Not So Brotherly Love

posted 3 weeks ago in Emotional
Post # 2
1043 posts
Bumble bee

I think it’s time to give your relationship with your brother a break for a while, Bee. He’s a leech on your time, energy, and emotional well-being. Just because he’s family doesn’t mean he can’t be toxic. 

You don’t have to cut him off without explanation, but you certainly can. He seems like the type who won’t understand your reasoning at all, even if you explain it to him. 

I would write him a letter or message explaining briefly. “Brother, while I love you as my family member, your behavior lately has been self-centered and appalling. You’re grabbing after every bit of attention you can get, acting out in self-pity, and bemoaning your circumstances. I understand that life is hard, but if you can’t be happy for your own sister regardless, I’m afraid that I’m going to have to distance myself from you until we can have a more positive, supportive relationship with each other. My fiancé’s and my well-being comes first, and no one has the right to make us feel bad for our happiness.” 

Let your mom know what you’ve done, and cut her off for a while too if need be. 

You’re about to become a family with your future husband, and your and his needs come first. You need to purge this toxicity before it gets worse. 

Post # 4
5455 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2017

grapesaregood :  you could always try again with a different therapist. You’re going to have to separate yourself from your mother if you’re going to remove the toxicity from your life. It seems like your mother and him are a packaged deal

Also, healing from something like this takes a lot of time. I was with my therapist for about two years before I was able to stand up for myself when my sister said something hurtful. She said something hurtful and I told her it was hurtful and asked her not to say it again, and I had no guilt over it. That was after solid work with my therapist for two years

So keep working on it!

Post # 5
1614 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

grapesaregood :  So many things I want to comment on. 

1. I ended up apologizing for this because I have been conditioned to do so. I am the “Meg” of my family (that’s the way my fiance describes it when we are family get togethers, because I take so much cr*p from everyone, without real reason). I regret it.   I’m glad you recognize this and the simple (not really simple if you’ve been conditioned) solution is to stop taking the crap.  You do this by walking away/hang up when you’re clearly being verbally mistreated.  You don’t cave into stupid requests on your own plans simply to appease others.  You learn to say NO” and then you stick with it.  It makes your insides flip but you stand your ground and it starts to get easier with each “NO”.

If you haven’t guessed, I’m saying Fuck NO to changing your wedding date.  No guilt should ever enter your atmosphere for making choices for your life.  

2.  Okay I’m no doctor so take what I say with a grain of salt but it sounds like you’ve got a Narcissist for a brother.  He’s the type to play the victim card and twists things around in order to get sympathy…..and lots of attention.  Do a little research on this type and if you come to the same conclusion then you should know that having a come to Jesus with this type of person will do absolutely no good but it will most likely kick up the hostilities and a smear campaign will probably be coming your way.

 3.  So what do you do ignore?  Not exactly, you place boundaries and enforce them.  You say he’s snooping around your relationship and finances??? That’s because he wants to use that information to his benefit and your detriment……don’t give him the ammunition.  Keep your info to yourself.  “its none of your business” is a perfectly acceptable answer to intrusive questions and you may need to block him from your Facebook.  Girl the more you resist a Narcissist’s manipulations the more they focus on disrupting your life and will recruit “flying monkeys”, namely mom & dad and any other family or friends that he can manipulate to help him. 

At some point you might find that you need to cut off all contact with your brother if he doesn’t stop his behavior towards you.  Don’t ever reward “N’s” with your time, money or presence.  

Post # 6
11 posts
  • Wedding: June 2019 - Tacoma, WA

He’s acting like this because you’re allowing it to continue without any consequences, in true Meg fashion. In other words, he’s acting like this because he can.

If I were you, I would cease all communication with him. Because it’s family, I might take the time to explain that there will be no further communication from/with me until he stops acting like a spoiled child, but in all honestly, probably not. Let him cry to your mother. Let him blow up your phone. Ignore it all. Including your mother, if need be.

You’re a grown adult about to become a family with your fiance. There is absolutely zero reason you should be putting up with this behavior from ANY of your family members.

Post # 7
365 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

Different therapist is a good idea. Shop around until you find one that does help. I know many people who had to do that so do not get discouraged. 

Distance yourself from all the people who are making you unhappy. They invite you to family dinner? Decline, they call you? Don’t answer as frequently. etc. Simply phase them out a bit, distance yourself slowly. Your fiance sounds very willing and capable of helping you do this and giving you needed support. 

Recognize that just because people are family doesn’t mean they are good people, or mentally healthy, or that you need to have them in your lives. Love comes from all kinds of sources other than your parents and siblings. What is your fiance’s family like? Realise you can create your own family at some point. You do not for any reason need to give any of your family head space to make you unhappy. 

