Sunday, March 26, 2023
HomeRelationship AdviceI don't share my brother's opinion on his ex-wife and it's starting...

I don’t share my brother’s opinion on his ex-wife and it’s starting to piss me off

At my brother’s insistence, I flew across the country after his baby was born to help out his new bride. I stayed with them a while (about 6 weeks) and really got to know her

She’s young and flighty but a good person, and definitely a devoted mom

The marriage didn’t last a year

Now, my brother is back home with us, 3,000 miles away & only has Skype/Zoom visitation with his son. The now ex-wife is intentionally low contact b/c the divorce was messy

He keeps calling her a “she devil narcissist” who “sandbagged” him with a kid and “needs psychiatric help.”

I don’t think any of these things, and he’s always demanding I back him up or validate what he says

She wanted to talk to me instead of him at the end of my nephew’s last Zoom visit and he got so angry I thought he was going to explode

I still want to keep open a door of friendly communication with my little nephew’s Mom, so he can be a bigger part of our lives and so she knows someone in our family doesn’t hate her

But my brother sees this as a “betrayal”

I am completely torn and have no idea what to do. 😔

What is the best way to handle this complicated situation.

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  1. It’s absolutely necessary for you to remain in contact with your nephew and her as a byproduct. But also I would point blank ask him why he’s left his child with a narcissist because either he’s lying about her being a narcissist or he’s left his child with one and he needs to start making plans on how to coparent or single parent for the best interest of his child.

  2. Pretty sure if you explain this to your brother’s ex-wife and maintain a healthy relationship with her, it’s just as much her decision as it is your brother’s decision whether you get a role in your nephew’s life. In other words, what’s the worst your brother can do? His ex wife can facilitate contact with your nephew if you have a good relationship with her.

    I realise your brother hates his ex, but unless she’s actively hurting him, he needs to do the mature thing and find a way to coparent effectively. That means keeping the peace. If he actually cares about his kid, he’ll realise pretty soon that the best thing is for there to be as little animosity as possible, between all the adults involved.

    If he can’t understand why this is best for his child maybe he’s not mature enough to be a father right now.

  3. You’re doing the right thing.

    Also, be prepared to tell his future girlfriends the truth. He’s going to tell them awful lies about his ex and make up stories why she “won’t let him” see his kid that he abandoned. I know it sucks but people deserve to know who he really is.

  4. Wow this is exactly what happened to me. So my ex-husband in-laws siblings family are in contact and I’m very good terms. They take both my kids, and my second child is not their grandchild. My ex turned out to be what he was telling everybody that I was. That I took everything away from him that I was toxic and abusive and that I used to beat him and that I was a narcissist. Which are all the things that he did to me. He just got out of prison. And me and his family still on great terms. Him not so much. And I’m grateful that his family never thought that I was The Toxic one. On that note I am also no contact with my ex-husband. He is a douche canoe.

  5. Have a relationship with her and your nephew. Whatever happened between him and her is between them and nothing to do with you.

    Your brother’s relationship with his ex wife does not affect you and nor should it affect your relationship with your nephew.

    As for your brother, he needs to grow tf up. Whatever happened between them is history, and the most important thing is that he is there for his son.

    No offence but if all he’s got is zoom contact and nothing else, he’s a lousy father and was likely just as bad a husband. And the fact he expects you to validate his vulgar and toxic opinions (and behaviour) is even more proof. He sounds like a narcissistic conceited man child.

    Edit: Apologies if I crossed the line, he is your brother after all. However I won’t apologise for telling the truth.

  6. Your brother is an immature asshole. You’re doing nothing wrong and supporting your nephew’s mom. If he can’t get it through his thick skull then so be it. Have an honest and open conversation with him, tell him that you’re doing this for your nephew because you want to be part of hos life and that if he wants to be part of his son’s life too he better start shaping up his act.

    For those who didn’t see OP’s comment: Her brother got arrested for preventing his ex of leaving her car and throwing a cell phone at her. He was ordered by family court to attend anger management classes but ditched them.

    He has history of anger and outbursts. So no the ex wasn’t the issue here. He has anger issues and refusing to address them

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  8. Your brother is in desperate need to anger management. You don’t have to validate an abuser’s toxic views.

    I’m curious though, why would he move back? Is he paying child support?

  9. Keep the relationship with her. Tell your brother he’s going to not be able to form a relationship with his son if he doesn’t learn how to be cordial and coparent fairly.

    My sister hooked up with a friend of mine years after I’d known him, really they were not great for one another, they had my nephew, they didn’t work out *shocker*. My friend (who I call my brother in law despite that they were never married) has full custody of my nephew, he married a woman with a daughter and then they had more kids together. My nephew loves a wonderful life with his dad and other mom and sisters. My sister sees him during school breaks and when she can, she doesn’t pay support or even call regularly. I love my sister, but honestly his dad was the better choice and despite the bad aspects of their time together, I never let my friendship with him waiver because I knew it was important for my nephew to have open communication. My family has travelled to visit their family for holidays even.

  10. I would tell him what you told us- that you want to make sure that you can be as involved in your nephew’s life as possible and that means staying out of their drama and mess. Tell him if he ever wants to vent- you will listen but you will not;
    1. Have or express an opinion
    2. Take or choose sides
    3. Talk badly about either him or his ex wife to anyone

    I would also have this conversation with his ex.

