English is not my first language; I am sorry for any mistakes. I am just looking for any advice that can help my brother in this situation.
My brother 27M started dating my best friend 28F when he was 15. They had a baby and were engaged when he was 24 and both had stable careers. About two years ago, my best friend came to me crying and told me my brother cheated on her. AT first I refused to believe it. he is just not that kind of person, but then he too came out and told us that he did in fact cheat on her. what hurt my friend the most was that the girl was one who had a huge crush on my brother for quite some time now, she is a part of his friend group in college. Brother had assured her many times that nothing was ever going to happen and one time when she came onto him, he rejected her and gave her an ultimatum that if she did anything like that ever again, their friendship would be over.
Best friend broke with bro, they weren’t married and amicably came to terms for my nephew’s custody and child support. He primarily stays with my friend and brother has him 3 days of the week.
My brother was treated very badly. He himself confessed to the cheating to both the families and even his friends which he lost a considerable amount of. To my shame our parents and even I was initially very cold to him. Our parents later on forgave him when they saw much, he was hurting. The rest of us prioritized best friend over brother in almost every area of our lives. The reason was because my best friend and brother had known each other since they kids, so have our dads.
A year after this happened best friend started dating another man who has a daughter as well. She isn’t really one for casually dating and if she announced that she is in a relationship with someone else, It means that she definitely sees a future with him.
Recently I found out that my brother did not in fact cheat on my best friend. He was raped by that girl, it just never occurred to him that he was raped. There is much more to it that my brother didn’t tell me but that was the basics of it. he tried to take some legal action against the girl but was told it wouldn’t really go anywhere. When he was ready to tell everyone else. He found that best friend was in another relationship. He thought about the situation long and hard and thought telling everyone would bring ‘unnecessary feelings of guilt and regret’
As I mentioned above best friend isn’t really someone who dates people casually. If she’s dating someone she sees a future with him. My brother told me that it this point telling everyone would just rip everything apart. It would be hard for our parents to hear that their son was raped and lost his family because of it. not to mention the feelings of guilt and regret they would feel for how they treated him directly after everyone thought he cheated. And this news might also drive a rift between best friend and her new bf which would also affect the kids in the event that they break up. He said its easier, even if everyone sees him as the bad guy in this situation, everyone has more or less moved on. I wanted to talk more and apologize but he told me that we would talk later and told me to leave because he was feeling exhausted but not before making me promise that I wouldn’t tell anyone else about this no matter what.
I am at home with my bf, I didn’t tell him anything, I am just observing and trying to wrap my head around everything that has happened. My question is first and foremost, is keeping this quite really the way to go? My brother told me that everyone else has more or else moved on. he hasn’t however. He is quite visibly depressed and not keeping well. What can I do to help my brother in this situation. My brother and I had they best kind of relationship that any sibling can have before this mess happened. It was estranged for quite some time. I only recently started to reach out to him more when I noticed how much his mental health has declined which lead to me finding this out.
1. Therapy. Ensure that therapists are changed if the right fit isn’t there
2. When he becomes better, encourage him to let parents know so his circle of support improves
3. Once he has told 5 or 6 people, ask him whether he thinks that girl needs to be prevented from raping other men
If 2 doesn’t happening with time then he might need to make a fresh start in a new place.
Going over his head and telling people without his consent is a bad idea. You’d just be revictimizing him by taking another choice out of his hands.
Be there for him, be supportive, tell him when he’s ready to talk about it you’ll be there for him. That’s all you can do.
Honestly I’m just very speechless after reading this. I don’t really know whether you should keep this quiet or not, you can see if other people will comment about that. but please convince your brother to get professional help asap. I can’t even imagine what that poor man must be going through
Oh I feel so sorry for him, what stuck the most is he said everyone’s moved on but him, he’s still dealing with the trauma.
You know it took me 7yrs to finally tell my mum I was SA by my uncle, I was 11 when it happened. In those 7yrs I dealt with that on my own and it was horrible, I would cry and have bad dreams, I still had to come face to face with him so many times. When I finally told my mum I felt so much better and relieved. I got help talking to a psychologist, my family all shunned my uncle out and my mum went off at him.
