got a divorce, they lived with us, and I don’t remember them not being married. He got cancer and passed away 2years after the divoce. My brother had three kids and a grandkid. The oldest still lived with us &my brother. His grandkid and youngest daughter would come from Wednesday after school to Sunday night at 8pm. When he passed away we had to go thru ex-sil to see the kids. Anyway I moved away, the youngest two I wanted in my wedding (they are now almost 10 and 18) and ex SIL won’t let them fly “alone”. So I invited her to the wedding. AWKWARD cause my other brothers’ wouldn’t talk to her just the kids. SO to get the kids to visit, I have to talk to her and set it up. It’s just hard, cause half the time you want to punch her in the face … plus i’ve known her my whole life .. bleh well I only have a little over 8 years to deal. 😀
Post # 11
@ladyamalthea: Yeah! Well I am not letting it bother me. Their relationship is their business. I have so many other great people coming to support us 🙂 It is just a shame they cannot both come without feeling uncomfortable.