I come from a large family. I recently found out that my married brother is living a secret life. He has two small children with his wife. He also has a mistress he’s set up in the same city, and they also have three small children together.
I confronted my brother with this information and he basically shut down, after he denied everything.
I have 100% proof of his double life but I no longer want to attend family functions with family because I’m boiling angry. I also don’t wish to tell his wife and be the bearer of bad news, and ruin their children's lives.
I’ve told him how disappointed and hurt I am by his actions, and how these five small children will be affected.
Our family’s close, and everyone would be devastated, especially his wife. I don't know how or whether to continue to keep this secret.
Conflicted in Cypress
It’s a huge secret, very hard to keep, and yet it’s affecting innocent children’s lives, and two women dependent on your reckless brother. Then there are your many relatives’ attitudes when they find out. If you’re the messenger, some will unjustly blame you for any fallout - such as his wife divorcing him - and not just him for cheating.
There’s his unknowing wife to consider, but also, who knows what lies he’s told his mistress about his marriage?
Two suggestions to help you decide what to do:
1) Talk to a lawyer about your brother’s legal and financial obligations here, and how he’ll be impacted when this finally gets known (and it will).
Sharing that information with him might be enough to get him to re-think his situation and deal with it differently than by just denying.
2) Talk to a family counselor. Vent your feelings and think about whether you can handle being the deliverer of this bombshell.
Think too, with the counsellor’s help, about other ways to reach your brother and convince him to handle this, himself.
My husband (married one year) says he trusts me, but he insists we have open accounts on everything…. emails, phones, Facebook, etc. He insists on joint bank accounts and Visa’s too.
He says it’s the best way right from the beginning, so we don’t have the chance to have secrets, which he believes is the beginning of cheating.
I’m unsure if he’s right about this. I sometimes feel like a child, since I have to ask for money to buy myself anything at all.
Yes, you ARE being treated as a child and it speaks volumes about his need for control.
One joint bank account is a common approach for household bills you share. So, too, is another joint account for saving towards vacations and big purchases.
But ALL accounts shared puts you in the demeaning position of requesting money and explaining its use, even for buying new underwear or getting a new haircut.
When there’s a self-appointed overseer in the marriage regarding the money and purchases, it creates inequality, even if you’re earning as much as he is.
And it suggests there is no true trust here. That makes the “openness” of social media and phones all about distrust, since they too will be monitored.
Insist on marital counselling about all this, now, or you’ll be rebelling later on, in divisive and turbulent ways he will not be able to control. Or, you’ll just leave him.
My fiancée’s late husband left her over $3 million. She insists on a prenuptial agreement to safeguard her assets.
While I agree on the contracts’ importance, I think it cheapens wedding vows. If reversed, and I thought it important to safeguard my assets, I’d prefer not to get married than to ask my future spouse to sign.
I will sign the prenuptial agreement, but insist that we get married without ceremony by a Justice of the Peace at the Clerk’s office and that she keep her last name. Your thoughts?
Marrying in Miami
Many people, like you, feel somewhat offended by a pre-nuptial request, even when they understand its need, in theory. But your “solution” sounds punitive, like she’s lessened your joy, so you’ll lessen hers.
Instead, suggest a scheduled review of the pre-nup after five years of marriage, or an agreed sum that she leaves you if she passes on first.
Tip of the day:
Outing a cheater, with children in two families, should not be a snap reaction, but thought through carefully.