Please try and convince your brother that he should at least tell your parents and see if you can get the girl that raped him some type of charge but considering it was years ago I doubt you can, I couldn’t for my uncle.
>And this news might also drive a rift between best friend and her new bf
That would be between them, whatever happens between them is their business only
I feel so sad for your brother, please be there for him, convince him to speak up, I know it isn’t easy but it’s the first step for him to move on and heal. I hope he can find happiness again, he’s lost a lot of people over the years when it was when he needed the most support. Just support him as much as you can and fight for him please.
Also beat the girls ass who raped him.
Wow. Your poor brother and his ex. That cunt raped your brother, made him feel like a cheated when he didn’t, and destroyed a happy family. It sucks there’s nothing he could do legally to make her pay for what she did.
This situation is heartbreaking. The fact that your brother opened up to you about this shows his trust in you – he obviously sees you as a safe person to tell.
It’s very understandable to want to try to make things right between him and your family/best friend. It’s an impulse that comes out of your care for him. But as much as you might want to tell them the truth, I think that breaking your brother’s trust would do far more harm than good. It’s really important for survivors to have agency and control over how their story is told, and to whom. You don’t want to take that away from him.
When you talk to him about this in private, I’d suggest asking for permission to even start the conversation again (“Is it okay if we talk about what you told me the other day?”). And if he doesn’t want to in that moment, respect that. Talk about it on his terms only.
You can explain why you want him to tell people, and tell him that you’re willing to be there and support him during those conversations if/when he’s ready. But make sure you emphasize that you won’t say anything without his permission.
Him even confiding in you at all is such a huge step forward. He’s told someone he cares about (you!), and it went well; you didn’t reject or ridicule him. You believed him, and you want to help. This experience may help him decide whether he wants to risk telling someone else in the future.
In the meantime, try your best to support him. Maybe gently encourage him to do some of the things you used to do together as siblings – like going for walks, or watching movies together; whatever might help in restoring your relationship with him. Having you back in his life is probably the most important gift you can give him right now.
If you can, consider seeing a therapist to help you process your own feelings around this. It’s really hard to be the only other person who knows such a painful secret, and therapists are required to keep whatever you tell them confidential.
I wish both of you all the best.
Please, please encourage him to seek therapy with someone who specializes in sexual trauma. Whether he discloses should be 100% his decision. Do not badger him to do it and do not confront the rapist. Your only focus should be supporting him and doing whatever he asks as he tries to heal from his trauma. I know you are angry and devastated for him and want his ex to pay but this should be about him and what he needs. Hopefully he will seek help and start to heal but it must be on his terms and on his timeframe.
Guide him to therapy. He needs tons of it.
Unfortunately, his decision to be silent was the wrong one.
Personally, I would amend that promise of silence and tell your brother, if anyone asks why you are depressed, that you tell the truth as you know it. Really, for him to heal, the most sympathetic of your family member and your nephew’s mother need to this truth. Encourage him to reveal it, perhaps working with a therapist.
First of all your brother is a very kind person he puts everyone before himself. Also willingly took/takes all the blame.
You should try to keep it a secret but the priority is to get help for your brother (if you can only ensure him getting help trough telling a well selected and strict limited amount of people that would be ok in my opinion). He needs a professional with whom he can work trough everything. I doubt telling the whole family and ensuring the drama that will follow would be the best for his mental health.
If you tell you may loose your brother’s trust and he needs you.
But if you do you may save the relationship with his mother’s daughter/son(don’t know gender).
Tuff situation, he may feel ashamed, but he needs help: don’t force it or he may slip away, try to tell it is for his child
Also don’t know your culture, so I don’t know how much it could be normalised the rape
The MeToo movement encourages women to come forward and talk about those who raped them years ago right? Time for you to convince this guy to come forward and fight for justice. I’m sick of seeing men avoiding taking legal action MORE THAN WOMEN! that’s saying alot. Time we take a page out of the MeToo’s book and come forward NOW
Women raping men is no fantasy. It happens. It happened to me when I was in the Marines. Something was put in my drink. I still don’t remember much, just flashes, but I remember who. Two local girls I had turned down several times before.