See them a lot less, talk to them a lot less, just slowly untangle yourself from spending any time with them and see how you feel. Branch out into new activities, new friends, your new in-laws. 

Post # 8
1215 posts
Bumble bee

In your shoes, I’d write a succinct note listing the reasons you are unhappy with his recent behavior. Leave out general or vague statements that could provoke a debate. For example while it does sound like you are the “Meg” of your family, that is definitely a statement that could be argued with because it’s so general. Similarly instead of accusing him of only initiating contact when he needs something or wants to fight, give the specific examples of the last times he reached out.

Let your brother know that you are ceasing communication until the dynamic of your relationship changes – IF it ever does. Send the note and then forward it to your mother and sister letting them know that while you don’t expect them to get involved or pick sides, you needed to prioritize your mental health so this is what you have done.

Then? Block them (at least for a few weeks while the storm rages) and continue with your life. Blood relationships – like all relationships – are only important if they are healthy and supportive. 

Post # 9
4692 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2017

grapesaregood :  I would start prying into his finances and ask him all the inappropriate questions. Why is he not self-sufficient at 28? Do they even have any business getting married if he can’t afford to? Why doesn’t he earn more? Maybe it’s time for a second job? How will they afford kids if they cant even afford their own place? (If they want any), how much money does his fiance earn? Why so little? What kind of wedding are they planning, how much per plate, how much is she spending on the dress? 

Get my drift? Give him some of his own medicine back. Show concern about him through EXTREME nosiness.

Post # 10
569 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2020

I would just miminize contact with him. Don’t cave into any of his demands, don’t tell him about your finances or wedding details. 

Post # 11
1235 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. Looks like you’ve got a dysfunctional family and you’ve been cast into the role of scapegoat ( No matter what you do it won’t be enough for your family. You’re going to receive all the abuse because you’re probably the only independent thinking one and you don’t toe the family line enough so the only means they have of controlling you is through guilt and abuse. 

Come to Jesus talks hardly ever go well. I know that they’re tempting because you get to lay out everything they’ve done to hurt you and you imagine that a light bulb will go off and your brother will apologize and completely change his behavior. But that’s not going to happen. You’re never going to be able to get him to admit that he was wrong. He’s gonna hit you with the DARVO (Deny, Attack, and Reverse Victim and Offender). He’s going to make this all your fault.

The only thing you can do is create boundaries. If they attempt to abuse you, you say, “I won’t be spoken to that way,” and hang up the phone or leave. If your brother asks intrusive questions about your finances you say, “I won’t discuss my finances with you,” and if he continues you hang up the phone or leave. 

I suggest going over to the DWIL board on babycenter. Technically it’s for in-law relationships, but they are very helpful in dealing with toxic family of origin relationships as well. Full disclosure, they will almost certainly suggest cutting off brother and probably mom as well.

Post # 12
1614 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

So you updated while I wrote my novel on your relationship….and I’m going to agree with the pp’s on this bee.  You need a better therapist and you need to separate yourself from your family.  

I’m not sure who’s responsible here your mother or your brother but one thing is clear.   You are NOT a villain bee.  You just happen to have an extremely dysfunctional & toxic family.  You’ve been conditioned to not stand up for yourself and not make waves.  A good therapist will help you find your strength.  Cutting yourself off from their influence will make this happen sooner rather than later.  You tend to find out who you really are and what you’re made of when the people who beat you down aren’t around to do their dirty work.

I’m not saying cut yourself off yet…because I get that you want your parents to be at your wedding.  I am saying that this may be the solution to finding your strength.

Nah I’m just gonna say your mom’s responsible…..she raised her son to be this way.  He’s the golden child and you are the scapegoat.

Post # 14
1043 posts
Bumble bee

grapesaregood :  That thread about your sister makes me even more certaint that the only way for you to live an emotionally-stable life is to get a good handle on your family situation. 

Who cares if you’re the villain? You’ve done nothing wrong. If your family cannot treat you with love and respect, you need to cut them out for the foreseeable future. 

Post # 15
1235 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

grapesaregood :  I’m sorry to hear that the descriptions resonated with you. Acknowledging these dynamics and admitting that your family isn’t healthy is really hard and it takes a long time to recognize all the different signs. It’s even harder trying to break out of the habits that toxic people have forced you to fall into.

I found DWIL to be a huge resource for me. They’ve recommended what kind of therapists to look for, what books to read, how to respond to certain behaviors, given me scripts of what to say. I hope you’ll check it out. 

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