    This way you are setting clear boundaries that you can reinforce in the moment.

  11. If it were me, i would tell your brother off. I don’t buy into the “but he’s FamiLY” bullshit. You act like a dick i’m telling you you’re acting like a dick. Or i would say “that wasn’t my experience with her” and refuse to back him. He sounds like he’s throwing a temper tantrum and i don’t appreciate that behavior in adults.

  12. Tell him that in time this child will develop resentment toward either parent who will either withhold them from seeing the other parent or whoever bad talks the other parent. The child will eventually develop its own opinions about the situation. Tell him to attend counseling to get through this.

  13. I think you should absolutely stay in touch with your ex SIL, and keep a good relationship with her. For yourself, for her, and for your Nephew.

    I *don’t* think it is of any value or benefit at all to keep your brother informed of this contact. Sometimes, it’s just best to keep things private. She is your friend and he doesn’t need to know about it or be involved with it. You might want to have a conversation with your ex SIL, so she is on the same page.

    I don’t know why you are spending so much time around your brother, that he is raging about his ex wife, but it’s time for you to tell him you’re sick of hearing about it and to find another subject. He’s your brother. You CAN tell him to STFU about this issue.

  14. He is blinded by hate because of the relationship between him and his ex wife. You need to tell him that he needs to think about the child and that he doesn’t have to like her but needs to be cordial and respectful to her, especially in front of the child so the child gets a good role model growing up.

  15. I (33M) still have contact with my sisters ex husband. I know both of them well enough to say both there kids deserve better parents. Both my sister and her ex are good people but shitty parents. When my sister started barking at me about keeping in touch with him. I gently reminded her what he or she wants is irrelevant. It’s all about the kids. And if she can’t understand that, then she’s part of the problem.

    Your brother needs to learn that, just like my sister did.
    You have an advantage knowing that your ex-sister-in-law is a good mother.
    Kids always come first.

  16. If she went low contact and he can only do virtual visitation, that’s a sign of massive red flags on your brother’s side. Courts don’t agree to that sort of thing on whims.

    I definitely think it’s important you maintain a positive relationship with his ex-wife and your nephew, to at least give a positive part of that side of the family.

  17. This is probably going to be hard to hear and it’s hard to say to you because it’s about your brother, but from everything you wrote and the additional information you’ve provided it sounds like he is actually the narcissist. This is what they do.

    They triangulate, run smear campaigns and talk disparagingly about their exes (conveniently without admitting their faults), deflect and project their issues onto the other person. You already know that the ex was not the primary issue considering he literally tried to keep her entrapped and has anger issues he refuses to address. That’s another key part of narcissism as well; the inability to take responsibility and address their issues. What they are good at though is shifting blame and disparaging those who they feel “faulted” them.

    All of that being said, you’re doing the right thing. Both by your nephew *and* for showing the ex support and that not everyone in the family hates her. I can only imagine how isolated he’s made her feel and seems to be trying to continue to do now. It helps so much to have a support system so you know you aren’t going crazy and your abuser doesn’t have everyone wrapped around their little finger. Again, I’m sorry to be saying it so bluntly, but whether he’s a narcissist or not, what he did and got arrested for shows he was at the very least abusive towards her.

  18. Our story is a little different but let me share; my son and his now ex wife separated after several explosive fights because of drugs. His ex wife was a big part of the issue but my son also did his part to ruin their relationship. They had a 3 year old at the time. Initially I was very angry at her and had limited to no contact with her but realizing that she was the mother a d had some control over us seeing the baby, I started to change my attitude towards her. Little by little we reconnected and moved past her issues with my son. My son was angry with me for befriending her again, he saw her as an evil monster who ruined his life. I pointed out that he chose that evil monster to marry and have a kid with, so now I had to try to maintain a good relationship with her so that I could still be part of my grandsons life. My son at the time was only given monitored visits. As time past my ex DIL started leaving my grandson with me more and more, and eventually she just left him with me. Even though legally she has 70% custody and my son 30% my grandson lives with my full time for the last 5 years. My point is I stayed civil with her regardless of what my son or other family members thought because it was the right thing to do for my grandson. And I was right.

    Like I said my situation was different but the general idea is the same. You need to do the right thing for your nephew. You brother needs to handle this better for his child. He seems to be ignoring his part in what went wrong in that relationship. I also hate the way people talk about their exs after the fact; when they were together the ex was wonderful & could do no wrong but once the breakup suddenly the ex is an evil monster. If the ex is in fact an evil monster, how dare he make and abandon his child with such a person. We both know she isn’t an angel but she also isn’t an evil monster; so for the sake of your nephew who is an innocent child in this whole mess be civil to be her and keep a relationship with her.

    Tell your brother that you love him but that you also love your nephew and he needs you more so you are going to maintain a friendly and civil relationship with his ex for his sake. You can tell him that you promise to not get involved in their personal issues about each other but that you do not intend to change your relationship with her. He chose her, he brought her into your lives, he married her and made a baby with her so now it can’t be undone.

    Hopefully eventually he takes personal responsibility for his part in the breakup of his marriage and he stops trying to make you join the “we hate Mary” club.

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