Ty friends reaction? Hay! High five. You had a three way. That was pretty much everyone’s reaction. So I just quit trying to tell anyone because if it happens to a man no one cares.I haven’t even told my wife.
Personally, I would advocate for my brother as much as it’s possible to do so and push him to be more vigorous in his own defence, to the limit of his courage. I would also tell best friend if only so that she thinks more kindly of him and avoids future uncomfortable situations when they may come into contact with each other. I think, while obviously the relationship is now unrecoverable, it would still benefit them both to have that anger and resentment ironed out between them. I would also break volume world records in forcing everyone involved to understand the absolute trauma he has been undergoing in losing everything he loved from this, your family’s love and affection, your love and affection, his own girlfriend’s love, the general judgementalism and scorn he has undergone, essentially he has been victimised over and over again by you all and it surprises me none at all that his mental health is in serious jeopardy. Understand that I’m not attaching blame, I am thinking of how close to the edge he may have been pushed by this and the best way to lead him back.
ETA His wish to avoid “unnecessary guilt and regret” actually just led to him taking the blame entirely on his own shoulders, he needs to understand, through therapy and your support, that he has a right to tell his truth and be recognised as the victim in this situation. Any guilt and regret that is incurred by others is something they probably have the mental resilience to bear, he does not.
Coming clean honestly won’t change anything. People have built this new perception of him in their mind. He’s guilty and nothing he says will change that. He’s right, best to keep quiet at this point.
Your brother is a good person. I can see that he’s altruistic. However, this trait is gonna crush him for the rest of his life. People need to know the truth. Not for the sake of your best friend getting back with him, but so people know he didn’t cheat.
The poor dude probably feels some guilt and blames himself for what happened to him, even though it seems to not have been his fault.
Personally, if I was raped, and instead people thought I was a cheater, with my own family treating me coldly, I can’t even imagine the pain.
Everyone who thought he cheated has to know the truth.
I forgot the most important part. Your Best Friend deserves to know, because when their child grows up wondering why their parents aren’t together, your best friend is gonna say that their father cheated on them. This will drastically change the perception the child will have regarding their father.
I’m sure that while the pain is enormous, your brother can deal with it for the time being; but having your own child thinking that you did something horrible that negatively affected their life, that may be too much to handle.
Alcohol, women and drugs will fuck your life up if you are not careful.
this happened to me. it’s horrible. I tried to tell ex it was assault but to this day she’s convinced I just cheated. :/ let him tell people on his own
Your brother is unfortunately making himself into the villain, at the expense of his mental health and overall happiness. He was assaulted, the fact that he didn’t realize that at the time, isn’t all that surprising.
Ideally you’d convince him to tell his ex, family, and friends. He’s been taking the blame for something undeserving for years. If there’s a chance this’ll make things better with his ex, even as co-parents then it’d be an improvement. Your friend also deserves to know the truth, things may have played out differently if this had come out before. Who’s to say how she would have reacted back then, let alone now.
>If she’s dating someone she sees a future with him.
I won’t lie, I’m rooting for your brother, but life isn’t a fairytale. There’s a distinct chance your friend will continue seeing this guy, misunderstanding or not. She’s likely moved on, and the years of pain and anger wouldn’t be easy to let go. But as the mother to his kid, and your friend, she deserves to know. Even if they don’t end up together, he’d clear his name. Whether or not this effects her current relationship is unimportant.
Given his mental state and depression, I’d convince him to come forward. If he refuses, I’d do so in his stead. Yes it’s immoral, since this is his story to tell, but given the circumstances, this needs to come out. Doing nothing and continuing the status que will only make your brothers depression worsen. if nothing else, he’ll be able to get the support he needs, and depending what happens with your friend, he’ll be able to move on, and hopefully have a decent co-parenting relationship if nothing else..
I am so sorry for him… And for you.
He must be a great guy!
Life will find a way… So sorry
If he told you about it, maybe deep down he expects something from u ?
Telling the truth ?
At least to your parents ?
I don’t know OP, i would only advice to be true to yourself, and do what your heart tells you to do.
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