My husband's brother left his then-fiancé for his first wife. She soon left him due to his self-absorption.
My mother-in-law (MIL) went into deep depression, affecting her relationship with her other son (my husband) and our children.
Six years later, his brother moved across the world and married another woman. She’s worked hard to separate them and their children from our close-knit family. She doesn’t allow my in-laws to stay in their home. They must “schedule” time with the nannies to see their three grandchildren.
Worse, when we travel with our family across the world just to see them, they suddenly have travel plans taking them out of the country.
When together, he doesn’t engage with my husband or our teenage kids when trying to have a conversation. If he isn’t doing the talking, he’s busy with his phone.
The only topics that interest him are the real estate market in the city/country that he lives in, airline point travel, and his work… only his work.
My in-laws are so terrified of him that they’re always praising his every move.
We’re supposed to travel together to celebrate a family milestone next summer, but my husband’s putting up a fight.
Until now, we’ve always said, “it’s all about making memories,” and put the pettiness aside. But my husband’s stressed, not wanting a trip that’ll be miserable for us. Therefore, the kids and I are stressed, too.
Go For Family Memories?
You already know the downside – bad vibes between brothers, and crummy family memories. Travel with teenagers can be enlightening, fun, and bonding, if it’s affordable.
Pick a destination that your family prefers, and go. Invite your in-laws to join you, if you wish.
His brother has previously brushed you off and openly prefers his own company. His wife clearly cares less about you all.
I broke off a three-and-a half-year relationship with my female friend after being called a liar in an email from her, and told I couldn’t be trusted. I now wonder if I behaved intransigently.
I also learned that due to lack of trust, she had actually stalked me.
Prior to this recently ended relationship, I was married for 30-plus years till my wife’s death. I always prized and upheld honour, trust, and respect during the marriage.
So, not only was I surprised to be called a liar by my former girlfriend, but shocked to learn there was no trust.
I’m now wondering if I was too hard-nosed when I hung on to my principles and personal values.
Perhaps times have changed and a relationship can survive even when there’s no respect and trust.
Insulted by “Girlfriend”
No, respect and trust are still essential to a relationship, for it to last.
However, communication methods have changed dramatically since you last dated. Emails, texts, and posts are often sent hastily, and in cryptic forms with little explanation as to what prompted an angry reaction. This woman owes you a conversation in person, not to mention an apology for her insults and stalking.
You could then explain to her that her low blows prevented your wanting to find out what had upset her, and so instead, you shut down contact.
Because dating in these changed times is still new to you, this woman could be given one more chance. But if she resorts to sneaky measures and insults again, her lack of respect and trust will sour the relationship.
The problem becomes her, not her emails.
FEEDBACK Regarding periodic letters from people who are in love with someone who’s married and who promises a future with them:
Reader – “I dated someone who was separated with a small child.
“The relationship continued for four years without him ever pursuing a divorce, nor talks with me of our relationship becoming something permanent.
“I was devastated when the former spouse revealed that she was pregnant with another man's child.
“While my “boyfriend” claimed that he wasn’t the father, I'll never know if that’s the truth.
“I ended the relationship and received another blow when I learned that he’d immediately welcomed his wife back into his arms and bed.
“I sought counselling to work through the sadness, anger and loss. The words of the counsellor, while difficult to hear and harder to accept at the time, were helpful to me: "He hadn't left the marriage. You had no business expecting anything from him."
Tip of the day:
A relative’s self-absorbed behaviour doesn’t warrant the whole family accepting discomfort, rudeness, and negativity.